Keloid Scars – How to Get Rid of Them

Anyone who has ever experienced some form of trauma on their body knows it takes proper aftercare to keep the impacted area from getting infected or developing a scar (including a keloid scar). Patients who are not sure what causes a keloid scar, or how to prevent them, should read this informative article to get the inside scoop on keloid scars and how to get rid of them.

Keloid Scars – What are They?

In general, a keloid scar can be defined as an overgrowth of scar tissue that often spreads outside the boundaries of the original scar or injury to the body. Keloid scars are often visible as itchy, firm and/or painful bumps that are present at the site of an earlier injury to the skin. The earlier injury can be some form of trauma to the body as well as a piercing or lesion that is located on the body.

It should be noted that it takes some time for keloids to form on the body. They tend to take anywhere from three to six months to appear and these scars normally begin as a raised scar that is located on the surface of the skin. The keloid scar tends to grow slowly.

It is also important to realize that keloid scars should not be confused with other raised scars. Overall, keloid scars have around three times more collagen than raised, thick scars that are known as hypertrophic scars.

What is keloid scars

Keloid Scars – Who Can Get Them and Why?

While almost anyone can develop a keloid scar, there are some factors that can increase the chances of one developing on the body. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “About one-third of people who get keloids have a first-degree blood relative (mother, father, sister, brother, or child) who gets keloids. This family trait is most common in people of African or Asian descent.”

It is also recommended that people who are at a higher risk of developing keloids avoid having an elective procedure on an area of the body that is known for keloid formation (such as the chest and upper back). Even though keloids most often occur after a scar, there are also “spontaneous keloids” that can appear on skin that has not been injured. This most often happens to people who have a history of keloid formation, in their family or a personal experience, and it is highly likely that more than one keloid will present at the same time.

At the moment, it is not clear which mechanisms in the body cause some people to develop a scar in this manner. However, research has indicated that chronic inflammation can play a part in their formation.

Keloid Scars – How to Prevent Them from Forming

The ability to prevent keloid scars is difficult since there is not a lot of information on why some people get them and others do not after an injury. While there is not anything that can be done to prevent the occurrence of spontaneous keloids, there are some steps that can be taken to try and minimize the growth of these scars soon after an injury.

Proper wound care should be performed in order to prevent an infection. In addition, a scar sheet that is silicone-based should be applied as soon as possible to the wounded area on the body. In addition, the massaging of the scar tissue using a silicone gel is also helpful when trying to prevent a keloid scar from forming. If an ear piercing shows the skin in the piercing area is starting to thicken, the piercing should be removed and then replaced with a pressure earring.

Keloid Scars – Getting Rid of Them

There are some suggestions for home remedies to heal keloids, but the best advice is to schedule an appointment with a medical professional who is experienced in treating this condition.

For example, many dermatologists offer steroid injections that, after multiple treatments, can decrease the amount of thickness of keloid scars. Plus, laser and light-based therapies such as CO2 lasers and LED light therapies have been shown to improve their appearance.

If someone thinks they have a keloid or they are afraid that one is going to occur, the patient should consult with a dermatologist in order to address the issue with proper medical treatment. It is hard to predict when they will happen, and it is also hard to sometimes determine the extent of the keloid scar. An experienced doctor can examine the impacted area in order to determine the best course of action in treating the scarring.

There have even been some instances where resistant keloids have been treated via intralesional treatments with surgery, off-label chemotherapy products and radiation therapy to address the issue. These are

serious treatment options that need to be discussed with a medical professional before a final decision is made about utilizing them to address the keloid scarring on the skin.

How to Get Rid of Keloid Scars

Removal of keloid scarsKeloid scars, like any other type of scar, is the result of an injury to the skin. It occurs when fibrous scar tissue forms excessively on the injury site. The scar is characterized as being a smooth and irregularly shaped growth. Unlike normal flat scars, keloids tend to get larger over time.

No matter how big they grow, keloid scars do not pose any problem to your health. To get rid of your keloid scars, the following treatment options (alone or in combination) should help you:

Silicone Sheets
If you are looking for at-home remedies, silicone sheets are your best bet. These sheets are very easy to use and they have to be put on the affected area regularly. It will take months to see results so a bit of patience is needed. Results vary among patients but you will see improvements in the appearance and size of the keloid scar.

Cortisone Injections
Cortisone can be injected directly into the keloid scar to help flatten it. The treatment is safe and effective and usually requires multiple injections that must be given once every four weeks. It must be noted that while cortisone can make the scar smaller, it can also make it redder due to the increased formation of superficial blood vessels. Cortisone injections make keloid scars look much better after treatment but there will always be a mark left that looks and feels different than the rest of the skin.

In the case of large keloids, the injections can be used only to soften the scar and make it easier to remove via surgical excision.

Laser Treatment
Laser treatment is also effective in flattening keloid scars without the redness associated with a cortisone injection. In fact, they make the affected area look less red. The treatment is safe and virtually painless but several sessions might be required to see the effects. Laser treatment is not usually covered by health insurance plans and can be quite expensive.

Interferon is a protein synthesized by the immune system to combat viruses, bacteria and other parasites. It also works against tumor cells. According to studies, Interferon, can help reduce the size of the scar when injected into the keloid. However, researchers are not certain whether or not this effect is long-lasting. A variant of this treatment which involves the application of a topical drug called imiquimod is currently being studied.

The best way to get rid of keloid scars is to remove them via surgical excision. However, it should only be considered if all other treatment methods fail to produce results. Surgery can be pretty risky as cutting up a keloid scar may lead to the formation of an even bigger growth. Some surgeons prevent such risks by injecting cortisone into the area after the surgery or by placing compressive dressings over the wound for at least a month. In cases of extremely large and disfiguring keloids, surgery in combination with radiation therapy is suggested. Radiation helps lower recurrence rates.

Natural Home Remedies
If you like using natural remedies for health and cosmetic issues, you can try to get rid of keloid scars by rubbing them with lavender oil, lemon, honey and apple cider vinegar. These natural remedies help soften the scar and prevent them from reappearing. You have to use them daily in order to be effective. The results won’t be as fast as the other methods but they are a good alternative if you don’t want to use the methods listed above.

Unfortunately, keloid scarring is one of the most challenging conditions to treat successfully. No treatment is 100% effective in treating keloids. Remember that even with the best treatments available, recurrence is still a possibility and can occur several years after the first scars have disappeared.

– AA

Keloid Scarring

Scars come in many different varieties. Many patients suffer from Keloid scarring following a surgical procedure. Keloid scars grow at the wound site, beyond the border edges of the wound. They tend to be thick and rounded, and appear in irregular clusters of red (or darker) scar tissue. The scars form when the body overproduces collagen after the wound has healed.

The scars can develop anywhere on the body, and are five to fifteen times more likely to occur in patients with darker skin tones, as well as those with a family history of keloid scarring. They’re also extremely common—approximately 10% of the world’s population (around 700 million people!) suffers from keloid scarring.

Those who are prone to keloid scarring should avoid body piercings and tattoos, and should be fastidious in the care of their skin. Even minor injuries (like insect bites, small cuts, and acne) can lead to keloid scarring, so sufferers should be vigilant in protecting themselves.

Though there isn’t a simple cure for keloid scarring, there are many treatment options available to reduce their appearance. Up until very recently, surgical intervention was considered to be a good option for sufferers of keloid scarring. However, one of the major issues with this method is that the surgical scars could cause more keloids! Patients may want to consider nonsurgical treatments, including Inteferon therepy (a drug intervention that affects the immune system), antihistamines and vitamins, nitrogen mustard applications, Verapamil (an L-type calcium channel blocker), and Retinoic acids (a trace nutrient derived from Vitamin A). Patients should be advised that, even with treatment, keloid scarring tends to reappear (with a 50-70 percent rate of recurrence). External radiotherapy and steroid drugs are both viable options with higher success rates, but can cause side effects, so patients considering these options should consult with their doctor before proceeding.