Marks and spots on our skin can make us worried as it may mean a lot of different things related to health. One such condition that can affect people is keloids and these can appear almost anywhere. But what are these keloids and how can it be treated? In this article, we look at keloids in general and how it can be treated. Read on to find out more!
Keloids: A Brief Introduction
When injury to the skin occurs, tissues that are fibrous develop into scar tissues and can cover the wound to have it repaired and isolate it from further injuries. There are some cases, however, where scar tissues grow in excess leading to the formation of keloids, growths that are hard and smooth. These keloids can cover more surface or skin area than the original wound itself and can be found most commonly in cheeks, earlobes, and shoulders. But keloids can actually affect any body part. While keloids are not a serious health risk, it can cause some aesthetic concerns for individuals suffering from them.
What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Keloids?
Keloids commonly result from scar tissue overgrowth as stated in the earlier part of this article and can cover larger areas than the original wound itself. Keloids will commonly take weeks or months before they can fully develop Some of the symptoms of keloids include the following:
- An area that is localized can have flesh that is red or pink in color.
- An area that is ridged or lumpy with skin that is raised or elevated
- A portion of the skin that can continue to become larger over time along with the scar tissue.
- A patch of skin that is itchy.
While keloid scars can give people an itchy feel, these growths in the skin are usually harmless to overall health and wellness. People may at times feel uncomfortable, irritation, and discomfort caused by the clothes the patient is wearing and other possible sources of friction on the affected area of the skin. Scarring by keloid can occur in large portions of the body but his case is extremely rare. When this kind of scarring occurs though, the scar tissue that is tight and hardened may hamper the mobility of affected individuals. All in all, keloids are not really a concern for health but cosmetic concern and keloids can generally result in feelings of being self-conscious especially if the keloid is large and prominently visible such as in face or the earlobe.
Causes of Keloids
Certain types of injuries to the skin can lead to scarring by keloids such as vaccination areas, incision sites for surgeries, scratches, ear piercing, scars from chickenpox, burns, and scars from acne. Around 10% of the total population has experienced in terms of keloids and both men and women have the same probability of getting a keloid scar. Individuals with skin tones that are darker are at an increased risk of developing keloids. Some of the other variables that may increase the possible scarring by keloids are younger than 30 years of age, pregnancy, being of Latino descent and being of Asian Descent.
As a whole, keloids have a component that is genetic which means that if your parents have keloids, you likely will have keloids as well. A study showed that the gene called AHNAK may have a hand in the determination of who will get a keloid and how it won’t. As such, those who know that they have a tendency to develop keloids should avoid getting their bodies pierced, avoid surgeries that are unnecessary, and tattoos.
The Difference Between Hypertrophic Scars And Keloids
Keloid scars can sometimes be confused with another form of scar referred to as hypertrophic scars. These are scars that are flat which can have a color that is either pink or brown. Compared to keloids, these scars have a smaller size and can resolve on their own as time passes. Hypertrophic scars can occur equally in all ethnicities and genders and are most typically the result of injuries caused by physical and chemical factors. These include injuries from perfumes that are harsh to piercings.
During the initial stages, a hypertrophic scar can be painful and itchy but these will soon subside as the healing of the skin progresses.
Keloid Home Treatments
If and when you decide to have this type of scar treated, the decision can be a tricky one. Keloid is the body’s attempt to have itself repaired. Once the keloid has been removed, the scar tissue can grow back up and can have a size that is larger than the last one.
Prior to considering procedures to be provided a medical practitioner, there are some home treatments you may want to consider. Some oils can help moisturize the affected portion of the body to ensure that the softness of the tissue is kept. These oils are available online. The same oils can also help in having the size of the keloid reduced without worsening the condition of the keloid. Keloid scars become flattered and shrink as time passes without applying any form of treatment.
At first, doctors may prescribe treatments that are less invasive such as injections, pressure dressings, and silicone pads. These are particularly effective for keloids that are still new or fresh. The aforementioned treatments will mostly require an application that is continuous and constant in order for the treatment to be effective. At the very least, these applications should be given around three (3) months before any significant changes are observed.
For older or larger keloid scars, individuals may need to consider certain surgical procedures in order to address the scarring. One such surgery for keloids is known as Cryosurgery which will have the keloid frozen before being removed.