What does fibrosis mean?

Fibrosis is used to describe the microscopic appearance of a scar. Fibrosis is made up of a specialized type of tissue called collagen. Collagen is made by cells called fibroblasts. When examined under the microscope, collagen looks pinker than normal tissue. Pathologists sometimes use a special stain called Masson’s trichrome to make areas of fibrosis easier to see in a tissue sample. Another word that means the same as fibrosis is fibrotic.

Why do scars develop?

After any kind of injury, the body begins a process to repair and rebuild the damaged tissue. In many situations, the injury is completely repaired and the tissue returns to normal. In some situations, however, the body is unable to completely repair the damage and the injured tissue is replaced with a scar. Large injuries are more likely than small injuries to leave a scar.

Because fibrosis can occur in any part of the body after an injury, it is a descriptive word and not a complete diagnosis in itself. More information about the injury that caused the scar is usually required to make a complete diagnosis.

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