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Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182a8070c
Reconstructive: Trunk: Special Topic

Update on Scar Management: Guidelines for Treating Asian Patients

Kim, Sukwha M.D., Ph.D.; Choi, Tae Hyun M.D., Ph.D.; Liu, Wei M.D., Ph.D.; Ogawa, Rei M.D., Ph.D.; Suh, Jeong Seok M.D.; Mustoe, Thomas A. M.D.

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Abstract

Background: Following injury, Asian skin has a tendency towards hyper-pigmentation and scar formation, and therefore the prevention of scarring is particularly important in Asian patients. Since publication of an International Clinical Recommendation on Scar Management in 2002, there have been numerous publications in the field of scar management. Advances in understanding scar formation have also led to the introduction of new treatments as well as a better understanding of established therapeutic options.

Methods: A literature search for abstracts, clinical trials and meta-analyses evaluating scar prevention and treatment was performed using PubMed and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Based on this data a panel of experts formulated treatment recommendations for Asian patients.

Results: Following surgery, scar prevention should be initiated in all Asian patients due to the high risk of poor scars. There is strong evidence for the efficacy of silicone based products, and due to their ease of use, they can be considered first-line therapy. Silicone gel (versus silicone gel sheets) products have demonstrated efficacy. For patients who fail to respond to first-line therapy, intralesional steroid injections, radiation therapy, and intralesional 5-flourouracil injections have achieved widespread acceptance. Laser treatments have been increasingly used, although the evidence remains largely anecdotal without a clear consensus on optimal wavelength, or amount of energy. Surgical approaches have increased in sophistication with recognition of the impact that tension has on scar formation.

Conclusion: Updated scar management recommendations will benefit practitioners making decisions regarding optimal, evidence-based treatment strategies for their patients.

©2013American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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