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Ask a Skin Doctor: Hypertrophic Scars Treatment

Dear Doctor

Hey, I’ve been a self-harmer for nearly 5 years now and have some really obvious scars on my thighs and forearms – a lot of them seem to be keloid scars.

I was just wondering what the best sort of treatment would be to have them removed, and also if it will be considerably effective.


self harmer keloids

Dear Patient

I recommend that you:

1. Seek professional help for self harming.

The first thing you should do is to seek professional help for self harming because unless you resolve it completely you will be wasting your time and money treating the scars.

You can read through this Cutting and Self Harm Guide and contact a professional therapist like a psychiatrist or counselor.


Hypertrophic Scars vs Keloids

From the picture your scars seem to be more of hypertrophic scars than keloids.

African American keloids

A keloid (see picture above) is an excessive growth of scar tissue which extends beyond the borders of the original injury while a hypertrophic scar (see picture below) does not extend beyond the borders of the original injury.

African American hypertrophic scars

Hypetrophic Scars Treatment

1. Scar massage

Scar massage breaks down and remodels the scar tissue. You can use a little vitamin E oil or silicone gel to lubricate the skin and make it more pliable as you massage the scars.

Stretching exercises can also be helpful especially for those scars on your thighs.


2. Mederma cream

Mederma cream can be applied three times a day for 2 to 6 months to reduce the appearance of hypertrophic scars.


3. Silicone gel

a. Silicone gel like ScarAway can be massaged on to the hypertrophic scars to help reduce them. Studies have shown that silicone gel is safe and effective for hypertrophic scars treatment and keloids.

b. Liquid silicone known as ScarGuard MD can also be painted on the scars twice a day to minimize their appearance.


4. Corticosteroid injections

Triamcinolone acetonide injections are also used for hypertrophic scars treatment and keloids.

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