Hypertrophic scars, also known as keloids, form after tissue damage (such as a cut) and heal with an abnormal overgrowth of the epidermis. They have a raised, mounded or dome-like appearance. Hypertrophic scarring can occur in any area of the body. The scar is usually raised a few millimetres from the surrounding skin but rarely exceeds 4mm in height.
Can hypertrophic scars go away? That, we will find out in the course of this article, alongside the causes and treatment of hypertrophic scars.
Causes of hypertrophic scars
Hypertrophic scars are among the most common types of scarring. They form after an injury occurs, such as a wound or surgery. When blood vessels swell beneath the skin’s surface, it causes a raised bump resulting in a scar.
Some of the causes of hypertrophic scars include:
- Deep Burns
Any burn will generally cause some degree of tissue damage. And since we are talking about skin, that means there’s going to be some scarring. The good news is that burns aren’t typically one of the most common causes of hypertrophic scarring. However, suppose you have deep burns or an open burn without initial treatment. In that case, you will have some degree of fibrosis and collagen reorganization that can lead to hypertrophic scar formation.
- Extreme inflammation
Skin cells may create more collagen as part of the healing process for wounds that experience extreme inflammation.
- Big open wounds.
Leaving big open wounds unstitched can cause them to heal improperly. This increases the chances of developing hypertrophic scars.
- Chemical sensitivity
Chemicals in cosmetic and personal care items may irritate a healed piercing. Sprays, scrubs, and cosmetics are some examples. Additionally, products with dyes and scents should be avoided.
Hypertrophic scar symptoms
Hypertrophic scars are easily recognized due to their symptoms;
- Tissue that is hard or thick and rises over your injury.
- Scar tissue within a few months following an accident.
- Discomfort, tenderness, itching, and irritation from the scars.
- Restriction in the whole range of motion of that joint.
- Your injured area is covered in a pink, crimson or purple rash.
Hypertrophic scar vs keloid
A hypertrophic scar is caused by excessive collagen growth at the site of an injury. It can happen anywhere and is usually less than 1 inch wide. These scars usually heal without treatment, but they could linger for months or years if not treated properly.
Keloids are a much more serious issue that affects body image and self-esteem. Keloids are caused by a genetic predisposition to overproduced collagen after an injury. Being a keloid scar, it will appear raised and red with a thicker appearance and more noticeable than hypertrophic scars. This can cause skin discolouration, thickening, and hardening.
Treatment of hypertrophic scars
Hypertrophic scar treatment aims to improve the appearance of the scar by making it less raised, less thick, less dark, and less itchy.
- Hypertrophic scar injection
For hypertrophic scars, this is the go-to remedy. Injection smoothens and softens scar tissues. It also reduces discomfort and itching. You may require a series of injections spaced out over a few months.
- Hypertrophic scar cream
After the injury has healed, silicone sheets or ointment are used to avoid or lessen the appearance of a raised scar. The self-adhering sheets must be worn continuously for several months, perhaps even longer. According to reviews, this product effectively treats scars in every way: they are smaller, less noticeable, less painful, and reduce hypertrophic scar itches.
- Laser therapy
Laser therapy helps to remove the blood vessels in a scar, thereby preventing it from expanding. Additionally, they alleviate discomfort, itching, and hardness while decreasing the scar’s characteristic red or pink appearance.
Frequently asked questions about hypertrophic scars
Can hypertrophic scars go away?
A hypertrophic scar does not exceed the site of the injury, and while it may become thicker for up to 6 months, it may eventually thin out. While hypertrophic scars may take 12 months or more to fade and can never completely go away, they can eventually be concealed by wearing clothing that covers the area. It’s also possible to reduce their appearance by using silicone gel sheets or surgical scar treatments like lasers and dermabrasion.
What causes a hypertrophic scar?
A hypertrophic scar is a scar present where the body overproduces collagen and is used to describe a raised and thickened (hypertrophic) appearance. A hypertrophic scar can be present at birth or acquired later on in life.
What does a hypertrophic scar look like?
Hypertrophic scars are red, raised, and appear “padded” with excess tissue. They’re often described as being a halo or doughnut around a wound site.
Can hypertrophic scars be permanent?
There is no exact way to answer this question because hypertrophic scars can change from being raised and red to being flat. However, they will not go away entirely and become normal skin again on their own.
Will a hypertrophic scar flatten?
Hypertrophic scars have the potential to diminish in size and flatten out after an initial phase of growth.
How do you flatten hypertrophic scars at home?
Applying pressure and massaging the scar is one of the cheapest and most efficient techniques to speed up the healing process. Put Pressure on the area using bandages or tape. Scar tissue can be weakened, and the scar’s appearance enhances with time.
How do you treat old hypertrophic scars?
Old hypertrophic scars can be treated through the use of cryotherapy, which involves utilizing liquid nitrogen to freeze and smooth out the scar. The condition of hypertrophic scarring can be treated with this method, and it is one of the few treatments that are both safe and successful.
How do you get rid of hypertrophic piercing scars?
You can use pressure. This is the simplest and also the least expensive method to break down scar tissue. You might try applying pressure with massage, bandages, or tape. The scar can be compressed with the use of a pressure disc too.
How can I flatten my scars naturally?
With the use of pressure, as explained above.
How can I flatten my scars?
There are several methods available for this. Either through laser therapy, injections or natural methods.
Hypertrophic scars can be discomforting and even embarrassing in apparent areas. To effectively get rid of these scars while regaining your self-esteem, you should book an appointment with us at London Keloid Clinic, and you will surely have a good story to share.
Check also our Scar Treatments