Keloid scars are firm, rubbery, fibrous lesions that can be flesh colored or red to brownish in color. Grossly, keloids can appear hard and angry, “more aggressive” or, even soft and fleshy.
If keloid removal is your goal, opting for keloid excision surgery may offer you the best outcome for not only scar removal, but also in reducing the likelihood it will grow back.
Before launching into skin keloid surgery or, for that matter, any type of keloid treatment, it’s best to understand what causes them.
Something as seemingly routine as having your ears pierced can cause keloids to develop, as can being treated for a medical condition that requires a surgical incision. Any “injury” to the skin, in fact, can lead to keloids in someone prone to these growths. This includes insect bites, acne, body piercing, tattoos, scratches to the skin and more.
When skin sustains an injury, scar tissue often develops and is a natural response to healing. In some cases, however, the body goes into overdrive, creating far more scar tissue than needed. What results is a keloid scar–a growth of dense, fibrous tissue that grows out above the skin and beyond the borders of the original wound. Some are slow growing; others expand rapidly.
Keloids scars are not just a cosmetic issue or one of appearance. Although they are benign, meaning harmless and not life threatening, they can, if untreated properly, continue to grow to the point where they are extremely itchy, painful, and bleeding. They are most often found on the upper body–the face, earlobes, back, arms and chest–and, depending on their size and location, keloid scars can and have been a source of frustration, self-consciousness and have even led some to withdraw from normal social activities.
Keloids seldom go away on their own. Doctors typically start Keloid scar treatment with topical medicines such as corticosteroids, cortisone injections or compression therapy. Topical medicinal scar treatment will not necessarily eliminate the scar however may reduce it in size. And, this treatment may be ongoing. Other options include laser treatments, cryotherapy (freezing), excision and radiation. A combination of excision and Radiation Therapy has proven the most effective in not only removing the keloid but keeping it from recurring as well. An expert in keloid surgery gets that process started.
The first step in skin keloid removal is a thorough examination. Dr. Slupchynskyj, a renowned New York City based Plastic Surgeon and Keloid Scar Treatment expert will check the scar and the skin around it. Sometimes a biopsy is necessary to confirm that it is a Keloid and to rule out other possibilities. If keloid excision surgery is recommended, it can be done on an outpatient basis. You’ll be given a local anesthetic (meaning the area will be numb but you will be awake during the procedure), and you’ll be able to go home shortly afterwards. You’ll return to have stitches taken out a few days later.
Keloid surgery alone is sometimes sufficient. But about half to three-fourths of the time, skin keloids will unfortunately return. The recurrence rate, however, may be reduced to approximately 20 percent by adding radiation treatment following skin keloid removal. If this is also recommended for the best outcome, you would be referred to a radiation specialist for treatment.