Keloids: An Overview

Keloids are non-contagious raised scars. Unlike other raised scars, keloids grow much larger than the wound that caused the scar.

Keloids appear as smooth, shiny, and often firm growths that can be pink, red, or dark in colour. Keloids can develop anywhere on the body, but they commonly occur on the chest, shoulders, earlobes, and back.

They are not harmful or contagious, but they can be aesthetically bothersome and cause discomfort or itchiness for some individuals.

Causes of Keloids

Anything that causes skin to scar can cause a keloid. If you have keloid-prone skin (not everyone does), this scar may form after:

  • Body piercing (especially ear piercing)
  • Bout with acne or chickenpox (usually developing on the face, chest, or back)
  • Burn
  • Cut, scrape, or bug bite
  • Deep wound like a puncture wound
  • Skin disease that causes inflammation like folliculitis
  • Tattoo
  • Wound caused by surgery, a procedure, or an injection
  • Some people are also prone to keloids when they shave their beard area.

It’s also possible for a keloid to appear on uninjured skin. This keloid is called a “spontaneous keloid.”

Spontaneous keloids are rare, so there are only a few known cases. Findings from studies suggest that these keloids may occur in three cases: when the skin injury is so minor that the person doesn’t notice it, or a disease causes intense inflammation inside the body, or certain medication is taken.

How Do Keloids Develop?

You’ll likely notice one or more of the following, as this scar forms:

What Increases the Risk of Getting Keloids?

While studying what causes keloids, dermatologists learned that certain people seem more likely to develop these scars. Here’s what seems to increase the risk:

  • Higher affinity to dark skin tone: Keloids are more common in people with dark complexion than people with lighter skin tones.
  • Family history of keloids: About one-third of people who get keloids have a first-degree blood relative (mother, father, sister, brother, or child) who gets keloids.
  • Pregnancy: The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy increase the risk of developing a keloid.

Symptoms of Keloids

A keloid appears as a pink or red scar that may appear 3-12 months after an injury and grows in size slowly. When a keloid is growing, it may cause pain or itching. The most common sites of occurrence of keloids include ears, neck, shoulders, chest and back.

Where Do Keloids Develop on the Body?

Most keloids develop in one of these areas:

  • Ear or earlobe
  • Jawline
  • Chest
  • Upper back
  • Shoulder

Because a keloid develops after you injure your skin, you can get this scar elsewhere. For example, a woman who has keloid-prone skin can develop a keloid on her belly after having a caesarean section (C-section), hysterectomy, or other surgery in this area.

It’s rare for a keloid to develop on the genitals, palms, soles, or tongue.

Steering Clear of Keloids: Prevention Tips to keep Keloids at Bay

    Keloids are raised, thickened scars that can develop after an injury or surgery. While they can be challenging to treat, taking certain precautions can help prevent the formation of keloids. Here are some precautions to consider:

    • Avoid unnecessary skin trauma, such as piercings, tattoos, or unnecessary surgeries.
    • Properly care for wounds, burns, or acne to minimize the risk of keloid formation.
    • Apply silicone gel or sheets to the affected area during the healing process.
    • Avoid excessive sun exposure and use sunscreen with a high SPF to protect the skin.
    • Avoid activities that may cause repeated friction or tension on the skin.
    • Keep the affected area moisturized to promote healing and prevent dryness.
    • Avoid using harsh chemicals or irritants on the skin.
    • Consider using pressure therapy or silicone gel sheeting to minimize keloid formation.
    • Discuss with a healthcare professional about using corticosteroid injections or other preventive measures for high-risk areas.
    • If you are prone to keloid formation, consult with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for personalized advice and recommendations.

Say Goodbye to Keloids With DermaSure: Your Trusted Destination for Keloids Treatment in Delhi/NCR

Keloids can cause distress and self-consciousness. Home remedies may worsen symptoms, making professional treatment essential.

At DermaSure, we diagnose keloids through a comprehensive evaluation. Our focus lies in two key aspects before treatment:

  • Halt keloid growth and prevent new ones from forming.
  • Restore the natural appearance of the skin.

Keloid treatment plans vary based on individual needs. Prioritising patient comfort, we consider factors like age, overall health, and the impact of the condition on your life.

The type, location, and progression of keloids play significant roles. Discover the treatments we offer for keloid patients at DermaSure:

  • Injections of corticosteroids or other medications:

    These injections are commonly used to shrink keloids. They provide relief from symptoms and make the keloid feel softer. Around 50% to 80% of keloids show shrinkage after injection, but many may regrow within five years. To enhance the results, additional treatments like keloid surgery or pressure garment use may be recommended.

  • Keloid surgery:

    Surgical excision involves removing the keloid. However, it’s important to note that nearly all keloids have a tendency to return after this treatment. To minimise the risk of recurrence, additional measures such as wearing pressure garments or undergoing cryosurgery may be suggested.

  • Pressure earrings, dressings, or garments:

    These are often used after keloid surgery to reduce blood flow and prevent keloid regrowth. Compliance with wearing pressure devices is essential for effective results, typically requiring 12 to 20 hours of daily usage for several months. Pressure earrings are generally the most convenient option.

  • Silicone gel sheets:

    Medical-grade silicone gel sheets can be applied to flatten keloids. They are effective for new keloids or can be used as a preventive measure after an injury to prevent keloid formation.

  • Freezing (cryosurgery):

    Cryosurgery is a suitable option for small keloids and can reduce their size and hardness. Cryosurgery can be performed before or after corticosteroid injections to enhance their effectiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions

While it may not be possible to completely prevent keloids, there are steps you can take to minimise their risk. Avoiding unnecessary skin trauma, promptly treating acne or other skin conditions, and using proper wound care techniques can help reduce the likelihood of keloid formation. It is also important to seek professional medical advice for appropriate treatment of wounds or injuries.

While a keloid is growing, it can cause pain or discomfort. The pain usually goes away when the keloid stops growing. On rare occasions, keloids can remain tender and painful.

Yes, keloids are treatable. Various keloid treatment options are available to manage and reduce the size of keloids, including steroid injections, silicone sheets or gels, cryotherapy, laser therapy, surgical excision and radiation therapy. The choice of treatment depends on the size, location, and severity of the keloid, as well as individual factors.

Keloids have a tendency to recur even after successful treatment. While treatment can effectively reduce their size and improve their appearance, it is important to follow post-treatment care instructions and have regular follow-up appointments with a dermatologist to monitor the area and address any potential recurrence promptly.

The level of discomfort experienced during keloid treatments may vary depending on the treatment method used and individual pain tolerance. Some treatments, such as steroid injections or laser therapy, may involve mild discomfort, which is usually well-managed with local anaesthesia or numbing creams. Your dermatologist will take measures to ensure your comfort during the procedure.

A keloid scar more often than not develops for months or a long time and gets to be greater than the first wound. Whereas it’s developing, it may feel irritated or excruciating. This as a rule stops once it’s wrapped up developing. In case it’s on or close to a joint, the joint can be awkward or troublesome to move.

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