Dy-mystifying keloids and their treatment

Keloids (keloidal scars) are thick, lumpy, and grow beyond the borders of the original wound site. Contrary to other scars keloids commonly appear approximately two months after injury.

They may continue to grow and thus cover relatively large areas of skin. They can be itchy and painful. Keloid scar treatment generally is time consuming because they are difficult to treat effectively.

Healthcare professionals make a distinction between minor and major keloids. A minor keloid is a focally raised, itchy scar that extends over normal tissue. It may develop up to one year after injury and does not reduce in size without treatment. A major keloid grows over normal tissue and can continue to extend for years.

There aren’t many over-the-counter keloid scar treatment options because of the low response of this type of scar tissue to treatment. Actually the only home remedy would be silicone sheeting.

However results of silicone sheeting as a keloid treatment are inconstant. Some keloids regress while in other cases silicone sheeting has little to no effect on keloid scars. I guess the best chance on removing a keloid with silicones is to start treating it as it is still small. Silicones are also used as a prevention measure.

When silicone sheeting doesn’t work steroid injections (also referred to as intralesional steroids or corticosteroids) might offer a solution. Although this treatment is relatively safe it can be slightly painful. There are also some possible side effects. The scar may become depressed (skin atrophy), discolorization, and increased scar redness might occur. Steroid injections are usually given each 4 to 6 weeks until the keloid has flattened.

Sometimes steroid injections are administered in conjunction with laser treatment and cryotherapy (freezing). Cryotherapy is done with liquid nitrogen. This treatment may flatten keloid scars but often darkens the tissue.

Prevention is always key and if you have known risk factors for developing keloids, you may want to avoid getting body piercings, unnecessary surgeries, and tattoos.

When they occur, diagnosis is important by a doctor’s visual exam, or by performing a biopsy to rule out other conditions, such as a cancerous cell. This involves taking a small sample of tissue from the scarred area and analyzing it for cancerous cells.

At Avane Clinic we do proper diagnosis and treatment for Keloids through surgery or laser with radiology input to prevent any further occurrences.

 

By: Dr. Pranav Pancholi-  Dermato-Surgeon

 

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