The skin is the largest organ in the body and the most susceptible to injury. When these injuries occur, depending on their depth and severity, a scar will appear. A Keloid is an excess growth of scar tissue most often located at the site of a wound. These scars are a benign form of neoplasia, meaning that they are a result of over-active cells producing more than what is necessary. This neoplasia trait often makes Keloid scarring difficult to treat.
What causes Keloid?
Keloid scars are thought to be genetically passed on. More research needs to be done in order to deduce the exact reasons why some are genetically predisposed to develop Keloid while others aren’t. Studies have shown that the disease is more common among Africans, African Americans, and Asians. We do not currently know why this is the case, although many scientists believe that there may be a tie between skin pigmentation and Keloids as Albinos are free from developing this skin abnormality. Studies have also shown that Keloids tend to show more rapidly around puberty in young individuals, although Keloids can develop at any age.
What are my treatment options?
Keloid treatments vary depending on the severity and type of keloid scarring which an individual has. Below are listed some of the many possible treatments available for keloid scarring:
- Surgery – In many cases, Keloid scars can simply be surgically removed. This procedure is not always successful, however, because Keloid scars are a response to injury to the skin. Therefore, depending on the nature and severity of surgery, the Keloid and present again, and in some cases, may come back larger than before.
- Steroid Injections – Patients who know they are at a higher risk of Keloid formation may be able to prevent the Keloid from forming by using steroid injections. These shots are introduced at the site of the scar early in its development phase in order to counter-act the over-active cells that lead to Keloid formation.
- Chemotherapy drugs – Keloid acts similarly to cancer. Therefore, cancer treatments have proven to be effective in some Keloid cases. The chemotherapy treatments are decided on a case-by-case basis and may not be the best course of action for certain patients.
- Cryotherapy – In some cases, cryotherapy (the application of extreme cold) has proven successful in the treatment of Keloid. In these cases, the physician will use liquid nitrogen to treat the Keloid and allow the extreme cold to kill off the unwanted cells.
What does current research show about keloid?
Researchers continue to study keloid scarring to better understand its origins and causes. Currently, the causes of formation and why some individuals are more prone to keloid scars than others remains unknown. Researchers have found, however, that keloid scarring tends to run in families, African Americans and Asians tend to be at a higher risk of developing keloid scars, and keloids behave like cancer (although they are a benign, non-cancerous skin tumor). The Texas Institute of Dermatology is affiliated with and supports the work of Dr. Michael Tirgan, a leading clinician and researcher in the area of keloid scarring. To learn more about his research and practice, please visit www.keloid212.com. To become a supporter of his research, please visit www.keloidresearchfoundation.org
Why choose the Texas Institute of Dermatology for your Keloid treatments?
Our mission is to serve as a leading center for understanding and treating skin, hair, and nail diseases in South Texas through excellence in patient care, research, and education. We want you to feel that you have been treated with the comfort, privacy, safety, and satisfaction that you deserve. This is why all of our procedures are performed or supervised by our renowned dermatologist, Dr. Reza Ghohestani. His experience, combined with the latest technology and caring staff, is why the Institute is consistently ranked among the top dermatology centers in San Antonio and Boerne areas based on satisfaction surveys. We currently serve communities throughout Bexar and Kendall counties, including San Antonio, Boerne, Leon Springs, Fair Oaks Rank, Canyon Lake City, etc. Many of our patients also come from San Marcos, New Braunfels, Kerrville, Austin, Wimberly, and Corpus Christi.
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