Scientists have recently discovered an important mechanism the skin uses to form scars after an injury. Normally when the skin is injured special cells come in and produce proteins like collagen that act as a scaffolding for the full repair of the skin.
In a study published in Nature Cell Biology, researchers found that one type of these specialized repair cells called fibroblasts which normally produce collagen, stop their production completely. In addition, these fibroblasts actually release proteins that break down collagen. As these dormant cells accumulate in the wound they reduce the formation of excess scar tissue.
The scientists also discovered a protein that is responsible for making the fibroblasts go dormant. They were able to apply this protein topically to the skin reducing the amount of scar tissue that was formed.
This experiment was done on rats so it still needs to be tested on humans.