Keloid - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

When an injury occurs like a wound, burn, or cut, your body forms scar tissue over it. When the scar tissue overgrows, it can lead to the formation of thick, raised, and hard growths called a keloid. They can occur after any kind of injury where scar formation takes place. In the size, they can be much larger than the original injury. They can affect any part of the body but are most commonly found on the chest, shoulders, earlobes, and cheeks. Keloids are not dangerous or life-threatening to your body. But they may raise cosmetic concerns and cause embarrassment. 


Keloids are often confused with a type of scar called a hypertrophic scar. However, they are different. A hypertrophic scar is much smaller in size as compared to keloids. Also, it may disappear on its own. They usually occur due to physical or chemical injuries of the skin like ear piercings or harsh fragrances. 


Symptoms 


Keloid usually occurs due to overgrown scar tissue. However, it may be much larger than the injury itself. Keloids can be itchy and red. They may also have the following characteristics.


  • A flesh-colored, pink, or red localized area

  • Ridged area of skin that’s usually raised 

  • A lumpy raised area of skin

  • An area of skin that overgrows with scar tissue over time

  • A skin patch that itches 



Keloids are not dangerous or life-threatening to your body. But they may raise cosmetic concerns and cause embarrassment. However, itching can bother you leading to irritation and discomfort. When it affects large areas, it restricts the movement due to tight scar tissue overgrowth.


Causes 


When an injury occurs like a wound, burn, or cut, your body forms scar tissue over it. When the scar tissue overgrows, it can lead to the formation of thick, raised, and hard growths called a keloid. They can occur after any kind of injury where scar formation takes place. In the size, they can be much larger than the original injury. 

Risk Factors 


It can occur due to:


  • acne scars

  • burns

  • chickenpox scars

  • ear piercing

  • scratches

  • surgical incision sites

  • vaccination sites

  • darker skin

  • being of Asian descent

  • being of Latino descent

  • being pregnant

  • being younger than 30 years of age


If both of your parents have a history of keloids, the chances for you having it increase. Therefore, family history also plays a role in putting you at risk for it. 


Treatment 


Treatment of keloids may include


Surgery or cryosurgery- a procedure in which the healthcare providers treat the keloid with liquid nitrogen and freeze it. After that, it is removed. They may also ask you to get corticosteroids injections to reduce inflammation and returning of keloids. 


Laser treatment- a procedure in which keloid is treated with a laser (high energy light beam) to smoothen and tone it. However, it may exacerbate the condition causing its redness and scarring. 

Conclusion 


When an injury occurs like a wound, burn, or cut, your body forms scar tissue over it. When the scar tissue overgrows, it can lead to the formation of thick, raised, and hard growths called a keloid. They can occur after any kind of injury where scar formation takes place. In the size, they can be much larger than the original injury. They can affect any part of the body but are most commonly found on the chest, shoulders, earlobes, and cheeks. If both of your parents have a history of keloids, the chances for you increase. Therefore, family history also plays a role in putting you at risk for it. 


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