What is a hypertrophic scar?
A hypertrophic is a scar that may be raised, red or wide but within the boundaries of the existing scar.
What is a keloid scar?
A keloid scar is a scar that may be large and raised. Keloids usually grow beyond the boundaries of the original scar. There are some risk factors for developing keloid scars that include dark skin types and particular areas of the body such as ears, shoulders, and chest. There may be hereditary or genetic factors in developing these scars.
How can you treat hypertrophic or keloid scars?
These types of scars can be very difficult to treat. We do not fully understand the reasons why these types of scars form in certain people or specific parts of the body. The usual first line for treatment of hypertrophic scars is to use silicone gels and sheets to cover the scars. These may help reduce redness of scars and can help reduce their size if used regularly. The next step for managing difficult scars is the use of steroid injections.
Steroid injections for scars
Steroid injections are a useful treatment for hypertrophic or keloid scars. They can help reduce redness and size of these scars. Many patients also report steroid injections help reduce the itching sensation that these scars can have. Patients will often need a course of steroid injections to see the benefits of treatment. Injections can be repeated every 4-6 weeks.
Can these scars be removed by surgery?
The reason that these scars arise is thought to be due to injury of the skin and tissues. Any operation will cause a response and this may stimulate another scar reaction. Surgery for these types of scars carries a very high risk of recurrence of the abnormal scarring.