Hypertrophic Scars

 Hypertrophic Scars: Causes and Treatments

PLEASE NOTE: Advanced Dermatology does not treat hypertrophic at this current time. This article is for education and information purposes only. 

A hypertrophic scar is a wide scar that is very common. They are raised and very thick, and bright pink in colour, but will often fade. A hypertrophic scar can itch and be painful, and are uniform without extending past the original incision or wound. They do not drain any pus, and often have dry skin flaking off them. A hypertrophic scar often contains nerves and blood vessels. They are commonly found on the breastbone, ears, and shoulders, but can essentially be found on any part of the body.

A hypertrophic scar looks much like a keloid scar, however, they do not get as big as keloid scars. Hypertrophic scars are much more common than a keloid scar.

How does a hypertrophic scar form?

A hypertrophic scar is formed when there is an injury to the skin. They may form from pimples, cuts, burns, and body piercings. A hypertrophic scar will form when there is an injury to the dermis, or the deepest layer of the skin. The body will create collagen in excess to help the injury heal, which will give an elevated appearance to the scar.

What treatments are available for a hypertrophic scar?

There are many different treatment options for a hypertrophic scars that include surgical, non-surgical and other therapies.

  • Skin needling is a procedure that is often used for hypertrophic scars. This procedure is performed at a skin specialist. It is a cost effective way to stimulate collagen production. A roller is manually applied to the skin. The roller will have over 200 fine needles, which will be applied in a crisscross motion. The needles will puncture the skin in order for new collagen to be stimulated and formed.
  • Collagen injections are used for hypertrophic scars that have sunk into the skin. Once the collagen is injected into the skin, it will help the scar raise up to be even with the level of skin. More than one injection will be needed to maintain the level of the skin.
  • Laser therapy is used for hypertrophic scars. The laser starts by working on the top layer of the skin, but works its way down to the lower levels of the skin to vaporize the scar tissues. More than one treatment may be needed depending on what the desired outcome is.
  • Radiotherapy is a treatments that is used but can be very risky. The scar is cut open and exposed to radiotherapy. Opening a scar can have long term side effects, so this treatment should be used with the utmost caution as a last resort.
  • Steroid injections may be used to treat hypertrophic scars. These injections will help to thin the skin tissues. The steroid will be injected into the scar once a month until the scar has flattened out. The injection will help to soften the appearance of the scar.
  • Silicone sheets are used as a treatment for hypertrophic scars to help fade the traces of the scar. Silicone sheets will be applied to the skin to moisturize it, which will also help to even out the blotchy skin tone. These sheets are comfortable to wear and possess very little risk to the person wearing them. No further damage will be done to the skin tissues when utilizing this scar treatment.
  • Topical steroids are applied directly to the scar. They are usually in a cream or ointment form and are available in different strengths. They are commonly known as corticosteroids.
  • Surgery can be an option for removing a hypertrophic scar, although it can lead to new scars. Surgery for these scars is often only used as a last resort once other treatments have been exhausted.

PLEASE NOTE: Advanced Dermatology does not treat hypertrophic at this current time. This article is for education and information purposes only. 

5 replies
  1. Christine L.
    Christine L. says:

    Nice article on hypertrophic scars. I have one on my chest. I would love to be able to get rid of it. Not that many people see it, with the exception of when I wear lower cut shirts. I just feel very self conscious with it. I would love to be able to do a treatment for it that does not involve any needles or surgery. I am thinking that the topical creams would work well for me. Or the silicon sheets sound like they would work. I will be in contact with a dermatologist in my area to make sure that I can have something done. Looking forward to the results and a way to make this scar much less ugly.

  2. callum
    callum says:

    I have had skin needling done before and loved the results. I did not use it for hypertrophic scars, but it turned out nicely for me. My collagen level was really restored. It was a process that I rather looked forward to. It was well tolerated by my skin and my dermatologist told me that many patients respond well to it. It was a rather fast procedure that only took about 20 minutes. I have had my skin rolled twice, with a period of 6 weeks in between so my skin could heal. Within about 7 days after the treatment, my skin was already healing. I would say this treatment is a very good one for so many with different types of scars as it really worked for me.

  3. works great!
    works great! says:

    I have had a hypertrophic scar and I had much success with using laser therapy on it. The laser worked slowly to get down to all layers of my skin, and I had to have two sessions done. I am happy with how the results have turned out. The scar is barely noticeable now, and I have the confidence once again to show off that area of my body.

  4. May
    May says:

    I am looking into some of these options now as I have a scar that I would love to fade. I feel that surgery is not right for me, and if there is a chance of leaving other scars, then I will have to pass that one up. I like the idea of using a topical steroid, or even the silicon sheets. It would not even bother me to have a steroid injected into the scar to make it look better. I guess I will be discussing with my doctor which option would be best for me and my scar. I look forward to the day when I will look at my skin and not see the scar but see the skin!

  5. suggestions???
    suggestions??? says:

    I have a hypertrophic scar and the thing that bothers me the most is that it is raised, which I feel it is just getting more attention that way. I have it on my belly button after getting my belly button pierced. I like to be able to wear bikinis and shorter shirts in the summertime but now am self conscious when I wear them. To me it is really noticeable, while my boyfriend says that it does not look that bad. I guess I just feel that it makes my belly button look disfigured. I would love to try one of the treatments for the scar. I would think that the steroids applied to my skin would be good or even the silicon sheets. I would not mind trying another form of treatment as well if the dermatologist was able to do it on my belly button, such as the laser treatment. Can anyone suggest which treatment might be the best for a hypertrophic scar on the belly button?


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