Keloids are a type of raised, thickened scar that forms at the site of an injury or trauma to the skin. They can be a source of frustration and embarrassment for those who develop them, as they are often difficult to treat and may recur even after treatment.
Keloids are more common in people with darker skin tones and tend to run in families, suggesting a genetic component to their development. They can occur after any type of injury to the skin, including surgery, piercings, acne, burns, and even minor scratches or cuts.
The exact cause of keloids is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to an overproduction of collagen in the skin. Collagen is a protein that forms the structure of the skin, and in the case of keloids, an excessive amount is produced at the site of the injury, leading to the formation of a raised scar.
Keloids typically start as a raised, red or pink bump at the site of the injury. Over time, they may grow larger and become darker in color. They are often itchy and tender to the touch, and may even be painful. In some cases, keloids can become so large and thick that they interfere with movement, such as when they form on the earlobes and make it difficult to wear earrings.
Treatment for keloids can be challenging, as they tend to recur even after treatment. The most common treatment options include corticosteroid injections, which help to reduce inflammation and flatten the scar; surgical removal, which involves cutting out the keloid and stitching the skin back together; and laser therapy, which can help to break down the excess collagen in the scar.
Corticosteroid injections are often the first line of treatment for keloids, as they are relatively low-risk and can be done in a doctor’s office. The injections are given directly into the keloid, and multiple injections may be needed over several months to achieve the desired result.
Surgical removal of a keloid is more invasive than corticosteroid injections, but it can be effective in removing the entire scar. However, there is a risk of the keloid recurring after surgery, and some people may develop an even larger keloid after the procedure.
Laser therapy is another option for treating keloids, as it can help to break down the excess collagen in the scar and promote new collagen growth. This type of treatment is generally less invasive than surgery, but it may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired result.
In addition to these treatments, there are also a number of home remedies and natural treatments that people with keloids may find helpful. These include applying silicone gel sheets or ointments to the scar, using onion extract, applying tea tree oil, and using aloe vera gel. While these treatments may not be as effective as medical treatments, they can be a helpful addition to a comprehensive treatment plan.
In conclusion, keloids are a type of raised, thickened scar that can be difficult to treat and may recur even after treatment. While there are a number of treatment options available, including corticosteroid injections, surgical removal, and laser therapy, the best approach will depend on the individual case. It is important to work closely with a dermatologist or other medical professional to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals. With proper care and treatment, however, keloids can be managed effectively and their impact on your daily life can be minimized.