Post-burn hypertrophic scars are characterized by increased collagen synthesis and hyperplasia, and may be associated with erythema, pain, dysesthesia, pruritus, and skin border elevation. Although the etiopathogenesis of hypertrophic scarring remains unclear, proinflammatory and profibrogenic cytokines are known to play an important role in general skin dysfunction. This study assessed mRNA expression, proteins, and type I receptors of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 1-beta (IL-1β) in normal skin, normotrophic and post-burn hypertrophic scars. Skin biopsies were obtained from 10 hypertrophic and 9 normotrophic scars, and 4 normal skin sites. Only post-burn scars covering more than 10% of the body were included. Ex vivo histopathological analysis evaluated scar maturity, in situ hybridization assessed mRNA expression, and cytokine protein and cytokine/cell colocalization were performed using single- and double-label immunohistochemistry, respectively. IL-1β is overexpressed in hypertrophic scars at the post-transcriptional level, associated primarily with keratinocytes and CD1a+ cells. Type I receptors for TNF-α are overexpressed in blood vessels of hypertrophic scars. The coordinated overexpression of IL-1β and TNF-α type I receptor may maintain the fibrogenic phenotypes of hypertrophic scars, even those in "remission".