What is Keloid Scar?
A keloid scar is a type of raised, thickened, and often irregularly shaped scar that forms at the site of a wound, injury, surgery, or even a minor skin trauma. Unlike normal scars, keloids extend beyond the original injury area and can be larger and more pronounced. They are characterized by an excessive accumulation of collagen fibers and can appear red, pink, or flesh-colored. Keloids are not only a cosmetic concern but can also cause itching, pain, or discomfort.
What is the cause of keloid scar?
Keloid scars develop due to an overproduction of collagen, a protein responsible for wound healing. The exact cause is not fully understood, but several factors contribute. Genetic predisposition plays a significant role, as keloids tend to run in families. Skin injuries, such as cuts, burns, surgeries, or even acne, can trigger keloid formation. People with darker skin tones are more prone to keloids. Additionally, hormonal fluctuations may influence their development.
What is the treatment of keloid scar?
Keloid scars pose a treatment challenge, with options depending on size, location, and patient characteristics. Common treatments include:
Corticosteroid Injections: Typically the initial choice, these reduce inflammation, flatten the scar, and alleviate itching. Multiple injections over months may be necessary.
Silicone Gel Sheets: Directly applied, they gradually flatten and soften keloids with consistent use.
Laser Therapy: Pulled-dye or fractional lasers can reduce redness and flatten keloids, requiring multiple sessions.
Cryotherapy: Smaller keloids are frozen with liquid nitrogen to shrink them.
Surgical Excision: It comes with keloid recurrence risks, often combined with steroids or radiation to prevent it.
Radiation Therapy: Post-surgery, it prevents recurrence, especially for large or recurrent keloids.
Pressure Dressings: These and silicone gel pads can flatten and soften keloids over time.
Interferon Therapy: Injections may reduce keloid size and symptoms in some cases.
Cryosurgery: Liquid nitrogen freezes keloids, aiding in size reduction.
Topical Treatments: Prescription creams like imiquimod can help manage keloids.
Consulting an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon is crucial for proper evaluation and personalized treatment planning. Early intervention often offers better outcomes, but keloids can still recur even after successful treatment.