Keloids are scars that grow beyond the original injury site. These scars can cause pain, restricted movement, tightness, and discomfort around joints like the knee or ankle. Although they don’t cause any harm to the body, raised scars can be problematic for cosmetic reasons. The good news? Keloid scar management is now possible thanks to medical advancements.
What are Keloid Scars?
Keloids are unusual scars that grow beyond the wound’s boundaries and become much larger than the original injury. The wound heals, and the spot extends thicker, more comprehensive, and more pronounced. Predisposed people can develop keloids from any scarring. This includes severe acne, cuts, or surgery. You may also get it from a body piercing or tattoo. They can develop in any area of the body and may take anywhere from a few weeks to three months. Some can continue to grow afterward. Keloids can be the most challenging scar to manage.
Why do people get keloids?
Many types of injuries can cause it. Some of these include:
- Surgical procedure
- Severe Acne
- Puncture Wounds
- Insect Bites
Spontaneous Keloids are scars that develop without injury. A genetic predisposition can also cause them. If your parents have keloids, you are more likely to get them. People with darker skin tones, such as those of Latin, South Asian, and African descent, are 15 to 20% more likely than others to develop keloids.
How do you know if you have keloids?
Most keloids begin as raised scars that have flat or round surfaces. They can be red, pink, or purple. The border is usually darker than the center. It has the following characteristics:
- The gradual emergence of a thickening keloid skin precedes an abnormal wound healing.
- They raise overgrowth on a flat or circular surface.
- It is common to find it on the neck, shoulders, chest, back, ears, and chest.
- There are a variety of textures, from soft and sticky to hard and rubbery.
- Itchy, tender, and painful around the wound.
- Scar tissue can be either pink or reddish.
- The size ranges from less than one inch to more than twelve inches.
Texture and Feel of Keloid Scars
A keloid scar is characterized by a flat, smooth, and firm surface. The skin will feel tender until it heals completely. Once the keloid pain subsides, it will usually go away. These can sometimes be disguised as skin cancers or bacterial infections.
Hypertrophic Scars vs. Keloids
These are the main differences between these types of scars.
- Keloids can extend beyond the injury site, while a hypertrophic Scar is an enlarged raised scar within the original wound.
- Unlike keloid formation, hypertrophic scars are not associated with genetic or racial predispositions.
- Treatment is effective for hypertrophic scars, while the medicine is unnecessary for keloids.
Professional Keloids Scar Treatments
- The keloid is removed by shrinking it. It is easier to remove the keloid once it has softened and flattened. The extent and size of the scar, the patient’s age, and the scar’s duration will all affect the treatment. Doctors prefer to use a combination of procedures, which may include:
- Laser Therapy: Because it is non-aggressive, it is often considered the best treatment for keloid and another scarring. The pulsed dye laser (PDL) beam directed at scar tissue can reduce redness, swelling, and the appearance of keloid. It is often used in conjunction with steroid injections by dermatologists.
- Steroid Injections – Doctors inject steroid hormones like triamcinolone into scar tissue. They determine the amount and dosage of the injectable required to reduce scarring. These injections produce results when they are administered at regular intervals.
- Fluorouracil injections: This option is used by doctors as either a standalone treatment or in conjunction with the steroid triamcinolone to reduce keloids. The injections are administered at intervals of 3-4 weeks. Your dermatologist will determine the dosage based on the severity and hardness of the keloid.
- Silicone Gel Dressing: This treatment uses a silicone sheet or gel to cover the area. This procedure is inexpensive; doctors often combine it with other methods to achieve the best results.
- Cryotherapy: A dermatologist will use liquefied gases, i.e., To shrink scar tissue, a dermatologist will apply liquid nitrogen at freezing temperatures to them at regular intervals. The doctor may also inject the liquid directly into scarred tissue.
- Surgical Excision: This method involves the surgical excision of keloids with specialized tools. This method is not recommended for use as a standalone treatment. There may be a risk of scarring recurrence.