Treatment options for scars

No treatment option is available yet to prevent or rectify scars. Contrary to some media claims, scars cannot yet be made to disappear. Many patients arrive at plastic surgery clinics with unrealistic expectations. Clinical judgment is required when considering treatment, balancing the potential benefits of the various treatments available against the likelihood of a poor response and possible iatrogenic complications. The evidence base for the use of many current treatments is poor, and some may have only placebo benefit.1

Silicone gel is the only non-invasive option for which evidence-based recommendations have been made for scar management by leading specialists worldwide. It is recommended as first line therapy for a wide range of scars.

 

Options available for scar management

Non-invasive

Silicone gel (e.g. Strataderm)

Pressure/compression therapy

Topical steroids

Counseling

Polyurethane patches


Invasive

Surgery

Injected steroids

Radiotherapy

Cryotherapy

Laser therapy

Dermal abrasion


Other options (with no medical evidence)

Topical vitamin E cream (and other moisturizers)

Plant extract creams

Massage therapy

 

1. Bayat A et al. BMJ 2003; 326:88–92