Maturation remains the least understood phase of wound healing; estimates of maturation time are broad and inaccurate. A more precise estimation of maturation time could influence scar therapy and give insight to the wound healing cascade. The objective of this study was to assess the mean time between onset and complete maturation of hypertrophic scars.
This retrospective study was performed in an outpatient clinic of the Maastricht University Medical Center exclusively focused on scar treatment; 361 patients with a hypertrophic scar were included between September 2010 and December 2015.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Date of onset and date of complete maturation were documented in patients’ medical files. Patients were divided into three patient groups: <30 years, 30–55 years, and >55 years. Different scar causes and scar therapies were analyzed in relation to maturation time.
These results reveal statistically significant differences (P < .05) in mean maturation time between the <30 (35.76 months) and >55 patients (22.53 months) and between >55 and 30–55 year old patients (34.64 months). Significant differences in mean maturation time were also found between scars treated with pressure therapy (23.20 months) and combination therapy (30.59 months), silicone therapy (35.51 months), injection therapy (46.43 months), and other therapies (41.31 months). No significant differences in maturation time were found relative to scar cause.
This study shows that hypertrophic scars take significantly more time to completely maturate than previously believed, and older patients show the fastest healing. Further, scars treated with pressure therapy maturate fastest.