A keloid is a type of scar that can pose significant cosmetic concern. Keloids are different from hypertrophic scars, though both may have thickened tissue at the surface. The primary difference between the two types of scars is that hypertrophic scars do not expand beyond the borders of the original wound. The top of a hypertrophic scar may be colored purple or pink, but is typically smooth. Keloids are irregularly shaped and they will progressively grow larger. Between the two, a hypertrophic scar may subside on its own, whereas keloids must be treated by the dermatologist.
Keloids may begin as small scars resulting from an injury or inflammation. Over time, they can grow into surrounding areas. In some instances, a keloid may grow quite large or may become tender and itchy. Most often, this type of scar develops on earlobes, because of piercings, on the chest, shoulders, or back. Though it is possible for a keloid to develop on the face, this is uncommon.
Is treatment necessary?
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The decision to seek treatment for a keloid scar is unique to the individual’s situation. Some keloids may be a minor nuisance, where others may be in a highly visible area or may be chronically irritated. A keloid that has caused disfigurement can be removed to improve a patient’s overall sense of wellbeing. Dr. Neal of Washington Dermatology Consultants works with patients to devise the most suitable plan for the removal of keloid scars.
There are several potential treatment options for keloids, including injections, excision, and laser treatment. Injections may not eliminate all evidence of a keloid scar, but this form of treatment can flatten a keloid down to a smooth surface. Laser treatments can also be an effective method for flattening keloid scars, though redness may remain on the skin’s surface.
Our board certified dermatologist at Washington Dermatology Consultants offers solutions to keloids and other types of scars. For more information on our services, contact us in Arlington or Stafford.