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Compression therapy

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Compression therapy is believed to reduce fibroproliferative scarring by increasing collagenolysis and reducing tissue metabolism. Examples include:

  • standard size or custom-fit pressure garments
  • elastic bandages
  • graduated lower limb compression stockings
  • appendigeal, tailored compression devices eg button compression or clip-on earrings for ear lobule keloids

Compression therapy can be used in isolation or with adjunctive procedures such as silicone sheeting or intralesional corticosteroid injection. The majority of patients who use compression garments have some symptomatic improvement. However, there are potential problems in that compliance can be poor due to the theoretical necessity to wear the garments for prolonged periods. Some sources suggest that pressure garments should be worn continuously for up to a year during the period of scar maturation. Under the garments on hot days, the skin can become macerated and pruritic. Also, some areas of the body do not permit the easy application of pressure eg the neck and face.

It is possible to acquire latex-free compression garments in those with an allergy.


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