|What is a keloid? |
A keloid is a greatly enlarged scar that projects above the skin surface. Skin heals by formation of scar tissue, which at first is often red and somewhat prominent. As time passes, a scar usually becomes flat. Unfortunately, sometimes scars enlarge to form firm, smooth, hard growths called keloids. Commonly, keloids are both itchy and painful.
What causes keloids?
No one knows why keloids form. Although most persons never form keloids, others develop them after minor injuries or even after insect bites or after acne bumps resolve. Keloids may form on any part of the body, although the ears, upper chest, upper back, and shoulders are especially prone to keloid formation. Persons with darker skin form keloids more easily than those with lighter skin, although anyone can form a keloid. Keloids never turn into skin cancer.
Keloids are extremely difficult to treat. Keloids are scar tissue, and it is important to realize that you can never change a scar back into normal skin. The goal in treating keloids is to 1) diminish any pain, 2) diminish any itching, and 3) flatten the lesion so that it is more like the surrounding normal skin. The treatment for keloids includes topical anti-inflammatory preparations, topical silicone preparations including ointments and sheets, laser treatments, steroid injections, and surgical excision. If the keloid is surgically removed, it is very important to follow Dr. Crutchfield’s treatment recommendations carefully and keep all follow-up appointments.
At Crutchfield Dermatology we are experts in treating keloids. Let us design a keloids treatment plan that is just right for you as Dr. Crutchfield did for the patient pictured above in the first row with a keloid on the ear. The second row depicts other common presentations of keloids.