A keloid is a raised skin mass after an injury caused by the body forming too much scar tissue. X Research Source Keloids, although not dangerous, are extremely aesthetic. Keloids are difficult to heal, so it’s important to prevent them in the first place. However, there are a number of treatments available that you can use to reduce or even eliminate keloids.
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Talk to your doctor about cortisone injections. Going to the hospital for cortisone injections, with each injection 4-8 weeks apart, can reduce the size of the keloid and help the skin become flat again. However, Cortisone can sometimes make keloids darker.
Interferon is an injectable drug that is being studied in the treatment of keloids that you can choose from.
Applying cryotherapy to treat keloids. Cryotherapy is an effective treatment for keloids, significantly reducing the size of keloids. With this method, liquid nitrogen is applied to the keloid to freeze the excess cells. Cryotherapy takes only a few minutes and is usually performed by a doctor. You should apply more methods, each several weeks apart if you want to completely remove the keloid.
Ask your dermatologist about laser therapy. Laser treatment for keloids is relatively new and has not been studied as much as other treatments. However, it is still a promising method to help heal or shrink keloids. Each type of laser will be more effective if it is suitable for the skin type and type of keloid. You should ask your dermatologist if you are a good candidate for laser treatment.
Consider surgical removal of the keloid. Doctors don’t want to remove keloids surgically because you run the risk of getting more scar tissue at the surgical site. However, in some cases, surgery is helpful or necessary.
If you have surgery to remove a keloid, you should be sure to follow your post-operative care instructions to prevent new keloids from forming.
Talk to your doctor about radiation therapy. Radiation therapy may sound extreme, but it has been an effective method of healing keloids for more than a century, especially when combined with surgery and other treatments. Although radiation therapy may increase the risk of cancer, a recent study has shown it to be a safe option if done with caution (protecting cancer-prone tissues).
Radiation therapy is usually done on an outpatient basis in a hospital, under the supervision of a radiation therapist.
Treatment of keloid scars at home
Apply home remedies carefully in treating keloids. Safe therapies to help shrink keloids include applying pressure (silicone patches) and applying a healing agent. No force should be used to remove or shrink a keloid by cutting, grinding, or squeezing the scar with a wire or rubber band, or by applying any other skin-damaging method. If you handle keloids roughly, you not only risk the formation of more scar tissue at the old site, but also very susceptible to infection.
Use Vitamin E for keloids. Vitamin E is proven to help heal scars, prevent keloids and shrink keloid scars that have formed on the skin. You can apply Vitamin E oil or cream to the scar twice a day, in the morning and at night for 2-3 months.
You can buy vitamin E oil at a health food store or large grocery store.
You can also buy Vitamin E capsules, cut, squeeze out the oil and apply the oil to the scar. Each capsule can be used several times.
Use silicone gel patches to treat keloids and prevent new scars from forming. Silicone gel patches or “scar stickers” are self-adhesive, reusable, and applied to damaged skin to prevent scarring, or directly onto scars and keloids to reduce size and fade scars. You can stick the silicone patch on the injured skin or keloid for at least 10 hours a day and for many months.
A commercial example of a silicone gel patch is “ScarAway” available at drugstores or online.
Apply topical ointment to heal keloids. There are many topical medications that help shrink and heal keloids. The active ingredient in these medicines is silicon. You can find medicine labeled “Scar healing cream” or “Scar healing gel” and use as directed.
Preventing keloid scars
Understand the importance of preventing keloids. The best way to deal with keloids is to avoid scar formation in the first place. People who already have keloids or are very susceptible to keloids should be especially careful when injured to prevent keloids from forming.
Take care of the wound to prevent infection and scarring. You should pay attention to skin wounds, even the lightest, and make sure to clean the wound. Apply antibiotic cream, bandage open wounds, and change dressings often.
Wear loose clothing to avoid rubbing the wound and prevent further irritation.
The silicone gel patch mentioned above can also effectively prevent keloids.
Avoid skin damage if prone to keloids. Piercings and even tattooing can cause keloids in some people. If you have a history of keloids or have a family member who has had keloids, you should avoid piercings and tattooing on your skin or consult your doctor before getting a piercing or tattoo.
Knowledge of keloid scars
Learn how keloids form. Keloids are scars that can form anywhere on the body. Keloids form when the body produces excess collagen (a type of scar tissue) at the site of an injury. Skin lesions can be large and obvious, like a cut or burn, or as small as a bite or pimple. Keloids usually begin to develop about 3 months after the injury, and begin to grow over several weeks, even months.
Ear piercings and tattoos can lead to keloids in some people.
Keloids often form on the chest, shoulders, and upper back.
Learn the shape of a keloid. Keloids are usually raised above the skin, have a tough, smooth and shiny surface. The appearance of a keloid is often the same as that of the initial skin lesion, but may later become larger than the injured area. Keloids can vary in color from silver to flesh, red to dark brown.
Keloids are generally painless but can cause itching or burning in some people.
Keloids are not dangerous, but you should see a doctor to avoid confusion with a serious skin problem.
Know if you are at risk of developing keloids. Some people are more prone to developing keloids than others. You are also more likely to develop more keloids later if you have had keloids before. If you know you are at risk for keloids, you should take special care of skin lesions to prevent keloids from forming.
Dark-skinned people are more likely to have keloids.
People under the age of 30 are at a higher risk of developing keloids, especially during puberty.
Pregnant women are often prone to keloids.
People with a family history of keloids are also at a higher risk of developing keloids.
See your doctor if you have suspicious keloids. If in doubt, you should ask your doctor to examine your keloids to avoid more serious problems. In some cases, a doctor can visually diagnose keloids. However, in other cases, the doctor may also perform a tissue biopsy and test to rule out cancer.
Most effective treatments for keloids are performed by a doctor and you need to start treatment early if you want to heal your keloid.
A skin biopsy is a simple process in which your doctor takes a small sample of skin tissue and sends it to a lab for analysis under a microscope. A skin biopsy is done at the hospital during your visit.