Anthony Lee - Jan 01 2020
What Is The Difference Between Keloid & Hypertrophic Scars?
Hypertrophic scars and keloid scars are two of the most commonly known types of scars, affecting tens of millions of Americans. Although these are two distinctly different types of scars, on the surface hypertrophic scars and keloid scars can appear very similar - leading to a lot of confusion among patients about which one their scar really is! As experts on scar healing we understand that in order to ensure that your scars properly heal you need to be able to properly identify what type of scar you have and - most importantly - pick the right scar treatment. There are tons of scar products out there to help patients heal scars and diminish their appearance, but the reality is that not all scars are created equal. Different scars have different needs, and what works great for a stretch mark might not be an effective treatment for keloid scars.
So how can you tell the difference between a hypertrophic scar or a keloid scar? The answer is crucial in selecting the right scar product, but it's something many patients struggle with. Today we're walking you through everything you need to know about hypertrophic and keloid scars, their differences, and how to treat them.
What Are Hypertrophic Scars?
Hypertrophic scars are caused by a protein called collagen, which repairs and strengthens the broken tissue in a wound. The last step of the wound healing process stops collagen production and breaks down any excess. However, sometimes excess or continual production of collagen causes the skin to rise, creating a visible scar. This is a common feature characteristic of hypertrophic scars, which are more likely to form on or around areas with movement, such as joints and on the face. Although they can appear red or pink initially, hypertrophic scars do have a tendency to fade over time.
What Are Keloid Scars?
Like hypertrophic scars, keloid scars are also caused by excess or continual production of collagen. However, the fibers themselves are structured differently. Hypertrophic scar fibers are often rigid and organized. Keloid fibers, on the other hand, are thicker and disorderly. Similar to hypertrophic scars, keloids are more likely to form on or around areas with movement, such as joints and on the face. Keloids are also more common in people with darker pigmentation of the skin.
How To Tell The Difference Between Keloid And Hypertrophic Scars
Height. Hypertrophic scars are visible and oftentimes raised above the skin, although they rarely exceed 4mm in height. On rare occasion a hypertrophic scar may not be raised, but a differentiating factor of keloid scars is that they are always raised above the skin - typically by more than 4mm.
Appearance. Although both hypertrophic and keloid scars can be raised above the skin, they do vary slightly when it comes to appearance. Hypertrophic scars are either red or pink in color and are usually hard and sturdy. Keloid scars, on the other hand, can come in a variety of colors ranging from pink to purple and oftentimes appear to have a shiny surface.
Shape/location. One of the easiest ways to tell hypertrophic and keloid scars apart is to take a closer look at the shape of your scar and its location. The most definitive feature of a keloid scar is that they expand beyond the boundaries of the original wound, spreading to the surrounding tissue. It's not uncommon to find keloid scars in areas adjacent to the original wound, whereas hypertrophic scars will always stay within the boundaries of the original wound that caused them.
How To Treat Keloid Scars & Hypertrophic Scars
The good news is that the treatment methods for hypertrophic scars and keloid scars are in many cases similar! Although hypertrophic scars are generally easier to treat because they regress over time, the appearance of both hypertrophic scars and keloid scars can be dramatically improved through the use of Silicone-based products. Silicone is infamous in scar treatment for its ability to halt water loss and reduce collagen production, something that stops the growth process in keloid scars and helps results in a softer, flatter scar over time. There are a ton of silicone-based scar gels and sheeting options available to help patients treat keloid and hypertrophic scars, it's just a matter of finding a brand you love and sticking with them!
Rejuvaskin's Keloid & Hypertrophic Scar Products
While we know that for some patients scars can be a great reminder of the past or even a rite of passage, we also understand that many patients are looking for ways to get rid of keloid scars or hypertrophic scars so they can feel comfortable in their skin. That's why we've created a variety of silicone-based products designed to treat even the toughest keloid and hypertrophic scars! Patients can pick from our medical grade silicone sheeting, pair it with our scar cream, or utilize our Silicone Scar Gel which is clear, non-comedogenic, and perfect for scars on more visible areas like the face.
Living with scars is never easy, and for patients who struggle with raised keloid scars or hypertrophic scars it can take a toll on your emotional health and your overall confidence. At Rejuvaskin we believe everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin, which is why we've worked hard for decades to create clean, high quality products that address a variety of skin issues. Whether you struggle with scarring, need an anti-aging solution, want to get rid of stretch marks, are hoping to protect your skin from pollution, or simply want to add the best cleanser to your routine, we've got a product that fits your needs!
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