Keloids are tight, shiny, rubbery, raised overgrowths of scar tissue. They have a red, purple, pink or dark shade. Keloids occur when the recovering tissue spills out of the wound site. Keloids are benign. Their only bad effect is aesthetic, though some can restrict the movement of body parts. Despite popular belief, it is not possible to treat keloids with home remedies.
Many treatments can remove your keloids. Surgical removal is the most popular. It is faster and easier. Surgery of keloids and hypertrophic scars involves removal of the excess tissue. The surgeon may do this by direct excision or using cryotherapy. Then, the surgeon reconstructs the skin underneath in a way that causes a small, thin scar only.
But simple surgery may not help those predisposed to keloid formation. These people have a high recurrence rate after surgery. This is because the surgery scar may develop an even larger keloid. Surgery works best when combined with other therapeutic methods. Doctors may recommend corticosteroid injections, pressure therapy or radiotherapy after surgery. These drastically reduce the chances of recurrence. For those who do not want an invasive solution, laser resurfacing is the best option. Laser ablation works best for smaller scars. Pulsed dye laser(PDL) can reduce the size and redness of the keloid, leaving behind only a small scar. In most cases, this scar will disappear too.
Preparation to do before treatment
Surgery for keloids needs a lot of preparations to ensure success. Doctors administer corticosteroid injections before the surgery to reduce the chances of recurrence. One can also try radiotherapy, laser treatment and silicone elastomer sheeting. But if the patient is a growing child, it is best to avoid the corticosteroids and radiotherapy. Consult with your doctor on which treatment will suit you better. The steroids may not be suitable in quite a few cases. So let your doctor know about any medical conditions you may have. Also, inform your surgeon if you take any blood thinners or painkillers. You may need to stop using them from a month before the surgery. The dermatologist will do the surgery under local or light general anaesthesia.
Stop smoking, alcohol consumption and blood thinners a month before getting laser resurfacing. Prevent sun exposure on that part. Use sunscreens even if it is not exposed. If you have a herpes breakout in the area, get it cured first.
Corticosteroid administration should start right after the surgery. This reduces the chances of new keloid formation. You can use silicone sheeting, radiotherapy or laser therapy alongside. If you cannot take steroids, you can get the above three. Corticosteroid injections are administered monthly for 3-4 months. The scars will start to heal and shrink in 6-8 weeks.
Silicone sheets need at least a year to work. Pressure pads are very effective in areas like the ears. Some doctors use verapamil, bleomycin, fluorouracil and interferon injections in place of corticosteroids. Topical Vitamin E and imiquimod creams are also popular. But there are hardly any tests to prove their effectiveness.Laser treatment can leave your skin tender and vulnerable to germs. Keep the area clean and moisturized. Do not smoke, drink or use blood-thinning medicines for a month afterwards. Prevent sun exposure and use high SPF sunscreen there.
Keloid surgery requires an experienced hand, otherwise, the situation can get worse. A sloppy keloid surgery can result in an even larger keloid covering the whole excision area. That is why at Contourshyd, every keloid surgery gets done by experienced & expert specialists. Our dermatologists manage your pre-op and post-op skincare with utmost care & dedication. We ensure that you leave the clinic wholeheartedly satisfied.
Keloid surgery costs ₹15,000 to ₹30,000, but can go up to ₹50,000. The cost increases with the area of the keloid. Each corticosteroid injection costs ₹8000 or more. The silicon sheets cost ₹1500 to ₹3500. Each laser therapy session costs between ₹7000 and ₹20,000. Topical creams cost from ₹700 to ₹2000.
Permanent removal of keloids is possible with surgery. But people with abnormal scarring tendency have a high recurrence rate. Some non-surgical therapy is necessary after the surgery. These may be corticosteroid injections, silicone sheeting or laser treatment or others.
There are various ways to break down a keloid. You can go for surgical excision or cryotherapy. They remove the entire keloid tissue. Corticosteroids injections and silicone sheets soften and reduce the tissue. They also prevent further growths. PDL and radiation disintegrate the extra tissue. Pressure therapy forces the keloid down to an even level.
Laser treatment can restore the keloid to the original flatness and flexibility. It leaves some redness and scars, but they are hardly visible and usually disappear. However, if the patient is prone to keloids, ablative laser therapy can cause more keloids.
Massaging can help reduce keloids. It keeps the area from hardening and reduces the bump formation. Massaging also keeps the keloid from anchoring to nearby tissue. That includes blood vessels, bones, muscles and nerves. This not only keeps the keloid flexible but also prevents expansion.
Applying 5% Imiquimod ointment(Aldara) to a wound helps in quick healing. This helps prevents keloids in normal injuries as well as keloid surgery.
Keloids are benign and harmless to the body. The only concern would be their appearance and impedance to free movement.
You should never try to pop a keloid. A keloid has solid tissue inside. Trying to pop it can cause injury and bleeding.
People get keloids when their skin experiences trauma. This can be due to injury, surgery, tattoos, piercings, injections, acne, chickenpox or burns. Keloids occur due to overgrowth of scar tissue at the injury site. Certain over-active growth factors and connective proteins enhance keloid formation. That is why some people are more prone to keloids.
Doctors give intralesional steroid injections. This breaks down the collagen fibres in the keloid and reduces its size.
Tee tree oil is anti-inflammatory and helps reduce the redness and swelling of wounds. But there is no established proof of their effectiveness on keloids.