What's the Best Treatment to Reduce/eliminate a Hypertrophic Scar on a Cartilage Piercing?

I got a cartilage piercing w/ a needle 1.5 years ago in order to min. possibility of scarring. I always kept it clean w/ sea salt and was putting dil. tea tree oil on it. At first I thought the bump was temporary but then I came to realize it was probably a hypertrophic scar.I've read all the answers regarding hypertrophic scars but the least expensive options seem are best suited for larger areas. Can I apply silicone sheets to such a small area or are other options more recommended for this?

Doctor Answers 3

Scar Removal

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Silicone sheets area great place to start.  After 3-4 months of that, see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon if the area is not resolved, and you need a surgical option to consider.

Ear Piercing scar correction.

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At times the underlying cause of the excessive scar reaction is bacterial infestation of the cartlige itself. Continued inflamation triggers reactive scar formation aiming to sequester inflamed cartlige. The carlige itself has limite blood circulation and therefore prone to bacterial invasion if penetrated by decorative hardware.

In my experience the best approach for long term correction is small surgical removal of offending scar and infected cartlige as well. This can be performed under local in office setting. Perioperative antibiotics and injectable steroids may be helpfull. Once healed leave the piercings to the young and uninformed. Hopefully this experience has helped you move away from body piercing. Body priercing is seldom advocated by physicians because not one of them wants to bear the responsibility for their numerous sequela.

Julian Henley, MD
Greeley Facial Plastic Surgeon

Treatment for post-piercing hypertrophic scar

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Silicone gel sheeting can be used in a small area because you can cut the size you need.  Also intralesional injections of Kenalog, a corticosteroid medication, will also help flatten the scar.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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.