Early Scar Treatment Is 'Critical'

Early Scar Treatment Is ‘Critical’

The future of treating hypertrophic and keloidal scars will involve earlier intervention with new and existing technologies – even at the genesis of scar formation, said Dr. E. Victor Ross.
“I think you’re going to see a lot more in the future about scars, not just in the laser area, but also in the biologic arena, because we’re learning more about the way scars behave,” Dr. Ross said at a meeting on superficial anatomy and cutaneous surgery. “Some physicians are treating scars as early as the time of Mohs surgery, for example, by applying the PDL [pulsed-dye laser] at the time of suture placement. That’s perhaps a bit extreme, but I think you are going to see newer technologies and drugs used synergistically to give us a better fighting chance to prevent and treat scars.”
Dr. Ross of Scripps Clinic Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology Center in Carmel Valley, Calif., said that there is a lack of consensus regarding how the two main types of scars hypertrophic and keloidal – are defined. Historically, “we’ve said that hypertrophic scars don’t go beyond the boundary of where the scar tissue was, and keloidal scars go around the perimeter of where the scar boundaries were,” he noted. “If the scar is red, even if it’s longstanding, I tend to call it a hypertrophic scar. If it tends to be more flesh colored, and aged like a fine wine, I tend to call it a keloidal scar. The critical thing with these scars is how long it takes the wound to heal. If an open wound takes more than 3-4 weeks to heal, often it will be hypertrophic.”
Existing therapies that are commonly used to treat scars include

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