An Overview of Hypertrophic Scars
All life forms have an instinctive tendency to protect themselves against all externally introduced factors that violate the skin, such as traumas or wounds, the soonest possible. For humans, during the healing process of a normal wound, the body first forms blood clots to prevent blood loss.
The next step is to replace the old collagen so it produces new fibers at the same rate that the old ones are destroyed. When this rate is not balanced, because there has been a disruption in the control mechanism that regulates tissue repair and regeneration, it results in sediments of excessive amounts of collagen which produce a raised scar. This is defined as a hypertrophic scar.
Sometimes these scars contain nerves and blood vessels and generally develop after an injury, either thermal or traumatic, that reached the deep layers of the skin. In most cases they are formed at the location (on the skin) of pimples, body piercings, cuts and burns. For some people there is an inherited predisposition towards this type of scaring.
Hypertrophic scars have a reddish color and are thick. They may also be itchy and painful. They are limited within the boundaries of the original wound, but they may continue to thicken for a period of up to six months. Usually the condition is improved after one or two years, but in the meantime they may produce stress because of their appearance or the itching intensity. If the original would is near a joint, then the scars may restrict movement.
The scars become flat and pale after a period of several months, and generally settle either through time or through treatment through simple surgical excision (recommended for wide-spread scars). It is impossible to totally prevent hypertrophic scars from forming. It is recommended for people that have suffered them in the past, to inform their physician should a surgery be in order.
Hypertrophic scars can also be treated by a prescription scar removal cream including silicone gel and silicone gel sheets, which is a much preferable remedy, as:
a) It does not involve the costs of procedures carried out in a medical establishment
b) It is prescribed after examination of the specific scar and its needs and not a generic address as in over-the-counter medications.
According to the latest studies on the silicone products, their effectiveness is 86% texture reduction, 84% color improvement and 68% in height reduction.
Important notice: It is also highly advisable to restrict the exposure of scars to direct sunlight as they tend to discolor under UV rays. Also, people are not to pick at the healing wounds, scratch them or by any other means induce irritation.