People develop keloids as a result of a skin injury. It is an overgrowth scar tissue that can develop after skin trauma, surgery, vaccination, blisters, and acne, and even after a body piercing. Keloid scar is very different from a normal scar in size as well as composition. Some people are more prone to keloid and can grow in different parts of the body. A keloid that is caused by a skin injury can continuously grow even after the wound heals. It can become larger and visible until it reaches its final growth. It can affect people ages 10 up to 30 years old and can happen to both men and women. It is also most common in younger women with pierced ears.
When it comes to keloid treatment, it is important to know that there is no single cure that can work for treating it. Most of the time it is a combination of two or more treatments that can start right after wound healing.
1. Removal or Surgery
Before you decide for surgery, it is imperative to know that it does not offer a 100% success rate because it can return after surgery and even bigger than its original size. More than 45% of patients who underwent surgery to remove keloids experience it again. However, if it is combined with other keloid scar treatment, there is a larger possibility of the removal right after surgery.
Dressings or wound coverings with silicone gel sheet has been known to effectively prevent the growth of keloids. Some studies have found out that it greatly reduces the size of the scar over time. This is one of the safest and painless ways to eliminate keloid.
3. Corticosteroid Injections
It can remove or reduce the size of the keloid scar after the repeat injection of corticosteroid medicines in the course of 4 to 6 weeks. This treatment can offer relief from irritations and reduce its size. The only drawback is that some people are not comfortable with injections.
This keloid scar treatment involves the use of a tape or bandage to apply pressure to the affected area. It is worn 24 hours every day for 12 months depending on the size of the scar. For ear keloid caused by piercing, patients are advised to use a clip called “Zimmer splint” that can reduce the size for up to 50% percent after a year. There is a Zimmer splint that looks like earrings, so you will not feel uncomfortable while wearing one.
This surgery involves the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze the keloid that is done every 20 to 30 days. However, there is a lightening effect of the affected area. Some are hesitant to do this treatment especially for people with darker skin color.
6. Radiation Therapy
This is the least recommended therapy for keloid treatment because of its health risk that can lead to cancer in the long run. Radiation is very harmful to healthy cells and can cause chronic inflammation within the body. It is best administered during wound healing or right after surgery. Most doctors will discuss the negative side effects of radiation on their patients and make sure they understand all the risks involves.
7. Laser Therapy
This is the best alternative to removal or keloid surgery. Today, there is no recorded evidence of the reoccurrence of a scar right after the laser therapy compared to the regular surgery. This treatment has lesser side effects when compared to surgery and other treatment that requires drug or medications.
8. Fluorouracil Injections
This is the last result that patients can take if in case the rest of the keloid scar treatment does not work for you. It is a combination of fluorouracil which is a chemotherapy drug and triamcinolone that is injected into the keloid.
It is important for patients who have undergone surgery or injury to know when is the right time to call for professional help in treating keloid. This condition is a known cosmetic concern. If the scar becomes too large, itchy, changes in color, and interfere with your daily activity, then you can ask and discuss possible treatments with your doctor. Make sure that you only consult a qualified and licensed doctor or cosmetic surgeon.