Scar contractures, hypertrophic scars, and keloids

Facial Plast Surg. 2001 Nov;17(4):263-72. doi: 10.1055/s-2001-18827.


A scar contracture is the result of a contractile wound-healing process occurring in a scar that has already been reepithelialized and adequately healed. Keloids and hypertrophic scars (HTSs) are fibrous tissue outgrowths that result from a derailment in the normal wound-healing process. The exact incidence of keloids and HTSs remains unknown. Beyond the common belief that trauma is the initiating event of keloid and hypertrophic scar formation, the remainder of the process remains uncertain. A combination of biochemical factors, skin tension, endocrinologic factors, and genetic factors are the likely culprits. Treatment begins by educating the patient about the etiology of the scarring process. All treatment protocols are individualized, but the standard approach to keloids and HTSs begins with corticosteroid injection followed by surgical excision, pressure dressings, and long-term follow-up.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Cicatrix / classification
  • Cicatrix / therapy*
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / therapy
  • Contracture / therapy
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Interferons / therapeutic use
  • Keloid / therapy
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Pressure
  • Radiotherapy / methods
  • Silicones / therapeutic use
  • Wound Healing / physiology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Silicones
  • Interferons