Keloids | Hypertrophic Scars and Treatment by a Dermatologist

What is Keloids? Keloids are raised scars on the body that typically appear on people after some type of injury to the skin. They are most frequently found on the chest or upper body, though these hypertrophic scars can occur anywhere. Keloids are usually darker in color than the surrounding skin. These scars are caused by an excessive amount of collagen production as the body heals itself. They can extend beyond the boundaries of the original injury. Usually, they have no symptoms, but can be painful to the touch in some cases.

What causes Keloids, and are they harmful?

Any injury to the skin, such as a cut, piercing, or surgical incision, can result in a keloid. One of the biggest misconceptions regarding keloids is that they are harmful, to the point that they can cause cancer. However, keloids are not harmful and they have no potential of becoming cancerous. However, they do pose cosmetic concerns for many people. They can occur on the ears following ear piercings or in any place where a skin injury occurs. On some people, even a pimple or insect bite can result in the development of a keloid. People may wish to have the scars removed.

Removing keloids

Keloids can be removed or reduced. Removal by surgical excision can be challenging since it can result in the formation of another keloid. But this side-effect can be eliminated through careful care. Immediate use of silicone cream or silicone sheets following surgical excision can help prevent the occurrence of another keloid.

Another treatment option is steroid injections to reduce the size of the scar. Topical or injected cortisone or laser scar revision surgery may also prove effective.

If a person likely to develop a keloid is having surgery, the surgeon can take steps early on in the healing process to minimize the development of a keloid at the incision site. Dressing the scar with silicone gel sheeting may help limit the scar’s growth.

Keloid treatment is administered by a dermatologist. While there is no cure for the abnormal collagen production that causes these raised scars, treatments by a skin doctor can minimize their appearance. Knowing if you are susceptible to keloids is also helpful, particularly if you are preparing for a surgery. A dermatologist can help you determine the likelihood of your getting a keloid post-surgery.

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