Keloids are a form of scar tissue that can occur with trauma, surgery, acne, blisters, body piercing or vaccinations. In rare instances keloids can form where there has been no visible injury.
Keloids are different from normal scars. They are known to be like scars that don’t stop growing. Typically keloids are smooth, rounded, shiny skin elevations that may be pink, purple, or brown. They often feel uncomfortable and itchy and may appear unsightly. Some can be tender and painful to the touch.
The growth of keloids may slowly continue for weeks, months, or years. While they eventually stop growing, they do not disappear on their own. It is a permanent scar that must be removed or treated. Commonly, removed keloids return and must be treated again.
In order to diagnose if you have keloids, our doctor will review its appearance. In some cases we may perform a biopsy to examine the tissue. The actual cause of keloids is unknown; however, although not yet scientifically proven, it has been suggested that changes in cellular signals that govern the growth and proliferation of the cells are related.
The treatments for keloids include:
Cortisone injections – are safe and cause little pain; however, they may leave a mark and only reduce the scar.
Cryosurgery – uses liquid nitrogen and has a risk of altering the skin color in the area of the scar.
Pressure dressings – have varying rates of success and can administered with various materials, including silicone.
Lasers – are effective in making keloids appear flatter and less red and typically require multiple treatments.
Surgery – has the risk of triggering larger or similar keloids and may be combined with steroid injections, pressure dressings, or radiation for optimal results.
Radiation – is safe and effective for the removal of keloids.