What Causes Keloids?
When your skin is injured, scar tissue forms over the damage to protect the wound while it’s healing. However, when too much scar tissue grows, it can result in smooth, hard growths known as keloids. Keloids often appear slowly and can take weeks or months to fully develop. Medical professionals still aren’t sure why some people develop these scars while others don’t. However, many types of injuries can result in keloids, including:
- Surgical incisions
- Puncture wounds
- Insect bites
Symptoms Of Keloids
While keloids don’t have a negative effect on your overall health, they may cause itching, discomfort, tenderness, or irritation. Since this scar tissue typically grows slowly, they may begin as a raised red, pink, or purple scar before darkening. Keloids can come in different textures, sizes, and colors, which can impact what symptoms individuals experience. Some of the most universal symptoms include:
- A dark red or pink raised area of skin
- Raised skin that’s hard and rubbery or soft and doughy
- Pain or tenderness
- Irritation from clothing or other causes of friction
- Restricted movement (depending on the keloid’s location)
Some of these symptoms, like pain or itchiness, may disappear after the keloid stops growing.
Treatment Of Keloids
Since keloids present so differently in every individual, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. Ulmer and Wu Dermatology offers several treatment options to remove or reduce the size of keloids, including:
- Cortisone injections: Cortisone injections may help soften and reduce the size of keloids.1 This first-line treatment is usually repeated every four weeks until the keloid is flat.2
- Fluorouracil (5-FU): Fluorouracil is a versatile drug that can be used to treat several issues. In this case, Fluorouracil is injected directly into the keloid. Depending on the patient’s needs and the effectiveness of the treatment, individuals typically undergo injections every 4 weeks.3 This treatment can help flatten scars, decrease pain and itching, and reduce the chance of recurrence.4
- Cordran tape: Cordran tape is a type of silicon dressing that’s laid over the keloid. This option is a safe and pain-free way to reduce the size of keloids over time.2
- Surgical removal followed by Superficial Radio-Therapy treatments: When keloids continuously grow back, or cortisone injections are not good options for treatment of keloids (such as in the case of very large keloids) surgical removal and radiation therapy can be helpful. Typically we do not recommend surgical excision alone because keloids have a very high recurrence rate and may come back worse. Surgical keloid removal when paired with post-surgical radiation therapy is the most effective way to prevent recurrence.2 Post-surgery Superficial Radio-Therapy (SRT) reduces the likelihood of keloid recurrence by greater than 90%.5
The experts at Ulmer and Wu Dermatology are well-versed in reducing and removing keloid scars and can help you find the best treatment for your needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for keloids treatment in Long Beach, CA.