It’s not surprising that most people who have keloids want to be rid of them. They are unsightly anywhere on the body and are intolerable if they’re on a conspicuous part of the body, like the face or the earlobes. Here are some questions that a person with keloids might ask.
What Are Keloids?
Keloids are lesions that can be rubbery growths on the skin or or shiny nodules. They can be the same color as the person’s skin, or can be pink, red, brown or black. A keloid is a benign growth, which means it’s not cancerous. It’s also not contagious, which means another person can’t “catch” a keloid from touching one. However, they are ugly and sometimes they do itch and hurt with a sensation like pins and needles.
What Causes Keloids?
A keloid is a scar that’s made out of two kinds of collagen, Type III and Type I. One of the functions of collagen, a springy substance, is to repair wounds. However, in a keloid Type III collagen grows over a healed injury to the skin, then is replaced by Type I collagen. The collagen can expand considerably past the boundaries of the original injury. There doesn’t even have to be an injury for the keloid to arise and some keloids come from wounds that are minuscule, like an earlobe piercing or a scratch. If a keloid appears when the person is a child, it can grow along with the person. The incidence of keloids is about the same in both men and women, though women are a bit more at risk because they pierce their ears more often than men. People of color are also at higher risk for keloids.
Can They Be Gotten Rid Of?
Keloids, unfortunately, are very hard to get rid of. If a keloid is surgically removed it’s quite likely to grow back. The best way to avoid a keloid is to avoid activities that will lead to keloids, even though sometimes that’s not feasible. Some keloids, as said, develop spontaneously.
What Are Some Treatments?
Dermatologists can use corticosteroids to try and get rid of keloids. The injections flatten out the keloids and may make them less noticeable, though the keloids still tend to return. However, the injections are said to be painful and because the drug is derived from testosterone, it might not be the best treatment for women.
The keloid can be surgically cut out. This works best if the excision is combined with interferon injections, whether before, during or after the surgery.
Sheets of hydrogel or silicone gel placed over the keloids ease the pain and itching and may stop the keloid from growing.