Celebrities with Scars

Hollywood is the land of beautiful people, celebrities who are admired for their good, often perfect looks. But you might be surprised to learn which of the biggest stars sport scars — or where those scars came from. Some embrace them and openly share their stories; others say the topic of their scar is off limits. Take a look at nine of the most famous celebrity scars and discover their origin as well as tips for scar management from Jessica Krant, MD, MPH, a board-certified dermatologist, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and founder of Art of Dermatology in Manhattan.


The Grammy award-winning singer's voice is unmistakable. But Seal is also known for very characteristic types of scars on his face and scalp, caused by a skin disease called discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE). Seal had the condition as a teenager. "DLE is a disfiguring disease in which the immune cells attack the skin from underneath, creating inflammatory areas and scarring of the scalp, ears, face, and sometimes chest and arms. The scars that form from the disease are permanent, so prevention and early treatment is the best management," explained Dr. Krant.

J.R. Martinez

Cpl. J.R. Martinez of the 101st Airborne Division was just 19 when he deployed to Iraq in 2003. Less than a month later, a Humvee he was driving hit a landmine and he received burns on more than 40 percent of his body. Today, the actor and Dancing with the Stars champion views his scars as a gift. Between surgeries and therapies to stretch his tender skin, he has visited other wounded veterans — he gave them hope, and they gave him purpose. "Once a burn patient is stabilized, the treatment depends on how large an area has been affected. New skin must be either taken from another area of the body, grown from the patient's own cells, or applied from an artificial graft," said Krant.

Tina Fey

When the 30 Rock actress was a small child, a random stranger walked up to the front yard of Fey's home and slashed the left side of her face, leaving a scar from just below her cheekbone to under her bottom lip. She doesn't like to publicly discuss the origin of the scar and covers it with makeup so that it is less noticeable. "There is no single, reliable, perfect scar treatment, but depending on the scar, injecting it with corticosteroid to flatten and relax it, using silicone gel sheeting, or occasionally some types of laser may be helpful. Massage and time are also great factors in improving scars," Krant said.

Padma Lakshmi

The former model and host of Top Chef has grown rather fond of the thick, seven- inch long scar on the front of her arm — the result of a car accident that occurred when she was 14. Upset about it at first, Lakshmi has said that she now views it as a source of affirmation instead of an ugly mark. "I love it because it makes me a person who has an interesting past," she said in a People.com interview. "On rare occasion, a scar can be cut out and re-stitched to make a less visible scar after a long time of initial healing, for a thinner, flatter scar," Krant said.

Harrison Ford

The well-known scar on Ford's chin has even been written into some of his movies — it was from a whip in Indiana Jones and an ear piercing gone wrong in Working Girl. In real life, Ford earned the scar when he lost control of his car putting on his seatbelt while driving. When a deep cut occurs, you may be able to minimize scarring with fast action. Keep the wound moist with petroleum jelly and out of the sun, and seek a doctor's advice immediately to see if it's the type of wound that would benefit from suturing," Krant said.

Mary J. Blige

While Grammy award-winning singer Mary J. Blige has never acknowledged how she got the scar below her left eye, rumors abound that it resulted from a fight she had with another woman. Another story is that the scar is from a traumatic event during childhood that she made a pact to never discuss. In one interview Blige did say, "If I don't accept the scar on my face, the lips that God gave me, the big giant feet, the long legs, whatever it is that I'm deformed with, I got to love it so everybody else can love it. And I started loving it."

Kate Middleton

Being thrust into the limelight after marrying Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge's looks have been the topic of endless discussion. When a 3-inch long scar was spotted along the left side of her temple, noticeable only because of the way her hair was styled, it became headline news. A spokesman for the Duchess confirmed the scar was the result of a serious surgery Middleton had as a young child, but declined to give further details, stating it was a private matter.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Makeup artists are always looking to cover up the 1½ inch scar on the front of Catherine Zeta-Jones' neck. It's the result of the tracheotomy she had to have as an infant after a virus she contracted caused breathing difficulties. "I don't want to hide it," she has said. "I wouldn't be here today if I didn't have this scar." With surgery, there is the risk of scarring at the incision. Typically, scars fade over time, but never completely disappear. For people who would rather not have that reminder, options to help minimize their appearance include dermabrasion, injections, chemical peels, creams, and laser treatments. Researchers continue to look for more effective options, said Krant.

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