This post dives into how to prevent and deal with keloids. A keloid is a raised fibrous scar that forms at the site of injury. Generally, it is caused by the overgrowth of collagen tissue. This type of scarring is 15 times more common in people of African descent compared to those with European heritage. For some, almost any type of injury can lead to a keloid. After a wound occurs, connective tissue cells (fibroblasts) begin to multiply and repair the damaged area. With keloids, these cells continue to replicate, even after the wound has been filled in.
How to Prevent Keloids
Once the keloid begins to form, it may slowly enlarge for months or even years. Removing keloids can be difficult and sometimes painful; this why it is important to focus on prevention. Keloid formation can be minimized by keeping the wound clean and moist. This can involve applying a pressure dressing, silicone gel sheet, or paper tape over the injury site. These items are left on for 23 hours per day until the wound is healed (about 3-4 weeks). After the wound has closed, massage therapy can be used to prevent the scar from hardening. You can carefully massage the area for about 10 minutes, 2-3 times per day. Avoid massaging the area before the wound has closed as this could exacerbate scar formation and delay healing.
Medical Keloid Treatments
Cortisone, injected directly into the keloid, can help to flatten the scar after 3-6 months of treatment. There are several surgical options available for treating keloids including cryosurgery, shaving, and laser treatment. In cryosurgery liquid nitrogen is applied to “freeze off” the scar. This treatment is often combined with injections of cortisone and alpha-interferon. Laser treatments can be used to reduce the hyperpigmentation associated with keloids. Ablative laser therapy can also help with skin resurfacing. Only the most severe cases require surgical excision or scraping.
Roylan Scar Tissue Massager has been recommended to soften and flatten keloids. The advice I’ve been given is to use lotion on the scar and to gently massage scar because the device, itself, can break easily with too much pressure.
Scar Reduction Patches
Scar Away patches seem to come in two sizes and they’re beige in color. If it happens to match your skin color, you can conceal the scar easily. Otherwise, not so much!
On the other hand, Scar Away also offers round discs that are clear, so you could put them on smaller spots on any skin tone.
Fade Away I like the idea of this a lot because it comes in a tape roll, so you can customize the length.
Cica-Care seems to work well, but doesn’t have the stickiness that people want and seem to be quite thick.
3M Micropore Surgical Tape doesn’t offer any scar prevention or healing medication, but you can layer on top of your other scar patches when the stickiness starts to wear off.
Silicone Gel Scar Away Gel Sheet doesn’t ship to the US, however if you have a friend in the UK, ask them to send some to you.