Scars can be painful reminders of past trauma, and keloid scars are particularly conspicuous. Firm, smooth, and extending beyond the border of the original injury, keloids often form on the upper chest and shoulders. Sometimes they’re unbearably itchy, and sometimes they form after decidedly minor injuries (like acne and bug bites). Although keloid scars are harmless, they can be frustrating and may lower your self-confidence. To reduce their appearance, explore keloid scar treatment options.
Keloid Scar Treatment
Scars are not uncommon, but most scars are subtle and fade as the months go by. Unfortunately, keloids are particularly noticeable and keep growing over time, which can be discomfiting and even alarming.
All scars are caused by the body’s natural healing process, in which collagen gathers around broken skin to seal a wound. Typically, the resulting scar will fade over time, but sometimes the collagen growth will continue and trespass on healthy surrounding skin, forming a keloid scar. Unfortunately, experts don’t fully understand why this happens, but they do know that the scars are not contagious, not harmful, and will not turn into cancer.
Check out the following facts to learn more about keloid symptoms and the factors that increase your likelihood of developing a keloid scar:
- Keloid scarring is more common in people with dark skin.
- Keloids are typically shiny, hairless, and raised.
- Keloid scars feel hard and rubbery.
- Keloids can form anywhere on the body but usually appear on the shoulders, head, neck, chest, and arms.
- Half of people with keloid scars have a family history of them.
- The peak age range for development of keloids is 20-30 years.
First, if you know that you are predisposed to keloids, treat skin trauma ASAP to minimize your risk of developing a keloid scar. You may also wish to avoid voluntary skin trauma, such as piercings and elective mole removals. If a scar has already developed, consider your keloid scar treatment options:
- Kenalog Injection: The intralesional injection of Kenalog, a corticosteroid, can reduce inflammation, itching, and the appearance of the scar. Multiple injections are typically required, and a numbing treatment may be used beforehand to reduce discomfort.
- Silicone Scar Patches: Silicone scar patches and gels are a relatively recent treatment option. They are safe, easy to apply, and can be effective.
- Vitamin E or K Oil: Massaging vitamin E or K oil into the scar is an easy and accessible treatment option. Results vary, however, and you may wish to take a proactive approach (applying the oil before a keloid appears) to improve your likelihood of success.
- Surgical Removal: Surgery is a common treatment for the removal of keloids, but it often results in a new and larger keloid. In fact, when used alone, keloid surgery has a recurrence rate of 70-100%. You may wish to explore combining surgery with another therapy, like laser therapy, radiation therapy, or pressure therapy.
If you’re interested in reducing a keloid and you live in southwest Missouri, please contact DermaHealth Laser & Skin Care Clinic. We can inject the area with the steroid Kenalog, which will reduce the size of the keloid. To get started, please give us a call at 417-447-7777 or schedule a free consultation online. We look forward to hearing from you!