How to Treat Hypertrophic Scars Caused by Piercings

Hypertrophic scarring is a form of heavy scaring that appears at the entry or exit point on a piercing. Although similar to keloid scars, they generally do not extend past the original scar. Hypertrophic scars are most commonly caused from piercing jewelry that is too heavy or consists of an unnatural shape for the pierced area. These factors create stress around the fistula. Hypertrophic scarring typically goes away with treatment and time. If poor jewelry choice is the cause for the scarred tissue, changing the jewelry immediately may result in fast healing of the area.

Laser Scar Treatment
Hypertrophic scars can be eliminated with one or several treatments of laser scar treatment, depending on the severity of the scarred tissue. Laser treatment consists of the vaporization of the top layers of skin. During the procedure, the scar is flattened, exposing the bottom layers of the skin. New collagen replaces the original scar and appearance of the surrounding area.

Scars that are resistant to non-invasive forms of treatment typically respond well to surgery. One of the most common surgical procedures for the treatment of hypertrophic scars is known as z-plasty. During a z-plasty procedure, a zig-zag cut is made in the skin and the scar is surgically removed. Cryosurgery is another preferred method for treating scarred tissue. This consists of freezing the scarred skin using liquid nitrogen as a medium.

Silicone Gel
Successful treatment of hypertrophic scars can be accomplished with silicone gel. With this method, silicone gel is applied directly to the scarred tissue daily for a period of weeks or months, depending on the severity of the scar. Individuals using this method to treat their hypertrophic scars must follow all instructions correctly to get sufficient results. With time, scars with gradually diminish and the skin will regain its pre-scar appearance.

Steroid Injections
A popular method for treating hypertrophic scarring involves a series of steroid injections. Kenalog, also known as triamcinolone, is a type of steroid generally used in this procedure. Steroids work by flattening and fading the appearance of the scars. Injections are started when signs of hypertrophic scarring are found and can be repeated until the skin is healed.

Vitamin E
Individuals who prefer to go the natural route, vitamin E is an efficient choice. To treat hypertrophic scarring with Vitamin E, apply the oil directly to the scarred area. Vitamin E oil requires application several times per day for several weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the scarred tissue. With consistent treatment, Vitamin E will help to gradually diminish the appearance of the scar.


University of Chicago Medical Center: Scars
CiteSeerX: Hypertrophic Scarring and Keloids

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