Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a type of pulsed acoustic wave resulting from excessive pressure changes. It has been used to treat musculoskeletal diseases (plantar fasciitis, lateral epicondylitis of the elbow, etc.) and wounds. Recent research has shown that ESWT is effective in stimulating biological activities that involve cellular activity. These results suggest that ESWT improves blood perfusion and can be used in tissue regeneration/ scar remodelling. Shockwave treatment is performed without anaesthesia; a treatment head and gel are applied to the area of scar treated.
There are many treatments for keloid and hypertrophic scar. In addition to corticosteroid injections many other chemotherapeutic agents have become popular as injectable anti-scarring agents.
Corticosteroid therapy has been commonly used for years to treat hypertrophic and keloid scars. Corticosteroids suppress inflammation, reduce collagen synthesis and inhibit cell proliferation; itch and thickness of scars is reduced. Corticosteroids can be given through injection, steroid tape or topically (by cream). Intralesional injections (injections into the scar) are common treatments for linear scars, hypertrophic scars and small keloids. Other treatments alongside corticosteroid therapy are often required for large keloids and thick hypertrophic scars.
Micro-needling is a semi-invasive technique that can be used on the face and body to achieve collagen induction (production). In this technique the skin or scar is pricked with needles to cause percutaneous collagen induction, this builds up connective tissue underneath retracted (contracted/stuck) or hypertrophic scars and wrinkles.
The Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) is a highly effective and low risk laser for the treatment of a wide range of vascular lesions. PDL releases brief pulses of selectively absorbed optical radiation which can cause selective damage to pigmented structures (blood vessels) and cells. The PDL is used to treat port-wine stains, facial telangiectasias and haemangioma. Newer PDLs with longer wavelengths and extended pulse durations have made deeper tissue penetration possible and improved clinical outcomes with reduced risk. PDL treatments are performed with a topical anaesthetic.