Keloid Scars

After trauma to the skin has healed, the resulting scars can be unsightly and resistant to treatment. Keloids are a specific type of scar that continues to extend beyond the wound site. Keloid scars can be one of the most difficult scars to treat. If these form in a highly visible place, keloids can distract from a patient’s appearance and be devastating to their self-confidence or image. Though difficult to treat, there are several options for treatment available that can help patients reduce the appearance of their keloids and restore their positive self-image.

Keloids are characterized as tough scars that are significantly raised in comparison to its surrounding skin, with a smooth top and a pink or purple hue. They are often irregular, do not subside over time, and become enlarged past the original site of trauma. They can begin to grow some time after the initial trauma has passed, and extend into previously unharmed skin. Though keloids most commonly form after an injury or surgery, they can also be prompted by much smaller triggers such as acne, minor burns, or even piercings. Most distressingly, keloids can also form spontaneously. Beyond their unsightly appearance, keloids can also cause discomfort as they can be itchy, sensitive to stimuli, or even painful.

Keloids can also be very distressing due to their difficulty of treatment; however there are several treatment options that are effective for many patients. The most non-invasive method of treatment is by using silicone dressings, which helps to limit the growth of the scar tissue. This however can take an extended period for results to be apparent, and these results can vary, as the dressings can be difficult to sustain for weeks or months at a time. Another minimally invasive treatment method is an injection of steroid-containing cortisone. These injections can flatten and reduce the appearance of keloid scars, but may lead to a redder color; even the most optimal steroid injection treatment will still leave the skin looking and feeling different from the surrounding skin. Thus combining the steroid injection treatment with a laser therapy, which reduces redness, can provide better results.

For some cases, chemotherapeutic agents such as fluorouracil have been injected into keloids, either alone or in combination with the above treatments, effectively reducing their size. In other cases, cryosurgery, or freezing off the keloid with liquid nitrogen, can flatten keloids but leave discoloration. Traditional surgery, or cutting out the keloid, is tricky because it can in some cases trigger the regrowth of the keloid, and spread even larger than the original. There is about a 50% chance for regrowth after surgery.

Dr. Senait Dyson at Dyson Dermatology is widely experienced with the various treatments for keloids and can help guide you to a treatment that will offer you the maximal results. Dr. Dyson is one of the top, best qualified dermatologists in Tucson, AZ. Our office will be pleased to help you treat your skin condition.

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