[en] Biopsy, Needle ; Cicatrix, Hypertrophic/pathology/therapy ; Cryotherapy/methods ; Female ; Follow-Up Studies ; Humans ; Immunohistochemistry ; Pilot Projects ; Pregnancy ; Pregnancy Complications/diagnosis/therapy ; Risk Assessment ; Sensitivity and Specificity ; Severity of Illness Index ; Wound Healing/physiology
[en] BACKGROUND: Pregnancy is possibly associated with altered wound healing including the development of hypertrophic or keloidal scarring. The management of these lesions may prove to be difficult, and there are no universally accepted treatment protocols. Objective To assess erythema fading of hypertrophic scars following cold applications. METHODS: Skin color was assessed using the Visi-Chroma VC100 technology following validation of the method. We compared the effects of freezing or cooling hypertrophic scars developed in 45 Caucasian pregnant women. The effects of liquid nitrogen spray cryotherapy, hydrogel cooling pads, and thermal contact cushions were compared. RESULT: This pilot study showed that the three treatment modalities substantially decreased erythema. The thermal contact cushion appeared to be the most effective biothermal means for achieving this effect. CONCLUSION: Freezing or cooling hypertrophic scars helps reducing erythema of hypertrophic scars. This effect probably results from an inhibitory action exerted on the microvasculature. Data suggest that repeat applications of mild cooling might be more effective than a few short freezing sessions.