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Keloid Scars

Keloid Scars NYCWhat are keloids? Keloids are raised scars that occur with overgrowth of the scar tissue that develops after an injury to the skin.  The excessive scar tissue extends beyond the surface of the initial wound and does not go away without treatment. What is the difference between a keloid and a hypertrophic scar? Hypertrophic scars are erythematous (red), itchy and raised, through they do not extend beyond the boundary of the initial skin wound.  One difference between a keloid and a hypertrophic scar is that a keloid grows beyond the boundary of the original skin wound.  Another difference between the two types of scars is that hypertrophic scars may flatten spontaneously, while keloid scars do not resolve without treatment. What do keloid scars look like? Keloid scars are raised and they range from very soft to dense and hard.  Initially, keloids are usually erythematous (reddish) and they may become brownish or even skin-colored with time.  Keloids may be pedunculated (attached to the skin by a “stalk-like” structure) or very wide at the base, depending on which part of the body they present on.  The most common area of the body for keloid development is on the earlobes.  Other common areas for keloid formation are the face, chest and extremities. What causes keloid scars? Trauma to the skin, whether is be from a procedure (ie. ear piercing or surgery) or a disease of the skin (ie. acne or chicken pox), is the primary cause of keloid formation.  However, the exact mechanism for keloid formation is not known.  It is thought that there is a genetic predilection for keloid scarring, though the specific gene has not been identified. How are keloid scars treated? The treatment of a keloid depends on the location, size and qualities of the keloid.  In patients with a history of keloid formation, the key is to avoid keloid formation.  These patients are advised not to have their ears pierced or to avoid elective surgical procedures.  Once a keloid has formed, options for treatment include intralesional cortisone injections and laser scar resurfacing with lasers such as the Fraxel Re:Store.  Keloids may soften, become less itchy and become less painful with treatment.  They do not resolve spontaneously, which is why avoidance of keloids is so important in patients with a history of keloid scarring. To schedule an appointment for a consultation in midtown Manhattan, click here.

Schweiger Dermatology

110 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022
212.283.3000
contact@schweigerderm.com

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