Linear hypertrophic scars, those pesky lines that may surface following an operation or an injury, can be a real pain. They’re not just a cosmetic issue either, as they can also cause discomfort and limit movement. How to manage these scars and restore your skin to the best condition possible?
Starting with Prevention and Pressure Therapy
When these linear scars begin to bulge or ‘hypertrophy’ between 6 weeks to 3 months after your surgery or trauma, it’s time to step up your prevention game. If you haven’t yet tried pressure therapy, now could be the perfect time to give it a go. It is recommended for this stage of scar management.
Relying on Silicone Therapy and Intralesional Corticosteroids
Fast forward to about half a year post-surgery or trauma, if your scar has further matured, keeping up with silicone therapy is the way to go. But if your scar is still on the thicker side, don’t worry, you’ve got options. You may need a more hands-on approach, like injections of intralesional corticosteroids. Triamcinolone acetonide, a popular choice, can be injected into the papillary dermis of your skin every 2 to 4 weeks until the scar smooths out.
Special Tips for Kids
You may have heard the myth that children are more prone to hypertrophic scars, but rest assured, there’s not enough evidence to back this up. That being said, if your little one needs corticosteroid injections, they’re safe to use. Just make sure the dosage is appropriate for your child’s weight to avoid unnecessary exposure. And remember, inject only into the scar, not around it, to prevent unwanted side effects like fat atrophy, no matter the patient’s age.
Exploring Surgical Interventions and Cosmetic Solutions
In some instances, if a scar is causing you physical difficulty or has become permanent after a year, it might be time to consider surgical options. Techniques like Z-plasty, skin grafting, or flaps can help alleviate tension and reduce the scar. Post-surgery, aesthetic correction methods like surgical taping and silicone gels can further enhance the result.
Dealing with Keloids: Extra Care and Specialized Treatments
If you’re dealing with keloids – scars that just keep growing – a specialized treatment could be your best bet. Options to manage these stubborn growths can range from silicone and pressure therapy to corticosteroid injections.
But if these treatments aren’t making a dent after a year, a surgical excision might be in the cards. However, keep in mind that this should be paired with supplementary treatment, as surgery alone often results in recurrence or even a bigger keloid. There’s an ongoing discussion in the medical community about whether the edges of keloids should be removed or left alone, as they’re believed to be hotspots for collagen production. For now, it’s best to trust the experts and follow their advice based on your unique case.