How to Treat Keloid Scarring
Keloid scars are also known as keloids and are the result of the growth of excessive scar tissue. They occur at the site of a healed injury. Keloid scars are not medically dangerous, but they can be emotionally distressing. There are many forms of treatment available, both surgical and non-surgical, with varying degrees of success. If you are concerned about your keloid scar, discuss your options with your health-care provider.
Begin a course of corticosteroid injections every four to six weeks until the keloid scar starts to flatten. Corticosteroids injections work by withdrawing the production of collagen and stopping the inhibitors that halt the degradation of collagen. Steroid injections also help reduce the redness and itching often associated with keloids.
Apply a silicon gel dressing or use silicon gel sheets. These should be worn for a minimum of 12 hours a day in order to have an effect, and are thought to act by increasing the pressure and temperature of the keloid. A reduction in the elevation of a keloid scar may occur within three to six months.
Opt for cryotherapy, which involves freezing the keloid with liquid nitrogen. Treatment can be fairly long and painful--between two and 10 sessions are required with a space of five days between each session. Local anesthesia needs to be administered, and cryotherapy is only suitable for small keloids.
Get the keloids surgically removed. The keloid is excised with a scalpel, which requires a lot of accuracy and care. The percentage of recurrence of a keloid with surgery is between 45 and 100 percent, as abnormal scarring is more common with people who already have a keloid. Surgery combined with another form of non-surgical treatment is therefore most effective.
Choose laser therapy. Laser surgery provides a precise excision of the keloid. Some lasers work by causing the collagen to shrink, while others work by inhibiting the metabolism of collagen. Unfortunately, the recurrence rate is very high with laser therapy.
Opt for interferon (INF) therapy. This is one of the newest forms of treatment for keloid scars. Injections of INF-alpha, INF-beta or INF-gamma are administered to reduce the synthesis of collagen. They are relatively effective in reducing keloid height, but may cause adverse side effects,
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