Healing is an amazing process. It activates the immune system and boosts the supply of platelets to the injured skin area. This speeds up the production of skin tissues that contain collagen fibers in significant amounts.
On the flip side, the same healing process leaves behind a scar, which can be big enough to become unsightly. This large-sized scar can be a keloid scar.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Keloid Scar?
- 2 Keloid Symptoms
- 3 Causes of Keloid Scars
- 4 Risk Factors
- 5 Keloid Treatment Options
- 6 Results of Keloid Treatment
- 7 How Much Does It Cost to Get a Keloid Scar Removed?
- 8 Keloid Treatment FAQs
- 9 Book an Appointment
What is a Keloid Scar?
A keloid scar is a raised scar that can occur anywhere on the skin after an injury heals. These scars are formed more commonly on earlobes, shoulders, cheeks, and chest. A person’s higher susceptibility to developing keloid scars can get them these scars in more than one skin area.
While a keloid scar is not directly harmful to your health, it can be a source of significant emotional distress due to its unsightliness. The good news is you can prevent or treat this scar during its early stages.
A keloid scar can be identified with various symptoms. Here is a brief overview of the most common symptoms of keloids.
- First appearance: They may appear slowly. The first signs of a keloid scar may become noticeable in 3-12 months of whatever caused it.
- Color and shape: A keloid scar is usually red, pink, or purple at the start. A fully developed scar is usually burgundy. And the formation of this scar depends on its location. For instance, a keloid on the earlobe will be thick and more likely be oval or round. But when this scar appears on the legs, chest, or arms, it is raised above the skin and has a flat surface.
- Growth speed: Most keloids grow slowly. However, their pace may vary. Some grow for weeks or months, while some take years. A very few keloid scars grow quickly. The quickly growing keloids become three times their original size in a few months.
- Pain and itchiness: A keloid scar can be itchy or painful while it grows. These symptoms persist until the scar growth stops.
- Fixed position: Most keloid scars do not move and remain fixed in their locations. The keloid scars on the ear, neck, or abdomen move only slightly when touched.
- Scar’s overall shade compared to the rest of the skin: A fully developed keloid scar is usually darker than the surrounding skin. And its borders are even darker than the center.
Causes of Keloid Scars
The exact reason behind keloid scar formation is largely unknown, but most experts agree that this scar results from a dysfunctional wound-healing process after an injury. This dysfunction causes excessive production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that supports wound healing. A keloid is formed when collagen overgrowth generates large amounts of scar tissues in an injury location.
Generally, the primary trigger for keloid growth is a skin injury caused by acne, body piercing, an injection, insect bite, burns, and even a minor scratch.
Experts have identified some risk factors for keloid scars. Those factors include:
- Having black or brown skin: Although the reason for this is not yet known, keloid scars are found more common among people with brown or black skin.
- A personal or familial history of keloid scars: The overall susceptibility to developing keloid scars may run in families, meaning that genetics may also contribute to the formation of these scars. Moreover, you may be at the risk of developing more keloid scars if you had one in the past.
- Being under 30: The overall susceptibility to developing keloid scars is higher in individuals between 20 and 30 than in other age groups.
Keloid Treatment Options
Multiple options are available to treat keloid scars. Your doctor will choose a keloid scar treatment option depending on the severity and location of the scar. Depending on your requirements, they may combine different methods to customize a treatment plan.
Keloid scars can be treated using the following methods.
Corticosteroid or Steroid Injections
Your dermatologist may inject a corticosteroid solution into the keloid scar. This steroidal solution breaks the bond between collagen fibers, reducing the keloid size. This solution also has anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent redness, swelling, tenderness, or itchiness.
Corticosteroid can be a standalone keloid treatment or may be combined with surgery, depending on the severity of the keloid scar or other factors.
Cryosurgery for keloids involves applying liquid nitrogen directly to the keloid scar. This results in a cold temperature of -196-degree Celsius in the target area, and the keloid scar swells into a large blister. This blister starts oozing yellowish liquid 5-7 days after the treatment.
After a few days, the blister turns into a scab that darkens over time. This scab contracts gradually and eventually falls off, leaving behind a smaller keloid scar than the one before the treatment. You will need more than one cryosurgery session to get the desired outcome.
Your dermatology may choose laser therapy to treat keloid scars based on the underlying reason. This therapy helps reduce the scar projection from the skin and normalize the color. This treatment may be provided in conjunction with other treatments, including corticosteroids, use of bandages, and special dressing.
More significant keloid scars can be treated with surgery. However, the risk of keloid recurrence in the same area is high. Your dermatologist may combine surgical removal of the keloid with corticosteroid treatment or steroid injections to prevent another keloid scar from forming.
Results of Keloid Treatment
All keloid treatments aim to lessen the size of keloid scars and relieve their symptoms such as itching and pain. Other factors like post-treatment expectations and the number of sessions required will depend on the treatment method.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Keloid Scar Removed?
The cost of removing a keloid scar mainly depends on the treatment method and the number of treatment sessions. You can get a price estimate during the initial consultation at EuroMed Clinic Dubai.
Keloid Treatment FAQs
What is the fastest way to get rid of a keloid?
Surgery is the quickest way to eliminate a keloid scar. However, this treatment implicates a post-op phase during which you will need to be extra vigilant about the surgical wound.
Can you permanently remove a keloid?
There is always the risk of keloid recurrence after its removal. The best way to avoid this is to stay on top of your post-treatment care regimen.
How do you stop a keloid from growing?
Exposing the wounded skin to UV is the fastest way to get keloid scars. Therefore, limiting this exposure is imperative to stop these scars from developing or progressing. Using a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher can protect the scarred area of your skin from UV rays.
Additionally, ensure to use silicone sheets or gel as soon as your wound heals. This application will prevent keloid scars from forming.
Is keloid cancerous?
Although keloid scars are not cancerous, they can increase the risk of skin cancer.
Can you remove the keloid without surgery?
Yes, several non-surgical options are available to treat keloid scars. The most popular one is cryotherapy. Others include steroid injections and laser therapy.
Book an Appointment
The initial appointment aims to provide you with the basic know-how of your customized keloid treatment plan. You will also be explained what you can expect after the treatment. To schedule this appointment, please fill out the form below.
Check Out Our Specialists Profiles
Dr. Fazeela Abbasi MDPhysician Specialist Dermatology
Dr. Fazeela Abbasi has been in the field of dermatology since 2003. She is a DHA-licensed dermatologist specializing in advanced laser techniques, Botox, PRP therapy, rosacea treatment, etc.Read more