Keloids, or keloid scars, are the buildup of collagen caused by an overgrowth of fibrous tissue resulting from damage to the skin. Damage to the skin can be from numerous things, accident or self inflicted, such as cuts, scrapes, burns, piercings, and surgeries. In certain cases, the scar tissue can grow excessively large and do not disappear on its own. Keloids scar affects only about 10 to 15% of the original wounds and are normally hairless, shiny, hard, rubbery and varies in their color over a period of time. While in a majority of cases, these are painless, they can often cause a burning sensation, tenderness or limit the movement of the joint.
Cause of Keloids Scar
The medical community is yet to find out the underlying reason behind the cause of keloids scar. However, alterations in cellular signals are deemed to be related to the formation of the scars. Keloids can develop after body piercing, acne, surgical wound, or burns. It is yet not clear whether the fibroblasts are responsible or whether there is some problem with the chemical controlling the activity of fibroblast.
Who Get Keloids Scars?
Anyone who is suffering from an injury can get keloids scar, but it is more common with darker skinned people and people aged between 10 to 30 years. Doctors believe that this disorder runs in families.
Keloids Scar Symptoms
Keloids scar can develop anywhere between 3 months to a year’s time from the day of actual injury. The first sign of the development of this disorder is the presence of rubbery scar growing beyond the border of the original wound. The skin may become red, itchy and produce a burning sensation.
The most common areas where you can see the growth include – earlobe, breast bone, cheek, and shoulder. If keloids develop over a joint it can restrict its movement causing more problems to the patient. The growth of Keloids generally stops after 3 or 4 months and further only reduces with time or stay the same size.
Keloids Scar Risk Factors
Men and women are equally likely to get affected with this disorder; however, some factors that increase the risk of getting infected include:
- Having Asian genes
- Being pregnant
- It runs in the family, so if you have parents suffering from it, you are more likely to get infected
- People having AHNAK gene
If you have the known risk factors for developing Keloids scar, you should avoid getting unnecessary surgeries and avoid body piercing or tattoos.
Is Immediate Medical Intervention Required?
Keloids scars are not a life threatening disease and do not require medical intervention. However, if you experience a continuous growth and additional symptoms, you may choose to get the growth surgically removed. Uncontrolled growth signs toward skin cancer, therefore, consulting a doctor can help rule out the condition.
There are quite a few treatments available in the market, but treating keloids isn’t always successful. The doctor may advise you to apply steroid-impregnated tape for few days till the keloids are flattered. Alternatively, you may even be asked to apply steroids injection. If you are bothered by the keloids scar, you can even choose to undergo a surgery to get it removed.
The best keloid cure is to prevent one before it starts. Those who are prone to keloid scars should not undergo cosmetic surgery or get piercings because chances are another keloid will develop. There’s no guarantee that a keloid will not develop after an injury, but there are steps that can be taken to aid in the prevention.
At the initial period of injury firm pressure should immediately be placed on the wound. This will help to stop the bleeding so that your body can begin the healing process. The wound should be cleaned with cool running water and mild soap to rid the wound from any dirt or debris. Keep the wound covered with a bandage to keep out bacteria and other toxins. Silicone gels are very effective for this because they form a barrier on the skin locking in moisture while keeping out germs.