Treatment Strategies for Hypopigmentation in the Context of Burn Hypertrophic Scars

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Dyspigmentation in burn scars can contribute to the development of psychosocial complications after injury and can be detrimental to social reintegration and quality of life for burn survivors. Although treatments for skin lightening to treat hyperpigmentation have been well reviewed in the literature, skin-darkening strategies to treat hypopigmentation have not. The following potential treatment options in the context of burn hypertrophic scar will be discussed: use of the melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation procedure, use of ectopic synthetic analogues of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone to initiate melanogenesis, and use of FK506 to induce melanogenesis. A proposed future direction of research in laser-assisted drug delivery of inducers of local melanin production, with the hope of developing a targeted, effective approach to dyspigmentation in hypertrophic scar is also discussed.

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