How Does Kenalog Work? Does It Actually Destroy Collagen?

I developed hypertrophic inframammary scars from bilateral breast lift. Kenalog was injected a few times, but my scars did not respond to treatment as desired. My skin turned maroon/deep purplish color and became very shiny. After color finally returned, the scars were still hard, red, itchy and raised. Is surgical scar revision the only option now? Silicone sheeting, silicone gel and deep massaging for the past 5 months have all failed. I'm biracial. I don't smoke and don't sunbathe.

Doctor Answers 2

Options for treatment of Keloids

I am sorry that you have developed Keloid scars. Besides being unsightly, they can itch and burn. Kenalog injection can decrease inflammation and do not directly affect collagen. The improvement in the appearance of the scar is variable, but this usually helps with symptoms of itching and burning. Unfortunately, there are also side effects like you mentioned. Other options are silicone sheeting and surgical excision. The problem with surgical excision is that it can back, and maybe even worse.  Radiation treatments have been used, as have electrical impulses in the scar.  One very new option is treatment with a product called ACell. This is regenerative matrix that can help to stimulate growth of normal scar (as opposed to a keloid) when combined with surgical excision.  I have had some promising results with this but the product can be expensive and will not be covered by insurance.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 324 reviews

Scar Removal

If the Kenalog did not work, then you may consider a revision if a year has passed, and perhaps a different suture to be used.  Ethnic skin can increase your chances of a large scar so this is a factor is you revise the scar again.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.