Keloids are an overgrowth of scar tissue that forms after a skin injury such as a surgical incision or wound. A keloid may be red, pink or flesh-colored and forms over the site of the injury as a nodular or ridged growth. The cause of keloids is unknown, but they are believed to be a result of the body’s failure to end the healing process and stop repairing skin. They may be hereditary as well.
Treatment for keloids is not usually necessary since they are harmless and may disappear over time. However, for cosmetic purposes, cryotherapy, steroid injections or laser treatments may be used to remove the keloid.
Risk Factors For Keloids
Certain people, including those who have a family history of keloids, and those with darker skin tones, are more prone to developing keloids. African Americans, Latinos and Asians are more likely to develop keloids than people from other ethnic backgrounds. Although keloids can appear anywhere, they usually form on the neck, ears, chest, shoulders and arms.
Treatment For Keloids
Most keloids do not require treatment, although some people take advantage of the several procedures that can improve keloids’ appearance and that of the surrounding skin. Some of these treatments flatten keloids, whereas others reduce their redness and size. Most treatments leave an irregular mark or create an uneven texture on the skin.
Keloid treatments include:
- Cortisone injections
- Laser removal
Prevention Of Keloids
Although not all keloids can be prevented, the best method of prevention is to avoid injuries to the skin. Avoiding piercings, tattoos and elective surgeries reduces the chance of developing a keloid scar. An existing keloid should be covered by a band-aid or patch, and sunscreen should be used when it is exposed to the sun.
Keloids are not medically dangerous. Many people, however, seek treatment to make their keloids less noticeable.