Keloid / Hypertrophic Scar

Medical treatments

Corticosteroid treatments: Corticosteroid injections are considered a first-line treatment for hypertrophic scars. Injecting a steroid into the scar every six weeks may help flatten and soften the scar. There's a limit to the number of times this can be performed, however, as the steroids may also weaken normal tissue around the scar.

Laser therapy: Laser therapy is more effective in newly formed scars than in older scars. The lasers work by burning and flattening elevated scars. They also target the red and pink pigments in the scars to lighten them.

Bleomycin: Bleomycin is a metabolite of a strain of soil bacteria. It's shown promising results when injected directly into a hypertrophic scar. It may help improve the scars appearance and relieve itching and pain. More clinical trials are needed to confirm its efficacy.

Cryotherapy: In cryotherapy, a doctor or dermatologist freezes the scar tissue with liquid nitrogen to help flatten it. Cryotherapy has been shown to be successful, safe, nontoxic, and well-tolerated in a number of small studies.

Surgery: After waiting at least a year, a hypertrophic scar can be excised, or cut out, and closed again with stitches. This treatment tries to re-heal the injury while eliminating the issues that may have caused the scar in the first place, such as infection, inflammation, or tension.

Home treatments

Silicone sheets: Silicone elastomer sheets are noninvasive and can be applied as soon the skin heals after an injury. They're also considered a first-line treatment for hypertrophic scars. Many silicone products are available, including sheets, gels, sprays, and foams. Many are available over the counter (OTC). A sheet must be worn over the scar for 12 to 24 hours per day for 2 to 3 months. You have to apply the gel multiple times per day.

Pressure and massage: One of the cheapest and most effective ways to help heal the scar is to apply pressure and massage to the area. You can use bandages or tape to apply pressure. Over time, it can help weaken the scar tissue and improve the appearance of the scar.

Onion extract creams: Another OTC option is a topical gel made of onion extract. This product is commonly marketed as Mederma. However, limited clinical data shows its effectiveness in reducing the appearance of hypertrophic scars.

Bio Oil: Bio Oil is marketed as a treatment for all different types of scars. It can be purchased at many beauty supply stores. Clinical trials for Bio Oil showed positive results. However, the sample sizes were small. More research is needed to confirm that Bio Oil can effectively reduce the appearance of hypertrophic scars.

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