These are thick, rounded,
irregular groups of scar tissue. They grow at the site of a skin wound. But they can
be much larger than the wound itself. They often look red or darker in color, as
compared to the nearby normal skin. Keloids are formed from collagen that the body
makes after a wound has healed. These scars may appear anywhere on the body. But they
are more common on the chest, back, shoulders, and earlobes. They occur more often in
darker-skinned people. Keloid scars may occur up to 1 year after the original skin
Treatment for keloid scars
varies. There is no one simple cure. It's common for these scars to come back after
treatment. Often more than one treatment is needed. Treatment may include:
Steroids are injected directly into the scar tissue. This helps to reduce
the itching, redness, and burning feelings that these scars may produce.
Sometimes the injections help to decrease the size of the scar and soften the
scar tissue. The main side effects are skin discoloration and a sunken area of
skin at the injection site (atrophy).
Cryotherapy. The scar is
Pressure therapy. A type
of pressure appliance is worn over the scar area. These may be worn day and
night for up to 4 to 6 months. It is not clear how well this treatment
Silicone dioxide. This is
applied in the form of a gel or pad. This can help soften and decrease the
redness of keloids.
Surgery. If the keloid
scar does not get better with other treatments, then surgery may be done. One
type of surgery directly removes the scar formation with a cut (incision).
Stitches help close the wound. Sometimes skin grafts are also used to help
close the wound. This means replacing or attaching skin to an area that is
missing skin. Skin grafts are done by taking a piece of healthy skin from
another area of the body (called the donor site) and attaching it to the needed
area. Surgery is not often done on hypertrophic scars and keloids. This is
because they often come back again. And sometimes even larger keloids are
Laser surgery. Scars may
be treated with a variety of different lasers, depending on the underlying
cause of the scar. Lasers may be used to smooth a scar, remove the abnormal
color of a scar, or flatten a scar. Most laser therapy for scars is done
together with other treatments. These include steroid injections, special
dressings, and bandages. Multiple treatments may be needed, regardless of the
first type of therapy. Pulse dye laser is a good choice for keloids.
Radiation. This can be
used for scars that don't respond to other treatments.