Characterization of Dyschromic Hypertrophic Scar

  • End date
    May 26, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Jeffrey Shupp
Updated on 26 January 2021


Currently, there are limited prevention or treatments available for dyschromia in burn hypertrophic scars (HTSs). The limited available techniques involve transferring melanocytes from unaffected areas to the scar to adjust pigment. These techniques involve the creation of a donor site and do not utilize the cells that may already be present in scars. This study aims to confirm melanocyte presence in regions of hypo- and hyper- pigmented HTS. If melanocytes can be found in regions of hypopigmentation, these scars may be able to be treated in the future by pigmentation stimulators without the need for surgery. Additionally, if pigmentation specific molecules of interest can be found to be up-regulated in hyperpigmented scar, these may be able to be altered by a pharmacotherapy.


Subjects with burn scars that are lighter and/or darker than their normal skin will be asked to participate in this study. It is being done to obtain more information about why some people develop scars that are different in color to their normal skin after trauma to the skin such as a burn.

Participants who wish to participate will have scar measured with a ruler, and study sites identified and photographed.

Additionally the following procedures will be done:

Non-invasive measurements: Each area of scar will have multiple non-invasive measurements done. These include:

  • scar scales - subjective measures of color, itching, pain, height, etc.
  • elasticity - a probe is briefly placed on top of the skin to measure its ability to stretch
  • induration - a probe is briefly placed on top of the skin to measure how firm it is
  • color - a skin probe in briefly placed on top of the skin to measure its color

Biopsies: Based on the measurement of the scars, several small 3mm punch biopsies will be done. Subjects with light colored scars and total scar greater than 500cm2 are eligible to participate in an optional sub-study. For this sub-study, an additional excisional biopsy 1 cm by 2 cm in the shape of an oval will be obtained from the lighter colored scar.

Blood collection: Blood will be collected for correlating blood characteristics to scar outcome. Approximately 20 mL of blood will be collected, which is less than 2 tablespoons. A portion of this blood might be used in the future for genome sequencing of pigmentation or hypertrophic scar-related gene sequences. Whole genome sequencing will not be performed.

Interview: Personal information, medical history, health behaviors, and scar history will be reviewed.

Data collection: Information about initial burn injury, hospitalization, and outpatient visits will be requested from the medical record.

Condition Hyperpigmentation, Hypertrophic Scar, Scar, Burn Scar, Scar Tissue, increased skin pigmentation, hypertrophic scars, Hypopigmented Scar
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04619589
SponsorJeffrey Shupp
Last Modified on26 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

years of age or older
Skin trauma resulting in a dyschromic scar

Exclusion Criteria

Dyschromic scar dole to face, genitals, fingers, or toes
Known Lidocaine allergy
Prisoner Status
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