When skin is injured through trauma, surgically, or other causes, keloid scars may develop around the injury. A keloid is an overgrowth of scar tissue beyond the confines of the initial injury. They are more common in people with darker skin complexion and usually occur between the ages of 10 and 30. Although keloid scars are harmless in the sense that they are benign (non-cancerous) lesion, a person may want them removed either for cosmetic reasons or if they are symptomatic with pain or itching.
Why Do Keloid Scars Develop?
Most keloids develop on the breastbone, earlobe, cheek and shoulder. Usually, they form three months after the initial injury but can take up to a year to develop. Different skin injuries can cause these scars. These injuries include the following:
- Body piercings
- Acne spots and boils
- Surgical cuts
- Chickenpox scars
- Vaccination sites
A keloid is more likely to develop if infection occurs. Furthermore, there is often a component of genetic predisposition with a family history of keloid scarring.
How Do Keloid Scars Look?
A keloid may be developing if you notice the following symptoms:
- Scar tissue grows beyond the borders of the wound
- Skin is itchy, tender or painful
- Skin is pink or red
- Skin is lumpy or ridged
How to Remove Keloid Scars
Keloids may be bothersome or uncomfortable, but they usually do not negatively affect your health. Sometimes they may form on a large part of the body and restrict joint movement. In these cases, keloid scar removal may be necessary. Removal can improve your self-image and self-esteem. The method of removal depends on the needs of the patient. Treatment and removal methods are listed below.
- Steroid injections of triamcinolone (steroid) to reduce the size and color of the scar
- Cryotherapy to freeze tissue, which may stop the keloid from growing
- Laser treatment to reduce redness and scar tissue
- Radiotherapy on difficult scar areas
- Surgical removal with wound dressing to prevent regrowth
- Using pressure or airtight dressings after the initial injury
- Radiation therapy
Keloid removal results in a flattened, flesh-colored scar and reduced irritation. Be sure to care for your scar after the procedure to prevent regrowth. Close follow-up with the physician is important to minimize the risk of keloid recurrence.
If you feel like keloid scar removal is right for you, please give us a call. We will assess your scar and determine the appropriate treatment procedure. We would be happy to help you get one step closer to your ideal appearance and raise your self-esteem!