What Is a Keloid?
Keloid is scar tissue that grows beyond the edges of the wound. Keloids can appear anywhere on the body. Many common places include an incision site, a previous wound, a vaccination, acne or a piercing. These thick scars can be treated differently but are most commonly treated by injecting a steroid directly into scar tissue. Years later keloids can reappear. Keloids are not to be confused with hypertrophic scars. Keloids are not medically dangerous and are generally painless but may become itchy or sensitive.
How Likely Is It for Me to Have Keloids?
There are a few factors that can cause people to more commonly develop keloids. This includes patients with a family history of keloids and those with darker skin tones. African Americans, Asians and Latinos are more likely to develop keloids than people with other ethnic backgrounds. Although keloids can appear anywhere, the most common places for a keloid to form is on the neck, ears, chest, shoulders and arms.
Most keloids do not require treatment. Many people, however, seek treatment to make their keloids, and the surrounding skin, less noticeable. Some treatments flatten keloids, meanwhile, others reduce their redness and size. The result of most treatments is an irregular mark or an uneven texture on the skin. The following are common keloid treatments:
- Cortisone injections
- Laser removal
Preventing Keloid Scars
Unfortunately, not all keloids can be prevented. When this is the case the best method of prevention is to avoid skin injuries. Avoiding piercings, tattoos and elective surgeries will reduce the chance of a keloid scar. It is recommended that existing keloids be covered by a band-aid or patch. When exposing keloids to the sun patients should apply sunscreen.