A hypertrophic scar refers to a skin condition which is associated with excessive amount of collagen deposits. A hypertrophic scar is a milder version of a keloid which is observed in association with a skin injury. Following a skin injury, the body produces collagen fibers at replace the damaged or broken down collagen tissue.
A typical hypertrophic scar is usually red and thick is color and its boundaries are usually limited to the original wound. While the scar continues to get thicker over a period of six months following the injury, it may improve in appearance about two years after the wound. However a hypertrophic scar may be associated with symptoms like itching and pain, though their severity may vary from person to person.
What Causes Hypertrophic Scars?
Hypertrophic scars are formed following a thermal injury like a burn or cuts on the skin. Scars can also be observed on the sites of body piercings and pimples.
- Hypertrophic scars are more frequently observed in younger individuals compared to their older counterparts.
- Hypertrophic scars are more frequent in dark skinned people compared to fair skinned individuals.
- Genetics and inheritance may also play a vital role in the formation of the scars and tendency to scarring is usually inherited within the family.
Home Remedies For Hypertrophic Scars
Here are some simple home based treatment options and natural remedies that can help in improving the scar. These home remedies may help reduce the thickness of the skin and alleviate the symptoms like itching and pain associated with hypertrophic scars,
- Local application of vitamin E cream is considered very useful. Vitamin E helps in regulated growth of collagen fibers within the skin and prevents thickening and scar formation.
- Local application of calendula cream on the scars has also been useful in alleviating the symptoms associated with hypertrophic scars. Calendula cream is often recommended by doctors in order to avoid surgical scars.
- Apply freshly cut onion slices on the scar tissue about four to five times in a day. Onion contains allantoin which helps improve flexibility and texture of the scar tissue. The symptoms can be alleviated within a couple of months. Alternatively use over the counter scar creams containing allantoin.
- Apply mustard seed oil on the scar for several weeks. Mustard seed oil is known to help in the appearance of the scar and also reduce the thickening of the skin.
- Local application of lavender essential oil is also reported to help in management of different forms of scars. Lavender helps rejuvenate the skin and improves the texture and appearance of the scar within a few weeks.
Hypertrophic Scars Treatment
In addition to the home remedies there are certain techniques that can help to relive the hypertrophic scar,
- Massage the scar regularly. Massaging helps break the scar tissue down and softens the scar.
- Some experts may recommend electrotherapy along with the massaging to prevent the development of hypertrophic scar.
- Avoid picking on the wound till it heals as picking can increase scaring.
There are several surgical/dermatological techniques that can be helpful including steroid injections. However, these techniques may be associated with side effects and should be avoided if possible.