Severe facial hypertrophic scars are known to severely impact emotional well-being. Pressure therapy by means of transparent face masks has been used for almost 40 years, but evidence about the clinical effects remains sparse.
To provide a summary on the efficacy of transparent face masks in the treatment of facial hypertrophic scars.
A literature search was conducted in PubMed, MEDLINE, and Cochrane databases through 1 January 2018. Articles describing the clinical effects of facial pressure therapy for remodeling the face after trauma or surgery with a validated tool were included. This review included studies of participants treated with facial hypertrophic scars, both minors and adults.
Three articles involving 33 patients were selected for inclusion. Two studies described statistically significant improvement in facial scars measured by durometer, ultrasound, and the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS).
Facial pressure masks have been shown to deliver significant improvement in facial scars, measured by both subjective and objective tools. However, only three studies could be included in this literature review. Also, because of considerable limitations of the studies, it remains difficult to draw substantial conclusions about the efficacy of transparent face masks.
This literature review provides a summary of the current evidence on the subjectively and objectively measured clinical effects of transparent face masks in the treatment of facial scars, highlighting the need for further research on this topic.