A scar that grows bigger and wider than the original injury is referred to as a Keloid. It’s a type of raised scar that occurs where the skin has healed after an injury. They can grow to be much larger than the original injury that caused the scar. Though unsightly, people with keloids may have concern that go beyond their body image. Keloids can cause discomfort, tightness, or even limited range of motion if they occur near a joint, such as the knee or ankle. Keloids do not become cancer but they can be bothersome or painful enough that requires you seeking treatment and often they grow back after treatment. The excessive stretching of the skin can cause itching, and because of their larger size, keloids are prone to rubbing on clothing, causing irritation.
Causes of keloid: A keloid forms due to the skin’s exaggerated response to an injury. Even minor cuts can cause keloids. Thick tissue grows up and out from the healing area, making the scar bigger. Common causes of keloids include:
- Cuts or punctures even from shaving
- Incisions from surgery
- Insect bites
- Skin conditions, such as acne
- Chickenpox or diseases that cause scarring of the skin
- Tattoos or piercings
Symptoms of keloid
- Keloids are raised and look shiny and dome-shaped, ranging in color from pink to red.
- Some keloids become quite large and unsightly.
- The scars tend to be itchy, tender, or even painful to the touch.
- When exposed to the sun, they may turn darker than the rest of your skin and the darkening may be permanent.
Treatment options for keloids
It is common for keloids to grow back after treatment. Three treatment options for keloid scars are surgical removal, non-surgical interventions, and combination treatments. Most times, surgical treatment is the most effective and the least complex of the available forms of treatment. Lasers have been tried as an alternative to knife surgery.
Non-surgical treatments: Cryotherapy is best used for small keloids, such as from acne. Cryotherapy can also lighten the skin. Injection with medicines such as corticosteroid also work well with Cryotherapy or right after surgery. Other medicines may improve keloids such as verapamil, fluorouracil, bleomycin, and interferon alfa-2b shots. After keloids surgery, keeping pressure on the area reduces blood flow. This can help a keloid from reoccurring.
Diagnosis of keloids: This is done by physical examination where your doctor examines your skin. Sometimes, a skin biopsy may be done to rule out other types of skin growth.
Prevention of keloids: To prevent keloids, is best to avoid body piercings, tattoos, or any surgery you do not need. Keloids can grow after these procedures. Treat your minor injuries promptly; this may help it heal faster and with less scarring