Scars can be extremely difficult to get rid of, or at least to minimize their appearance; however Keloid scars can often be the hardest to eliminate.
Keloid scars occur when tissue forms a claw-like appearance around an injury site or a scar. Usually, an injured area tends to have an overgrowth of skin and that generally rises up a little from the site and a Keloid often forms around it. You will know if you have a Keloid scar as it has a slightly pink appearance and it is hard to the touch.
Keloid scars are not really harmful but they can hurt, and they often itch quite badly too. They can generally affect all ages, though they do tend to affect people between the ages of ten, to twenty, and they affect both men and women equally. It is thought that darker skins have more of a chance of developing Keloid scars, and in some cases the condition can become so bad that it is disfiguring. So, it can be a potentially serious condition.
The Causes and Prevention of Keloid Scars
Keloid scars are most commonly found on people who have suffered from an injury such as a burn or severe acne. Instead of healing naturally, the scar tends to overfill with collagen and this in turn causes it to swell up and become enlarged.
It is not really known what causes Keloid scars, but surgery is often used to eliminate them. However, they do tend to reoccur and it is thought that genetics are to blame. Whilst the condition is not really harmful, if exposed to the sun, the Keloid scar can increase your chances of developing skin cancer.
The problem with surgery is that although it does remove the Keloid completely, as mentioned, the scar can return, and it often returns on the actual surgery scar that is left behind. They are mainly found on the chest, the back and the arms, and there are no known cures for the condition at the moment.
Some forms of treatment which may work include:
In some cases a dressing made up of silicone gel or silastic, are used and they have been known to reduce the Keloid over time.
If you have already had Keloid scars before, or if the Keloid has started to thicken, steroid injections may be helpful. A series of injections is usually given in the hope that it will reduce the size and the irritation of the scar, but this particular treatment is uncomfortable and often local anesthetic is needed for people over the age of sixteen, and full anesthetic is needed for people under the age of sixteen. Once the anesthetic wears off, the condition can become extremely painful so this is often not the most preferred type of treatment around!
Laser therapy is sometimes offered as an alternative to surgery and it works by producing a superficial peel. However, it does not tend to reduce the main bulk of the Keloid scar so it is not always very effective.
The most effective form of Keloid scar removal is Surgery, however the surgeon does need to take extremely good care whilst removing the scar. If the Keloid does return after surgery, it is often larger. There is a forty five percent chance that the Keloid Scar will come back after surgery, though it is possible for surgery to be combined with other treatments, and that way there is less chance of the scars coming back.
Overall Keloid scars can be potentially painful, humiliating and extremely hard to eliminate. They are extremely rare and are mainly found in African and Asian skin types. It is thought that the condition is genetic and it is often found in families. You may need a doctor to properly diagnose the condition and inform you of the next steps in order to treat the condition if ended.
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