Professor Cecilia Li-Tsang at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University has developed a pioneering “Smart Scar-Care” pad that performs the dual functions of occlusion and reinforcing pressure to treat hypertrophic scars from surgeries, trauma, and burns. In a clinical trial, the device was demonstrated to reduce the vascularity and pigmentation, enhancing elasticity and avoiding dehydration. In comparison to the conventional pad, this device is reported to be more user-friendly and durable by the patients.
Open wounds are produced in the human skin due to trauma, surgeries, and burns. Delayed healing of wound can cause hypertrophic scar development, which will further result in aesthetic issues, and cause severe deformities, thus resulting in dysfunctions. The non-invasive first-line therapy for hypertrophic scars is the pressure therapy. The local therapists usually use the pressure pad and pressure garment manufactured from polyethylene foam. Nevertheless, they are not comfortable and also non-durable to uphold the pressure on the scar.
The “Smart Scar-Care” pad is designed to merge the effect of silicone gel and pressure therapy on scar management. It is made up of medical grade silicone gel sheet and silicone stiffener. The silicone stiffener is composed of silicone rubber. It’s soft side is affixed to silicone gel sheet that functions as scar moisturizer, whereas the other side is illustrated by the circular silicone studs. The studs can be simply adapted to shape the flat or curved skin surfaces to offer even pressure under pressure garment or elastic bandages.
The device is developed with diverse stud diameter, gel thickness, and height. If applied to concaved or flat regions, such as dorsal hands, abdomen, and chest, higher studs would be utilized to generate a bigger curvature. Additionally, thinner scars can be applied with thinner gel sheets, whereas thicker scars can be applied with thicker gel sheets.
The longer follow-up case studies of Smart Scar-Care pad showed that it was successful in improving the hypertrophic scars and also the quality of life of the patients. The patients are recommended to initiate applying pressure pad immediately after the healing of the wound, and to utilize it till the scar completely matures, which usually take at least 6 months.