American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 235–243 | Cite as

Hypertrophic Scars and Keloids

Etiology and Management
  • Tina S. AlsterEmail author
  • Elizabeth L. Tanzi
Therapy In Practice


Keloid and hypertrophic scars have affected patients and frustrated physicians for centuries. Keloid and hypertrophic scars result from excessive collagen deposition, the cause of which remains elusive. Clinically, these scars can be disfiguring functionally, aesthetically, or both. A thorough understanding of the pathophysiology and clinical nature of the scar can help define the most appropriate treatment strategy.

Although many articles have been published on the management of hypertrophic and keloid scars, there is no universally accepted treatment protocol. Prevention of keloid and hypertrophic scars remains the best strategy; therefore, those patients with a predisposition to develop excessive scar formation should avoid nonessential surgery. Once a scar is present, there are many treatments from which to choose. Hypertrophic scars and keloids have been shown to respond to radiation, pressure therapy, cryotherapy, intralesional injections of corticosteroid, interferon and fluorouracil, topical silicone or other dressings, and pulsed-dye laser treatment. Simple surgical excision is usually followed by recurrence unless adjunct therapies are employed. Biologic agents that are directed towards the aberrant collagen proliferation that characterizes keloid and hypertrophic scars might be an important addition to the current armamentarium of modalities in the near future.


Hyaluronic Acid Imiquimod Hypertrophic Scar Triamcinolone Acetonide Pressure Therapy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this manuscript. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser SurgeryWashington, DCUSA

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