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Improvement in Scars using Steroid Injections /
Intra-Lesional Steroid
(Triamcinolone) Therapy
This leaflet has been designed to improve
your understanding of your forthcoming
treatment and contains answers to many of the
common questions.

If you have any other questions that the
leaflet does not answer or would like further
explanation please ask a member of the
medical or nursing staff.
Last Updated 24th March 2015
What is Intra-Lesional Steroid Therapy?

Intra-lesional corticosteroid therapy is a procedure where a steroid solution is
injected into the scar with the aim to improve the appearance and decrease the
size of the
scar.

The
steroid most commonly used is called triamcinolone.

This works by increasing the activity of an
enzyme called collagenase.  This
enzyme breaks down
collagen in the scar so that the scar becomes less thick and
red.

The
steroid does not change the amount of collagen made by the cells nor does it
decrease the number of cells making
collagen; its action is primarily to remove
some of the excess
collagen from the scar.

This technique is commonly used in
dermatology and plastic surgery, either alone
or in combination with other forms of treatment, to treat a number of skin
conditions.

Often multiple small injections are carried out and you will need more than one
session of treatment.


Side Effects of the Treatment

There are a few side effects which you may experience; these tend to improve with
time, your clinician may halt treatment if these cause any concern.

Common Side Effects

Pain: the procedure is generally well tolerated but injections into certain areas of
the body, for example, palms of hands or soles of feet can be more sore.

Bleeding: small amounts of spotting with blood can occur after the injection.


Occasional Side Effects

Atrophy: shrinkage of the tissue at and around the sites of injection may occur. This
results in a white depressed area, or small scar like areas. The face, genitalia and
lips are more susceptible to this than other parts of the body.

Hyper / Hypo-Pigmentation: changes in pigmentation can occur at and around the
sites of injection with either lightening or darkening of skin colour.

Telangiectasia: infrequently, tiny dilated blood vessels or small red spots called
purpura may become visible at the injection site.


Rare Side Effects

As the total dose of steroid being injected into the skin is small, the risk of the
steroids being absorbed into the blood stream and producing generalised or
systemic side effects are extremely small.

If you have any questions, please ask your clinician.


Useful Website:

British Association of Dermatologists