A hypertrophic scar is a thick raised scar developed on areas of high skin tension. It is an abnormal wound healing response that commonly occurs following diseases, burns, surgical incisions, and other forms of skin trauma. Although they aren’t life threatening, they can be a bit itchy and painful if left untreated.
Certain patients have a predisposition for developing hypertrophic scars. The location of hypertrophic scarring is also a high risk factor. Areas of high skin tension, such as the back and chest, or frequent muscle movement, such as the knee and shoulder, are more prone to hypertrophic scar formation. Also, post injury complications, such as infection, wound-splitting, etc. can contribute to the formation of hypertrophic scars.
As with all scars, hypertrophic scars tend to fade on their own but can remain permanent for certain individuals. Early intervention is key in these cases. Intralesional steroid injections can stop prolonged inflammation in the skin, thereby preventing destruction of normal skin tissue. For mature hypertrophic scars, more aggressive treatments, such as those listed below, may be required for optimal results. The Scar Healing Institute, the best scar treatment center in California, provides the most highly advanced energy- and non-energy-based treatments for hypertrophic scar removal.
Hypertrophic scars may be sensitive to touch and friction, often leading to itchiness, redness, and pain. Hypertrophic scars around the joints are more prone to irritation due to frequent muscle movement and friction with clothing throughout the day. As the wound heals, normal sensation may return, which may reduce the irritability of your hypertrophic scars.
There are several telltale signs of hypertrophic scars:
Several factors can significantly increase your chances of developing hypertrophic scars:
Hypertrophic scars occur over areas of high skin tension or mobile joints. These areas include the following:
Hypertrophic scars usually show up 4 to 8 weeks after sustaining an infection or traumatic injury to the skin. Improper wound closure that fails to minimize skin tension over the aforementioned areas significantly increases the risk of hypertrophic scar formation.
Hypertrophic scars are benign skin lesions. However, there is a possibility that the hypertrophic scars can grow and turn into keloid scars. In those cases, the keloid scars may pose an inconvenience, especially if located around the ears or around areas that experience high friction, leading to irritability. It is also possible for hypertrophic scars to contract over time, leading to the formation of contract scars, which pull on the surrounding healthy skin. In these cases, contracture scars can be severely limited if located around the armpit, neck, elbows, and knees.
Early intervention is key to preventing hypertrophic scars from progressing to keloid or contracture scars. At the Scar Healing Institute, we have the most advanced energy- and non-energy-based treatments for hypertrophic scar removal. We have a team of dedicated expert dermatologists who will help you find the best scar treatment in California for your particular skin type.
Choosing the best scar treatment for your hypertrophic scars requires an in-depth physical examination of your scars. Depending on our team’s assessment, we are likely to administer one or a combination of the following hypertrophic scar treatments:
There are multiple types of laser modalities available, including ablative and non-ablative lasers. Ablative lasers, such as CO2 and erbium: YAG lasers, are effective for causing subclinical inflammation, triggering the formation of new collagen in a more normal, mesh-like distribution and thus restoring a natural texture. Non-ablative lasers, such as Nd:YAG, pulse-dyed, and alexandrite diode lasers, can similarly induce collagen production but leave the epidermal and dermal layers intact. Although the downtime is much less, the results are not as drastic. Non-ablative lasers can also target blood vessels to treat persistent redness or erythema.
Corticosteroids exert their action by reducing collagen synthesis. Because hypertrophic scars result from excessive collagen deposition, these intralesional shots effectively soften and flatten hardened scar tissue. Corticosteroids also have potent anti-inflammatory properties, which can help treat redness, irritation, and recurrence of scarring.
Bleomycin is an antibiotic chemotherapy drug. It works by causing apoptosis or cell death of collagen-producing cells, called fibroblasts, effectively reducing the total collagen content in the scar. Combining bleomycin with other treatment modalities, such as corticosteroids and laser therapy, can help produce optimal results.
This technique entails the use of liquid nitrogen to “freeze” the scar, inducing cell death and thus reducing scar volume. Depending on the size, maturity, and location of the hypertrophic scar, cryotherapy can either be sprayed directly on the scar or injected intralesionally to freeze the scar from the core outwards.
Scars that are recalcitrant to all the other treatments listed above may have to be surgically removed. Because this is a more highly complex procedure, finding the best hypertrophic scar removal surgery in California can be challenging. Our team of professionals will examine your scars to see if you are a good candidate. Because there is a tendency for hypertrophic scars to recur, we will closely monitor your healing process after surgery and perform ancillary procedures if needed.
The Scar Healing Institute is the best scar treatment clinic In California. We exercise the most efficacious and safest approaches to treating your hypertrophic scars. We combine high-resolution photography and ultrasonography to visualize your scars clearly on top and from underneath. This allows us to execute treatments at the highest level of precision when minimizing the appearance of your hypertrophic scars while preserving the healthy skin surrounding it. Our team consists of the nation’s best dermatologists in California who are experts at creating customized treatment plans based on your skin type.