Scarring can be a cosmetic concern for anyone, but this is especially true for those with keloid scars. Keloids are large, raised scars that can develop after an injury, surgery, piercing, or other form of damage to the skin. While they do not cause many health concerns, they can cause physical and psychological discomfort. Fortunately, experienced dermatologists like Dr. Damstetter can help reduce or remove a keloid with various treatment options.
What are Keloids?
Keloids are a type of scar that is raised, larger than the original wound, pink or red, and typically darker in color than the surrounding skin. Keloids are commonly found on the chest, shoulders, earlobes, or cheeks, but can occur virtually anywhere on the body. They are typically somewhat hard to the touch. Keloids do not pose a health concern, however, they can in some cases cause itching or discomfort. Many people choose to treat them for cosmetic reasons as well.
What Causes Keloids?
Keloids are caused by excess collagen production and scar tissue as the scar heals. They can occur after many various types of injuries or damage to the skin. This includes surgical incisions, piercings, acne or folliculitis, vaccination sites, chickenpox, or burns.
Keloids are believed to run in families, meaning that if you have a close relative with keloids you are more likely to develop them as well. Certain ethnic backgrounds will have higher rates of keloids. Finally, keloids are more common during pregnancy and in patients who are younger than 30 years old.
“Dr. Liz is truly the best dermatologist I’ve ever been to. She is attentive, kind, and genuinely cares about her patients and their overall skin health. I can not recommend her enough!!!”
“Wonderful experience here! The doctor took the time to educate me on a variety of cosmetic options and gave her candid opinion resulting in just the right amount of cosmetic adjustments! Her staff was delightful and attentive! I would highly recommend for general derm needs and cosmetic adjustments.”
“Dr. Damstetter was the first dermatologist I trusted to do my Botox. She is both knowledgeable and professional and did a fantastic job. I will be using her for any and all of my future needs.”
How to Prevent Keloids
If you know you are prone to keloid scars, there are some steps you can take to prevent them from forming.
Keloids can develop after piercings or tattoos. If you know that you are likely to develop keloids, it can be best to avoid getting piercings or tattoos or to be more diligent with proper aftercare. You should also learn the early signs of a keloid and how to manage them before getting a piercing or tattoo.
Keloids can also form after surgery. If you have a scheduled surgery and are at a higher risk for keloids, you should inform your surgeon. In some cases, certain precautions or incision techniques can be performed to prevent keloids.
Finally, following proper wound care can minimize or prevent keloids in the event of an injury. This includes keeping the wound clean and moisturized as it heals. Bandaging the area with sterile petrolatum gauze daily and protecting it from sun exposure will minimize scarring. When the wound heals, you can use silicone sheets or gel to prevent keloids.
Keloid Treatment Options
If you have keloids, a dermatologist like Dr. Damstetter can offer several treatment options to minimize its appearance. Your options include:
- Corticosteroid injections
- Surgical removal
- Pressure garments, dressings, or earrings
- Laser treatments such as IPL or laser-assisted drug delivery
- Silicone sheets or gels
- Cryotherapy (freezing)
Schedule an Appointment
To learn more about keloid prevention and removal, schedule an appointment with Dr. Damstetter at Reserve Dermatology. Call our Glenview, Illinois office or contact us online to set up your first appointment.