Keloids are scars that grow on the skin in response to an injury, piercing, burn or operation. They can also appear due to diseases like Acne and Chicken pox. The scars caused by keloids, grow bigger than the borders of the initial injury to the skin and does not improve with time.
Keloids occur commonly in dark skin and has a genetic basis. It is less common in whites and there have been some theories that the colour producing cells may play a role in causing them. Basically, when someone has a breech on the skin surface, the body secretes growth factors to produce collagen fibres, to repair the defect. In keloids, there is a continuous stimulation of the collagen fibres to keep on growing, even after the original injury is healed. This results in the big scars that are seen.
One has to be very careful, when there is a family history of Keloid scars as there is a high probability that the person will suffer from it.
Keloids can be treated in many cases. One should be careful of unnecessary surgeries for small keloids as they can recur and become bigger. If they are very big and affecting the functionality of the person, then surgery with Carbon dioxide laser debulking is the treatment of choice. Thereafter, radiotherapy needs to be given and the patient may need to be followed up monthly with certain injections.
In small keloids, we usually use injections for 3months to 1 year, depending on response. One can achieve up to 70-80% success rate. However, patient’s compliance is very important to get results.