A hypertrophic scar is a wide scar that is very common. They are raised and very thick, and bright pink in colour, but will often fade. A hypertrophic scar can itch and be painful, and are uniform without extending past the original incision or wound. They do not drain any pus, and often have dry skin flaking off them. A hypertrophic scar often contains nerves and blood vessels. They are commonly found on the breastbone, ears, and shoulders, but can essentially be found on any part of the body.
A hypertrophic scar looks much like a keloid scar, however, they do not get as big as keloid scars. Hypertrophic scars are much more common than a keloid scar.
How does a hypertrophic scar form?
A hypertrophic scar is formed when there is an injury to the skin. They may form from pimples, cuts, burns, and body piercings. A hypertrophic scar will form when there is an injury to the dermis, or the deepest layer of the skin. The body will create collagen in excess to help the injury heal, which will give an elevated appearance to the scar.
Skin needling is a procedure that is often used for hypertrophic scars. This procedure is performed at a skin specialist. It is a cost effective way to stimulate collagen production. A roller is manually applied to the skin. The roller will have over 200 fine needles, which will be applied in a crisscross motion. The needles will puncture the skin in order for new collagen to be stimulated and formed.
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What treatments are available for a hypertrophic scar?
There are many different treatment options for a hypertrophic scars that include surgical, non-surgical and other therapies.
Collagen injections are used for hypertrophic scars that have sunk into the skin. Once the collagen is injected into the skin, it will help the scar raise up to be even with the level of skin. More than one injection will be needed to maintain the level of the skin.
Laser therapy is used for hypertrophic scars. The laser starts by working on the top layer of the skin, but works its way down to the lower levels of the skin to vaporize the scar tissues. More than one treatment may be needed depending on what the desired outcome is.
Radiotherapy is a treatments that is used but can be very risky. The scar is cut open and exposed to radiotherapy. Opening a scar can have long term side effects, so this treatment should be used with the utmost caution as a last resort.
Steroid injections may be used to treat hypertrophic scars. These injections will help to thin the skin tissues. The steroid will be injected into the scar once a month until the scar has flattened out. The injection will help to soften the appearance of the scar.
Silicone sheets are used as a treatment for hypertrophic scars to help fade the traces of the scar. Silicone sheets will be applied to the skin to moisturize it, which will also help to even out the blotchy skin tone. These sheets are comfortable to wear and possess very little risk to the person wearing them. No further damage will be done to the skin tissues when utilizing this scar treatment.
Topical steroids are applied directly to the scar. They are usually in a cream or ointment form and are available in different strengths. They are commonly known as corticosteroids.
Surgery can be an option for removing a hypertrophic scar, although it can lead to new scars. Surgery for these scars is often only used as a last resort once other treatments have been exhausted.