Keloids and hypertrophic scars are fibroproliferative disorders of the skin. Research over the last decade has markedly improved our understanding of the pathogenesis of these scars, in particular, the fact that both disorders are caused by prolonged inflammation that prevents the orderly healing of injured or irritated skin. This protracted inflammatory response is due to genetic, systemic, and local risk factors. Genetic factors include single nucleotide polymorphisms, while systemic factors include hypertension, pregnancy-related and other hormones, and aberrant cytokine levels. An important local factor is the mechanical force (tension) on the scar. These observations have greatly aided the development of therapies for these once-intractable scars. As a result, these scars are now regarded as being completely treatable. At present, we believe that the following combination of three therapies most reliably achieves a complete cure: surgery followed by radiation and the prolonged daily use of corticosteroid tape/plaster.
Part of the book: Scars