The skin is considered to be most delicate organ of human body. Every person dreams to have scar free skin but this is not possible for everyone. Majority of the people have some scars on their skin which may appear due to disturbances of the skin cells because of application of skin care products. First of all one needs to define what a scar is?
How to Get Rid of Keloids
“The appearance of mark on the wounded skin when it undergoes a healing process is called a scar”.
Some time is required to have re-appearance of normal skin in replacement of scar. The time it takes to grow normal skin in place of a scar normally depends on the type of scar. So how do you get rid of keloids?
The most common types of scars are: Hypertrophic and Keloids. Both of these appear with the bundled growth of excessive stiff collagen overextending the tissue.
One must not be confused between both types of scars.
A slight raise of scar from the normal skin level is generally known as hypertrophic scar. This type of scar will never try to grow from its original wound. They may be pink to flesh colored and normally appear in shoulders, neck, ankle and knees.
It is almost similar to hypertrophic scars but the major difference is that it starts growing beyond the edges of the wound or incision. It normally appears in red or darker color. They mostly appear on the skin in the following areas of the body: chest, shoulders, earlobes, upper arms, cheeks, palm, eyelids etc.
It would not be wrong to say that keloids are the chronicle form of scars. The following discussion will be done with reference to keloid scars only.
Keloid scars generally start appearing at the ages between the ages of 10 to 30 years. African, American and Asian people generally get keloid scars.
Infected areas of skin by keloids
There is no defined area of skin where keloid scars generally start appearing. Mostly the skin around chest, shoulders, earlobes, eyelids, ankle, feet and cheeks etc is infected.
It is formed within a scar tissue caused by burn, surgical incision, chemical injuries, insect bites, pimples, skin wounds, accident, body piercing and acne. It doesn’t appear suddenly on the skin, but mostly appears due to irritation or itching on the skin.
This can be transferred genetically between families, so this can be called a contagious disease. Doctors are still trying to find the exact reason of its wide spread in humans.
The following symptoms are helpful to ascertain the presence of keloid scars in your skin. These are:
- Itching or paining on skin.
- Appearance of rubbery or doughy scars.
- A wound that is not healed up from a long period of time.
- Changing of skin tone to pink, purple or brown.
- A scar that starts extending beyond its injured area.
- Appearance of lumpy or rigid scars on skin.
If any of the above mentioned symptoms appear on the skin of the patient, then he/ she must seek dermatological advice and should undertake the prescribed treatment.
Keloids can appear in both sexes, however the tendency of growth is higher in women than men.
There is no well-defined reason for the existence of keloid scars on skin. Generally, it starts appearing after skin injuries such as:
- Surgical or shaving cuts
- Skin tanning or sun burn
- Body piercing e.g. ear and nose piercing
- Changing of skin tone to pink, purple or brown.
- Chicken pox
- Vaccination sites
- Puncturing of skin like tattoos
Normally, it may grow slowly for weeks, months or years. However, proper treatment can stop it from extending over the skin. A patient may have to undergo multiple surgical procedures for its cure. But it is not always guaranteed that it may be fully recovered or removed.
Exam and test
A doctor will normally refer a patient to have skin test called biopsy which is used to analyze the infected skin area and the treatment will be done accordingly.
- As keloid is considered to be a chronic disease of skin, so it can’t be fully recovered. The patient must start its treatment as soon as it starts appearing on the skin.
Some common treatment options are as follows:
- Conventional surgery
Keloid can be cured through surgical procedures. Most probably, it may reappear after being removed through surgery or appear larger than the original one.
- Liquid nitrogen
In this method of treatment liquid nitrogen (which has a very low boiling point) is used for freezing benign growth, pre- cancers, or skin cancers. This is generally called cyrotherapy.
- Steroid injections
In this treatment, the patient is injected with triamcinolone injections containing acetonide or costerized medicine. This may be helpful in reducing the size and irritation of keloid scars.
- Radiation therapy
This is one of the popular treatments that are used to remove or reduce keloid scars but this may increase the chances of skin cancer.
- Skin laser therapy
Scars may be treated with a variety of laser treatments. Laser treatment may be used to smoothen a scar, remove the abnormal color of scar or to flatten the scar.
- Special dressing and bandages
Silicone gel sheets are used for moist wound covering. This is a painless and safe method.
Special bandages or tapes can be applied to the infected area. It reduces the size of keloid scars. “Zimmer splint” is useful for ear piercing.
Apart from the above medical treatments, some natural and homemade treatments can be beneficial for patients having stubborn scars. These are:
- Onion extracts
- Vitamin E
- Scar removal ointments
A famous proverb is that “prevention is better than cure”. By adopting the following preventive measures, one can have scar free skin.
- Don’t expose keloid scars to sun
- Don’t wound skin with piercing or tattoos
- Use an elastic tape after skin operation
- Use corticosteroid injections after skin treatment
- Don’t stretch or pull the skin that is infected by keloid scars