Hypertrophic scars

A comparative picture of untreated 7-days-heal...

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Hypertrophic scars may happen when your body produces far too much collagen fibres, depositing them inside of your healing scar and causing the scar to be higher than the skin that surrounds it. In some cases, they may look very much like a red lump or pimple, but they are not. The more serious version are the keloids, but unlike this one, they grow out and not up. However, it should be noted that a keloid scar is a type of hypertrophic and are only caused mainly by body piercings, acne, accidents or surgery.

There are a number of ways to treat these scars, though challenges are common. They can reoccur, meaning that you might have to treat them again and again. They may appear even after something as simple as an insect bit or a pimple, but the best treatment so far is a steroid injection. Sometimes gels are also helpful when applied directly to the scar. Silicon sheets and laser surgery help to a certain degree, but cannot prevent them from coming back.

Preferably you should speak to a dermatologist to decide what if any treatments will work best for you hypertrophic scars and your particular skin type. This doctor will not the main scar types that you get and healing factors in relation to your skin. Professional help is therefore your best option as your chances of battling repeated hypertrophic scars when they come back can be a frustrating battle that many people cannot tolerate for long. Additionally, you have to assess your lifestyle to assist in fighting these types of scars.

Lifestyle changes that your doctor might suggest include the most basic. Your diet can aid in helping you heal by avoiding things that hinder your ability to create healthy cells. Additionally, you should stop smoking if you do because this can accentuate the chances of the scar reoccurring as a hypertrophic. You should keep it out of the sun and if you have to expose it to the sun, use a full sun block. Check with your doctor also for additional lifestyle changes and follow them closely or you will further your risks of fighting a losing battle.


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Hypertrophic scars

Hypertrophic scars are usually produced because the body has too much collagen in the skin, causing scars to be raised above the level of the rest of the skin. The difference between these and keloids are that they do not grow beyond the outer edges of the original wound, whereas keloids do. However, this type is not seen very often, except where the wounds have had secondary closure.

These scars can appear stiff, purple, pink and/or red. Usually they happen on skin areas which have the most tension and more often in people that have darker skin. As they mature, they can become very sensitive to any sort of physical contact, including something as light as clothing brushing across your skin. They may feel tender, or even itch from time to time. Their heaviness is especially common after a serious wound or having a piercing, but with the appropriate treatment they can be lessened or even fade with time.

Treatments for these types of scars include topical creams, silicon sheets and steroid injections that reduce the collagen production. However, some people confuse it with an infection and try to squeeze it, causing even more damage. All that comes out, if anything, are strands of granulated collagen. A more natural and less damaging method to reduce the scarring is to combine salted water (preferably sea salt without cyanide) and a few chamomile flowers, soaked for half an hour. This is then rubbed on the scar and left for about fifteen minutes, morning, noon and night. After about three days the scar reduces in size, but this is just one of many interesting home type solutions. Another good one is to use tea tree oil, not only because it reduces the size, but cleanses it and has a nice smell, too.

Hypertrophic scars may be rare, but they do run in some families. Some people are definitely more prone than others, but unless the damage done is severe enough, the chances of developing one is slim at best. However, with people with a genetic disposition towards getting them, every effort is necessary to prevent them and this is best done by treating the scarred tissue right from its early days to reduce any collagen growth.