What is Post Burns Hypertrophic Scarring?
If you go by the book it says that Hypertrophy is the enlargement or overgrowth of an organ or part due to increase in size of its constituent cells.
Specifically regarding the Post Burns cases the text books clearly state that formation of Hypertrophic Scarring of the skin is so common in the post burn cases that it can be considered as an essential part of the healing process.
The affected area has significant overgrowth and gradually turns from red to black. A pronounced itching sensation is a constant irritant for the patient.
What causes Hypertophic Scarring?
Any area scar can mature to become a Hypertrophy. Since area scars are most commonly due to burns, hypertrophies have become closely associated with burns.
A scar is defined as the residual visible mark of a wound. Almost all the wounds, except very superficial scratches, result in scars.
A wound becomes a scar at the time that it is epithelialized. In early stages the epithelium is thin and gradually it matures and becomes hard.
A scar may mature to become a hypertrophy, a keloid or a contraction. If a scar is raised above the surface and is palpable, it is a hypertrophy.
What are Keloids?
A keloid is an extreme overgrowth of scar tissue and represents the most extreme form of hypertrophy.
What is the treatment?
The best way is to prevent Hypertrophic Scarring by using Custom-Made Compression Garments & Silicone Gel Sheets immediately after the wounds heal and the new skin starts growing.
In post burns cases the patients will invariably have the problem hence Compression Garments & Gel Sheets should be used in all the cases at the earliest i.e. without waiting for the hypertrophies to start appearing.
Compression Garments should be used 20-22 hours every day, without fail till the problem settles down. Silicone Gel Sheet should be used for more than 12 hours a day.
In later stages surgical intervention may be essential but even this is to be followed by a regular usage of Compression Garments.
What if, it is left untreated?
If left untreated, it can lead to Athlete’s foot. Also, the person might be suffering from a condition called hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). This requires medical attention.
They may lead to Keloids which may have to be surgically treated.
Hypertrophies may lead to contractions which can make the usage of the involved joints difficult or impossible to use