What Are Keloid Scars?

Keloid scars occur when the body responds aggressively to an injury to the skin. Damage to the skin can be the result of a cut, scrape, burn, piercing, or surgery.

ThinkstockPhotos-451889141Keloids are usually pink or red and are raised above the normal skin surface. They are different from other scars in that they have the ability to stretch beyond the original boundary of the wound. They develop most often on the chest, back, shoulders, and earlobes and can become painful, itchy, and in extreme cases, even affect muscle function.

Doctors do not know why certain individuals develop keloid scars and some do not, but research suggests that some people’s skin is unable to identify and correctly respond to the damage at the site of the wound. Keloid scars can be developed by anyone but they are much more common in those with darker colored skin. The tendency to form keloids sometimes seems to run in families.

Treatment options include surgery to remove the scar, steroid injections, or silicone sheets to flatten the scar. Smaller keloids can be treated using cryotherapy (freezing therapy using liquid nitrogen).

The best keloid cure is to prevent one before it starts. People who are prone to keloid scars should not undergo cosmetic surgery or get piercings because chances are another keloid will develop. There’s no guarantee that a keloid will not develop after an injury, but there are steps that can be taken to aid in the prevention.

At the initial period of injury firm pressure should immediately be placed on the wound. This will help to stop the bleeding so that your body can begin the healing process. The wound should be cleaned with cool running water and mild soap to rid the wound from any dirt or debris. Keep the wound covered with a bandage to keep out bacteria and other toxins. Silicone gels are very effective for this because they form a barrier on the skin locking in moisture while keeping out germs.

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