What Are Hypertrophic Scars?

What Are Hypertrophic Scars?

A hypertrophic scar is a condition on the skin that is marked by excess scar tissue at the site of skin injury. It can affect any individual of any ethnic origin; however, it is more common in people with darker skin tones, such as that of African American, Hispanics, or Asians.

Symptoms of a Hypertrophic Scar
Hypertrophic scars are thick, raised, and typically dark in color, usually red or brown. They can occur after any form of skin injury, on any part of the body. These scars are different from Keloid scars in that they do not keep growing and they are limited to the site of the skin injury or surgery. As they develop, they will be thicker and darker than the area of skin they surround. They can arise on the ear lobes, facial areas, chest, shoulders, on the back, or any other part of the body.

Hypertrophic scars can arise at any time. They can even appear after a wound has healed. They can become painful and itchy. They can also become very firm and hard to the touch, and many sufferers find these scars to be especially sensitive to temperature or texture changes. Clothing that creates friction can also result in pain and discomfort.

Hypertrophic Scar Causes
When an injury occurs on the body, our cells produce fibrous connective tissues, known as Collagen, which is deposited in the different layers of the skin. In many cases, too much collagen accumulates in response to the injury which leads to hypertrophic scarring.

What Things Trigger Hypertrophic Scars to Form?
Any skin injury can act as a trigger. The most common causes are surgery, traumatic skin injury (accidents), body piercings, and acne.

Diagnosis of Hypertrophic Scars
The diagnosis is usually made by a simple skin examination by a medical professional. If there is any doubt about the diagnosis, a biopsy of the skin may be recommended to rule out something more serious such as a skin cancer.

Treatment of Hypertrophic Scars
Hypertrophic Scars are typically benign and not dangerous. Treatment usually includes some combination of pressure therapy, topical silicone therapy (gel and/or sheeting), and steroid injections. Sometimes, surgical scar revision may be recommended if these treatments are not successful.

Do you have a hypertrophic scar?

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photo credit: nollpunkt via photopin cc

The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please speak to your doctor to treat any medical condition. Information on this site is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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  1. […] slightly raised scar. I’d seen worse, but I had hoped for better. Apparently what I had was a hypertrophic scar which meant it it was thicker and raised from excess scar tissue built up. […]

  2. […] Hypertrophic scars tend to start developing within the weeks following an injury, and they may continue to redden and thicken for months. Their raised appearance can improve with consistent scar massage over the course of several months. However, depending on the severity of the scar and the nature of its origin, it can take a year or even longer for the scar to begin to flatten and fade. […]

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