4 Treatment Options for Hypertrophic Scars

by Ella

Hypertrophic scars are a common type of raised scar tissue that forms as a result of abnormal wound healing. While they are not harmful to one’s health, hypertrophic scars can be aesthetically displeasing and may cause discomfort or itching. Fortunately, there are various treatment options available to help reduce the appearance and symptoms of hypertrophic scars. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the causes, characteristics, treatment strategies, and patient considerations associated with hypertrophic scars.


Understanding Hypertrophic Scars:

Hypertrophic scars are characterized by their raised, thickened appearance and may be red, pink, or purple in color. They typically develop at the site of a wound or injury and result from an overproduction of collagen during the healing process. Unlike keloid scars, which extend beyond the boundaries of the original wound, hypertrophic scars remain confined to the injury site.


Causes of Hypertrophic Scars:

Several factors can contribute to the formation of hypertrophic scars, including:


Trauma or injury to the skin, such as cuts, burns, or surgical incisions


Genetics and family history of scar formation

Inflammation or infection at the wound site

Tension or pressure on the healing wound

Improper wound care or treatment during the healing process

4 Treatment Options for Hypertrophic Scars:

1. Topical Treatments:

Silicone Gel or Sheets: Silicone-based products can help soften and flatten hypertrophic scars by hydrating the skin and creating a protective barrier.

Pressure Therapy: Applying pressure to hypertrophic scars using compression garments or bandages can help reduce collagen production and flatten the scar tissue.

Topical Corticosteroids: Prescription or over-the-counter corticosteroid creams or ointments can help reduce inflammation and itching associated with hypertrophic scars.

2. Injectable Treatments:

Corticosteroid Injections: Injecting corticosteroids directly into hypertrophic scars can help reduce inflammation and flatten the scar tissue. Multiple injections may be required over several weeks or months to achieve optimal results.

Interferon Therapy: Interferon injections may be used to treat hypertrophic scars that do not respond to corticosteroid therapy. Interferons help regulate collagen production and promote scar remodeling.

3. Surgical Interventions:

Scar Revision Surgery: In some cases, surgical excision or revision of hypertrophic scars may be necessary to improve their appearance. This procedure involves removing the scar tissue and repositioning the skin to minimize scarring.

Laser Therapy: Laser treatments, such as fractional laser resurfacing or pulsed dye laser therapy, can help reduce redness and improve the texture of hypertrophic scars by stimulating collagen production and promoting skin regeneration.

4. Other Treatment Modalities:

Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy involves freezing hypertrophic scars using liquid nitrogen to destroy excess scar tissue and promote new skin growth.

Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy may be used in combination with other treatments to prevent the recurrence of hypertrophic scars following surgical excision.

Patient Considerations and Care:

Before initiating treatment for hypertrophic scars, patients should undergo a thorough evaluation by a qualified healthcare provider specializing in dermatology or plastic surgery. During this evaluation, the provider will assess the characteristics of the scar, the patient’s medical history, and their treatment goals to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Patients should also be counseled on the following considerations:

Treatment Expectations: Patients should have realistic expectations about the outcomes of scar treatment, as complete resolution of hypertrophic scars may not always be achievable.

Treatment Adherence: Adherence to the prescribed treatment regimen is essential for the success of scar therapy. Patients should follow their provider’s instructions carefully and attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor progress and adjust treatment as needed.

Potential Side Effects: Patients should be aware of potential side effects or complications associated with scar treatments, such as skin irritation, discoloration, or scarring. Any concerns or adverse reactions should be reported to the treating provider promptly.


Are hypertrophic scar treatments effective?

The effectiveness of hypertrophic scar treatments varies depending on factors such as the type of treatment, the characteristics of the scar, and individual patient response. While some patients may experience significant improvement with treatment, others may require multiple interventions or combination therapies to achieve satisfactory results.

Are there any side effects associated with hypertrophic scar treatments?

Like any medical procedure or treatment, there may be potential side effects or risks associated with hypertrophic scar treatments. These may include skin irritation, redness, swelling, bruising, discoloration, or scarring. It’s essential to discuss any concerns or questions with a qualified healthcare provider before starting treatment.

How long does it take to see results from hypertrophic scar treatments?

The time it takes to see results from hypertrophic scar treatments varies depending on factors such as the type of treatment, the severity of the scar, and individual patient response. Some patients may notice improvement within weeks or months of starting treatment, while others may require more extended therapy to achieve optimal results.

Can hypertrophic scars be prevented?

While it may not be possible to prevent hypertrophic scars entirely, certain measures can help reduce the risk of their formation. These include proper wound care, minimizing tension on healing wounds, avoiding excessive sun exposure, and seeking prompt treatment for any signs of infection or inflammation.

Is it possible for hypertrophic scars to recur after treatment?

In some cases, hypertrophic scars may recur following treatment, especially if the underlying factors contributing to their formation are not adequately addressed. However, with appropriate follow-up care and maintenance therapy, the risk of recurrence can be minimized.

See Also: 7 Ways to Treat Post-Tummy Tuck Scars


Hypertrophic scars can have a significant impact on an individual’s appearance and quality of life. However, with appropriate treatment and patient care, the appearance and symptoms of hypertrophic scars can be effectively managed. By understanding the causes, characteristics, treatment options, and patient considerations associated with hypertrophic scars, healthcare providers can help patients make informed decisions about their scar management and achieve optimal outcomes.


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