How To Get Rid Of Keloid Scars
A keloid or a keloid scar is a tough heaped up scar which is risen above the rest of the skin surface. Usually, it has a smooth top and it is purple or pink in color. It has an irregular shape and continues to enlarge over time. Although a keloid is benign and can be left untreated, it can provide a cosmetic problem for some and many wish to get rid of it for personal reasons. If this is something you relate to or you simply want to know more about removing blemishes, there are some courses of action and treatment you can take. Let’s have a look at this oneHOWTO article to find out how to get rid of keloid scars and other information.
How to Identify a Keloid Scar
Keloid scars form due to abnormal healing and are most commonly found in people from the ages of 10 to 20. It is a type of overgrown scar caused due to overly aggressive healing of a wound. It is an irregular, thick shape which is raised above the normal skin level and spreads beyond its original boundaries. Asian, Hispanic and African American people are more susceptible to develop keloids. Also, some people may have predisposed genes to develop keloids.
Sometimes, a keloid is confused with a hypertrophic scar, but the major difference between the two is that the latter does not extend beyond the original boundaries of the wound. While hypertrophic scars grow rapidly and then regress, keloids grow over a period of several years after the injury and do not show any signs of regression. In addition, keloids may recur after surgical removal too.
How a Keloid Scar is Formed
Usually, when you get hurt or when your skin is torn or damaged, fibroblasts synthesize your protein collagen to provide structural support to your wound. They do so to promote the healing process. Sometimes, the formation of this collagen continues even after the repair and gets collected at the wound site to form a keloid scar. In other words, a keloid scar does not know when to stop growing and keeps progressing slowly over a period of several years.
Keloids are generally formed at the sites of:
Keloids develop over general sites of injury and may be red, brown, pink, purple or any flesh color. Some may be smooth, while others may be lumpy, nodular and ridged. They tan and become darker in color if they are exposed to sun during the time of formation. For some, they cause more discomfort than just ugly skin imperfections. They may affect a person’s condition both physically and mentally by causing pain, itchiness and tenderness. They worsen if they are irritated due to friction against clothes and other materials.
Options To Get Rid of Keloid Scars
There are several options to help get rid of a keloid scar. The chosen remedy for your scar needs to be diagnosed by a doctor, so visit and appropriate physician if you are thinking of getting rid of one of them. Here are a few of the treatments they may recommend:
- Corticosteroid injections: corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory components which treat inflammation caused by keloid scars. Corticosteroid injections can be successfully injected into your keloid scar in order to soften and diminish its appearance. These injections are safe to use, but somewhat painful. Usually, you will receive an injection once every 4-8 weeks. Sometimes, the injections may make the keloid redder by stimulating superficial blood vessels in the scar. Although the injections may flatten the keloid, it will still leave some mark that would be different from the rest of your skin. Sometimes, treatment with corticosteroid injections is complimented with chemotherapeutic agents like bleomycin and fluorouracil to treat keloids.
- Laser removal: sometimes, pulsed-eye laser is used to diminish the look of your keloid scars. This method can be effective in flattening your keloids and make them look less red. Laser treatment is safe and not painful, but you may need to sit for several sessions before you can get noticeable results. These may be expensive and are not covered by most insurance plans.
- Pressure: you may slow down the growth and development of a keloid by applying some pressure on it. For example, if you have keloid scar on an ear piercing, there are special clip-on earrings that you can wear to keep the area compressed and slow down the growth of keloid. When used properly, they may even cause a keloid to shrink to a great extent.
- Silicone dressing: there is a dressing sheet made out of silicone which you can apply on your keloid, or even hypertrophic scars. The dressing applies pressure on the keloid scar and helps in keeping moisture retained within the skin. Both of these conditions are effective in getting rid of the keloid scar. The results may vary from one person to another.
- Interferons: an interferon is a protein which your body’s immune system naturally produces as a way to fight off bacteria, viruses and other foreign bodies. Interferon injections are found to be highly effective in reducing the size of scars, though results may vary. The treatment may also involve application of topical imiquimod (Aldara). This can stimulate your body’s system to produce more interferon.
- Cryotherapy: this process involves freezing the keloids with the help of liquid nitrogen. It is found to be highly effective in flattening the keloids, but a darker or lighter patch is often left behind from the scar.
- Surgery: if you have a large sized keloid that is difficult to remove, then your best bet would be to go through a surgical procedure. However, this is a risky process. If your body is prone to developing keloids, then you may develop a new keloid at the site of surgery as well. But surgeons may control the development of the new keloid by injecting steroids into it from the beginning itself. So, you will get rid of your old keloid and your new keloid will never be able to grow.
Home Treatments to Get Rid of Keloid Scars
In addition to these methods, there are some home treatments which may be worth trying:
- Baking soda: bicarbonate of soda encourages healthy layers of skin to develop. It is also a great abrasive agent that is helpful in exfoliating the skin and removing dirt, dead cells and debris. Mix one tsp of baking soda with 3 tsp of hydrogen peroxide, apply it on your keloid, leave for 15 minutes and then rinse off. Repeat this 3 times a day for one month and see if the keloid shrinks. If yes, then continue until you get rid of it completely.
- Lemon juice: mild keloid scars might be successfully removed with lemon juice. It contains vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant. It is helpful in removing different kinds of scars from your skin, including keloids. Lemon juice also contains other elements that can repair and regenerate your damaged skin. Extract juice of a medium-sized lemon, apply it on the keloid, leave for 30 minutes and then rinse off. Repeat twice daily for one month and you will notice that your scar might become less visible.
- Aloe Vera: this ingredient is thought to be helpful in removing keloid scars. It can keep the skin moisturized and regenerate damaged surface of the skin. It also has a cooling effect to reduce itching. Extract gel from an aloe vera leaf, apply a thin coating on the keloid and let it dry. Repeat 5 times a day for a month. This remedy is better for fresh keloids and may not be as effective for older scars.
These home remedies for keloid scars are nowhere near as effective as the medical treatments above and may not work on larger scars. If you have any concern about your keloid scar, then you should go to the doctor for advice. They will be best able to recommend the right treatment for your circumstance.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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