Keloids may be described as an overgrowth of scar tissue that has developed from either a wound or a break in the skin, although the scientific reason for this occurring is still being researched but genetics is said to play a significant part. These tough scars rise abruptly above the rest of the skin, out of the margins of the initial injury and typically have a smooth top with a pink or dark colour. They are usually irregular in shape and can enlarge quickly. They tend to be more common in people with a darker skin completion, but can affect anyone and are equally common in women and men while tending to be less common in children. Fortunately, there are some options to improve keloids that you can speak to our doctor about during a consultation.
What is the Difference Between a Keloid and a Regular Scar?
The Signs and Symptoms of Keloid
Another excellent way to be able to differentiate a keloid from a regular scar is with the signs and symptoms. Keloids are often raised, dome-shaped and have a shiny appearance. They range in colors from dark brown, pink, purple and red, and can be large and unsightly. You may also experience itchiness, tenderness or even pain.
There are also some common areas of the body that keloids are more likely to appear on, such as:
The best way to prevent keloids is always prevention. If you have a family history of keloids it is always better to avoid any trauma to the skin no matter how minor, or even body piercings and tattoos as these can encourage keloid growth. When the skin has been injured the use of gentle emollient creams and silicon gels have been documented to help.
Determining whether removal of a keloid depends on the symptoms that are associated with its anatomical location and development, whether it is causing extreme itching or even embarrassment due to its unsightliness. We will be able to help you through this process. Some treatments that may be available are:
- Cortisone injections
- Excision Surgery
- Silicone Sheets
We provide the options below:
Steroid injections are safe with minimal discomfort. The injections are typically given once every 4 to 6 weeks.
Surgery offers effective removal, but can trigger similar or even larger keloids to form, but there are some preventative measures for that as well, such as the combination of surgery and steroid injections. We do not encourage keloid excision surgery over mobile joints and the presternal (chest) area as the recurrence rate is high.
Laser treatments utilise pulse-dye or CO2 laser and this option can effectively flatten keloids, lessening their appearance. They are safe treatments, with minimal pain but can be costly and several treatment sessions may be required.
Silicone Sheets is the treatment process when the patient wears a silicone gel sheet on the affected area for several months. Results are variable.
Keloids can look better after treatment but even with the best procedure and doctor, the results may leave a mark that looks and feels different from the surrounding areas.
How can I prevent more keloids forming?
Avoid piercings, tattoos, unnecessary surgery and any injury to the skin
Where can I find pressure earrings?
Which treatments are available for keloids?
- Topical Steroid
- Silicone creams gels/strips
- Steroid injections
- Laser; Pulsed Dye laser or ND YAG
- Injected anti-cancer drugs (ie. 5-FU and Bleomycin)
- Surgery: Intralesional & Extralesional excision. We prefer the intralesional approach to avoid damage and stimulation of healthy skin.
What is the best treatment for keloids?
There is no real gold standard as the results are variable with many of the treatments and the recurrence rates are high. Steroid injections tend to be the first line in most medical practises. At EA Clinic Dr Anthony uses as combination of steroid concentrations during your treatment course.
What is a keloid?
Keloid is an overgrowth of the scar tissue that develops around a wound, mainly after the wound has healed. Often a hypertrophic scar is mistaken for a keloid. However, keloids grow beyond their original borders of the wound in contrast hypertrophic scars stay within the wound.
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