Body and facial scarring can be caused by many things – abrasions, cuts, and scrapes; piercings, acne, skin blemishes, surgical treatments, or injuries. Most of the time, scars appear and then remain exactly the same shape and size. In some cases, patients are pleasantly surprised to find that the scar begins to disappear on its own. In other cases, however, the scar continues to increase in size.
This type of scar that continues to get bigger is known as a keloid. A keloid scar is irregularly shaped with a pink or purple top. Often the scar is painless, however, if it becomes infected it can become painful or begin to itch.
What causes keloids?
When the skin is injured, it sparks the growth of collagen in order to heal. However, collagen growth should stop after the wound has healed. When it does not, it becomes a keloid. If a patient is susceptible to keloids, anything that damages the skin can cause a keloid. This includes body piercings, pimples, cuts, surgery, and trauma to the skin.
Can I reduce my risk of keloids?
Some patients simply have a predisposition to keloid scarring. While the exact reason is not known, keloids are more prevalent in people of African, Northern European, and Asian descent. Most doctors recommend that people who find they often get keloids take care to avoid elective skin injuries such as piercings or tattoos.
Can a keloid be treated?
If you have a keloid, the first step to removing it is to clear any infection. Once the infection has been eliminated, there are several ways the keloid can be treated, including corticosteroid injection, excision, cryosurgery, or silicone gel sheeting.
If you live in New Jersey and have keloids, know that you have options. Call (212) 734-4488 Dr. Edmund Kwan today to learn more about how to remove them. Dr. Kwan will examine your skin to determine the best surgical or non-surgical treatment approach to improve the appearance of your skin and give a boost to your self-esteem.