Background: Hypertrophic and contracture scars are common problems after burn injuries and cause functional and cosmetic deformities. A wide variety of treatments has been advocated for postburn pathologic scars regression. Unfortunately, the reported efficacy has been variable.
Objectives: To investigate the use of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), which mainly targets the fibroblasts in scar tissue, as an effective modality for scar treatment in burn patients.
Materials and methods: An experimental study with ESWT was performed in 16 patients with postburn scars contractures, hypertrophic scars, or keloids twice a week for 6 weeks. Digital photographs were obtained and visual analogue scales were completed before and after treatment.
Results: Already after the first session, scars appeared more pliable, and color mismatch was less evident. At the end of the study period, all treated scars obtained a more acceptable appearance.
Conclusions: Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is a feasible and cost-effective treatment in the management of postburn pathologic scars.
© 2012 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.