Background: With the investigation and potential introduction of several novel scar-reducing therapies to the market within the next several years, it is germane to review both the pathophysiology of scarring and the safety and efficacy of currently available and emerging therapeutic agents.
Methods: An extensive review of the English-language literature was conducted using the MEDLINE database.
Results: A comprehensive review of the pathophysiology of scarring and scar management, including both emerging and currently available therapies, was completed. Current clinical studies are limited by small sample sizes, lack of well-designed controls, and lack of standardized scar outcome measurement parameters.
Conclusions: A prominent challenge in the study of scar management is the paucity of well-designed, large, randomized, controlled studies examining existing scar-reducing techniques. The greatest improvement in scar-reducing protocols likely entails a polytherapeutic strategy for management. Further investigation into the role of inflammation in scarring is paramount to the development of improved scar-reducing agents. There is a need for large controlled trials using a polytherapeutic strategy that combines existing and novel agents to provide a standardized evidence-based evaluation of efficacy.