How To Treat Keloids

Overview

Scars are not always beautiful, invisible or hidden. One of the types of scars that is mainly visible on the skin is the keloidal scar, also known as keloid. The level of maturity of the level determines the type of collagen used to produce the scar. The reason for this deformed scar is because of an abnormal process during the scar formation. If the body produces an excess of scar tissue, keloids are certain to form. The most common places that keloids grow are the chest, cheeks, arms and shoulders. Some keloids may appear larger than the original wound it is attempting to replace. Although keloidal scars are cosmetically unappealing, they are not harmful to the body. One of the biggest problems with this form of scarring is that it grows within time and does not diminish like most scars. Knowing how to treat keloids can help those who suffer from physical embarrassment (even if there is nothing to be embarrassed about).

Symptoms

One may notice they are beginning to develop a keloidal scar because they have the following symptoms:

  • Itchiness
  • Firm bumps
  • Pink color bumps
  • Red color bumps
  • Growth in size
  • Discomfort
  • Tenderness
  • Irritation
  • Tightness of the skin

Causes

A little more than 10 percent of the US population has developed some form of keloids. Unfortunately, those with darker skin such as African-Americans are more likely to develop keloids. Other factors that can increase your chance of developing keloids are: being Latino or Asian, those between the ages of 10-30 and being pregnant. Most keloids are not harmful but if left to grow, skin cancer may begin to form.  Below is a list of the causes for keloids to form.

  • Chickenpox scars
  • Surgical incision areas
  • Tattoos
  • Vaccination areas
  • Pierced ear (or other part of the body)
  • Burns
  • Acne scars
  • Scratches

Diagnosis

Keloid scars are instantly noticeable for most doctors, especially dermatologists. While a physical exam may be enough to determine the cause of keloids, a skin biopsy is often completed to ensure there are no underlying issues. If there is no issues, doctors will tell you how to treat keloids.

Treatment

There are different ways a doctor can explain how to treat keloids such as:

  • Laser: A way to avoid going under the knife is by using a pulsed laser. This type of treatment is harmless and safe. Unfortunately, this treatment is not a one-time deal and can be very expensive. However, the result can make the keloids appear flat and less pink or red.
  • Cryotherapy: This type of treatment is like that of freezing warts. A liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the keloid(s) to make they appear lighter and flat.
  • Injections: While avoiding the risk of surgery, the use of injections such as fluorouracil and bleomycin can help treat keloids.

Home Remedies

Some doctors may claim that home remedy treatments for keloids do not work, but it wouldn’t hurt to give some of these options a try to treat keloids.

  • Lemon juice: The healthiest way to reduce the symptoms and appearance of keloids is by using fresh lemon juice (not the store bought). Applying fresh lemon juice and leaving it on for a least 30 minutes (repeat 3 times a week) can leave the scar feeling smooth and less visible.
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is used to treat sunburns so why not apply this inflammation reducer to the site of keloids. The freshness of this gel can help heal the damaged area.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Like most home remedies, apple cider vinegar seems to be the cure for everything. The key is not to mix this vinegar with any other material and spread it directly on the keloids. Let the vinegar dry on the skin for at least 5 minutes before gentle washing with warm water.
  • Wrapping the scar: By using gel sheets of silicon, the scars can decrease in size and color. The downside of using these sheets is that they require up to 12 hours of wear.
  • Honey: Natural honey helps relieve the skin of irritation and naturally attempts to heal the scarring.

Removal Of Keloid

It is important to remember that cutting out a keloid scar can be worse in the long run. Cutting a keloid scar can increase the risk of redeveloping a larger keloid scar in its place. With that being stated, sometimes the symptoms of keloids may be extremely unbearable, and surgery is requested. The best solution is to ask a doctor or dermatologists opinion and then go from there. Surgery is very tricky but with the use of superficial radiation, the size of a new keloid scar can decrease. Always be sure that you cannot properly treat keloids before requesting surgery.