A keloid is an abnormal proliferation of scar tissue that forms at the site of cutaneous injury (eg, on the site of a surgical incision or trauma); it does not regress and grows beyond the original margins of the scar. Keloids should not be confused with hypertrophic scars, which are raised scars that do not grow beyond the boundaries of the original wound and may reduce over time.
They can develop after very minor skin damage, such as an acne spot or a piercing, and spread beyond the original area of skin damage. Not everyone who gets a scar will develop a keloid.
If you have keloid-prone skin, however, anything that can cause a scar may lead to a keloid. This includes a cut, burn, or severe acne. Some people see a keloid after they pierce their ears or get a tattoo. A chickenpox scar can also form a keloid. Sometimes, a surgical scar becomes a keloid. In very rare cases, keloids form when people do not injure their skin. These are called “spontaneous keloids. A keloid usually takes time to appear. After an injury, months can pass before this scar appears. A keloid can also form more quickly. Once it begins, a keloid can enlarge slowly for months or years.
Keloid scars are more common on the upper chest, shoulders, head (especially the earlobes after a piercing) and neck, but they can happen anywhere.
Keloids form within scar tissue. Experts do not fully understand what causes keloid scars, but they happen when there’s overproduction of collagen (the skin’s protein). Collagen, used in wound repair, tends to overgrow in this area, sometimes producing a lump many times larger than that of the original scar. They can also range in color from pink to red. They can occur as a result of severe acne or chickenpox scarring, infection at a wound site, repeated trauma to an area, excessive skin tension during wound closure or a foreign body in a wound.
Symptoms of Keloids
Keloids can have the following characteristics:
Appear and grow slowly
It can take 3 months up to a year before you see the first signs of a keloid. Then it takes weeks or months for it to grow. Sometimes, they continue to grow slowly for years.
Begin as a raised pink, red, or purple scar
A keloid is usually a raised scar with a flat surface. The color tends to darken with time. It usually ends up being darker than the person’s skin, with the border being darker than the center.
Feel different than the surrounding skin
Some keloids feel soft and doughy. Others are hard and rubbery.
Cause pain, itching, or tenderness
When they are growing, some keloids may be itchy, tender, or painful to the touch. These symptoms usually stop once the keloid stops growing.
TREATMENTS FOR KELIOD
Injections of corticosteroids and other medicines
These injections are often part of a treatment plan for keloids. When injected into the keloid, these medicines help to shrink the scar.
Patients usually receive a series of injections once every two to four weeks. On average, patients return about four times for these injections. The first injections tend to relieve symptoms and make the keloid feel softer.
Between 50% and 80% of keloids shrink after being injected. Many of these keloids, however, will regrow within five years.
Keloid removal with co2 laser
This treatment involves cutting out the keloid with the help of co2 laser machine. While this may seem like a permanent solution, it’s important to know that nearly 50% of keloids return after this treatment.