What is a Hyperotrophic Scar?
Hyperotrophic scars are swollen, puffy and red scars that can be painful or itchy. They are similar to keloids in appearance but hyperotrophic scars behave a bit different.
Keloid scars, or keloids, are scars that are growing large and protruding the boundaries of the original wound. They are hard to treat since they tend to recur. Keloids are also hard to prevent. Upper chest, shoulders and upper back are especially prone to keloids formation.
They hyperotrophic scar doesn’t grow or spread but continues to thicken for up to 6 months. After a year or two, the scar may shrink and become less visible but may cause restricting movement if they are located near joint or other incovinient areas. They may also cause distress due to appearance and itching. Hyperotrophic scars are usually firm to the touch and may be sensitive to temperature changes.
There is no particular reason why hyperotrophic scars occur. This usually happens due to various circumstances. Generally, collagen places a vital role in hyperotrphic scar formation. In case of imbalance between anabolic and catabolic phases of the healing process, more collagen is produced and the scar grows in all directions.
Hyperotrophic scars are more common in young and pigmented people. Also, hyperotrophic scars may develop in people that have an inherited tendency to this type of scaring.
These scars can be itchy and painful due to lack of oil glands and elastic tissue. When hyperotrophic scars develop on wide areas of the skin, because of some massive wound or burns, they can be particularly painful and cause movement difficulties.
Treatment for Hyperotrophic Scars
Hyperotrophic scars are usually handled with conservative treatment. Steroid injections can be administered to reduce the size of the scar. Natural remedies may also help in shrinking the scar. This includes tea tree oil, salt soaks and vitamin E oil applied topically.
If none of this helps, surgery can be used to shrink or remove the scar. Laser is one of the preferred options but there are other methods as well. Other treatment methods involve cryosurgery (freezing), excision, laser and x-rays.
Prevention of Hyperotrophic Scars
Forming of hyperotrophic scars after an injury can be prevented or reduced by using pressure dressing, silicone gel pad or paper tape on the injuries. People with hyperotrophic scars must carefully apply the pressure since they may inadvertently cause the damage. Pressure pads are recommended if scar is surgically removed in order to prevent recurrence.