WHAT ARE KELOIDS?
As a result of injury to the tissue, scars tend to form as part of the natural repair process of the body. When this process does not go to plan, unsightly scars will form. The formation of keloids is due to the excessive production of collagen by the skin in response to injury, and is arranged haphazardly into various shapes and forms.
They may range from shades of red to purple, and are firm, elevated scars. Tiny extensions may form to the scar’s periphery or it may even turn into a spherical nodule. However, this scar remains confined to the injured area and does not penetrate the skin. Despite this, keloids are extremely hard to get rid of naturally and although it may regress or remain the same size over time, it may even continue to grow.
You are more likely to suffer from keloid scarring if it runs in your family as it can be passed on genetically. Selected body parts tend to be more prone to keloid formation such as the chin, shoulders, chest or ears. In addition, most keloid scars do not affect individuals apart from being unsightly, but some may cause itching or pain. In some extreme cases, keloids may even become infected and form ulcers in the skin if it is not treated.
HOW CAN IT BE TREATED?
Kenocort (triamcinolone) injections are commonly utilised to treat keloids. It is a safe method that is does not cause much pain as a local anaesthetic (licodaine) is mixed into the injection in order to numb the skin.
Several sessions, approximately 3-4, are needed in order to flatten the keloid, although this may vary depending on the keloid size, how well you react to the treatment or even genetics. It may cause some redness, scabbing or swelling of the skin but this is a minor side effect and should subside within a few days of treatment.
However, it is important to note that although these injections will flatten the keloid, it does not remove the colour left behind. This can be treated using the Medlite Laser – you can consult your doctor for more information about this treatment.