What are Keloid and Hypertrophic Scars?
Keloid and hypertrophic scars are usually thick, raised, unattractive masses of collagen at a site where the skin has been injured. They are frequently associated with a variety of characteristics including hardened, rope-like protrusions, raised surfaces and excessive discoloration.
How do keloids and hypertrophic scars form?
Hypertrophic scars and keloids can be described as variations of typical wound healing. In a typical wound, metabolic processes balance out approximately 6-8 weeks after the original injury or surgical procedure. The body produces and then breaks down collagen at the wound site. Over time, the strength of the scar improves and may be thickened, but tends to diminish over months until a flatter, mature scar has developed. When there is an imbalance between producing and breaking down collagen during the healing process, more collagen is produced than is degraded, and the scar can either spread or remain raised and become either a keloid or a hypertrophic scar.
Proper hypertrophic scar and keloid treatment during the healing process can be the most effective preventative measure.
What is the Difference Between Keloid & Hypertrophic scars?
The differences between hypertrophic and keloid scars can be confusing. Although they both have excessive collagen in common, they act differently. For instance, a hypertrophic scar forms soon after the skin has been lacerated, while keloids may not begin forming for up to a year after the injury.The tissue structure also varies between the two scar types. Collagen fiber formation in keloid scars actively spreads into the nearby healthy tissue while hypertrophic scars remain contained within the original boundary of the injury. The surrounding healthy tissue is not affected.
Can you prevent hypertrophic and keloid scars?
The fact is that the use of silicone gel products for scar treatment is one of the few proven methods to help prevent hypertrophic and keloid scars from forming. If you know you are susceptible because of previous scarring or a predisposition, you can exercise extra caution by starting hypertrophic scar and keloid treatment as a preventative measure. Make sure you inform your medical professional of your condition prior to any surgery.
Be aware that any time you have a body piercing, a tattoo or an injury to the skin, a hypertrophic or keloid scar is likely to form. Bonimedic scar treatment products are designed to help prevent scarring as soon as your skin is completely healed.
Are keloids localized or can they form anywhere?
Keloids are raised growths of excess collagen that develop at the site of an injury. Keloids may form on any part of the body, although the upper chest, shoulders and upper back are especially common sites for keloid formation. After a wound has occurred to the skin, the body begins the scar healing process by producing skin cells and connective tissue cells (fibroblasts). When excess cells are produced, a keloid or hypertrophic scar may form.
What’s the best way to promote scar healing?
Healing issues that occur in keloid and hypertrophic scarring are compound, involving diverse interplay of cell functions below the surface of the skin, the body’s response to physical injury, and changes to the outer layers of skin.
The use of silicone gel products for scar healing is one of the few proven methods to help prevent hypertrophic and keloid scars from forming. Keloids may often be prevented by using a pressure dressing like Epi-Net in conjunction with silicone sheets over the injury site.