|Those unsightly skin masses known as keloids|
Dr. Rokeisha Clare-Kleinbussink
Published: May 15, 2012
No one likes seeing scars on their body — particularly women. We always want that flawless, effortless looking skin that looks sun-kissed and well taken care of. However, that is not always the case for most of us. The flawless skin we always want and dream of takes work for some of us, but unfortunately there are some skin types, that no matter how much you take care of it, it still scars creating unsightly masses on the body or the face.
A keloid is a type of scar that most people are at risk of getting because of their genetic makeup. A keloid scar is an overgrowth of skin tissue that does not know when to stop healing, and grows beyond the markings or area where the skin trauma may have occurred. They can arise within injured tissue caused by burns, surgical incision, chemical injuries, insect bite, pimples, scratches, wounds, body piercing and acne. Usually, keloids present where skin trauma occurs but sometimes it can develop for no reason on the skin. They vary in color from pink to skin-colored, red to dark brown. They are sometimes tough with a smooth surface that can gradually and rapidly grow.
Scarring is natural and is a part of the skin tissue healing process, but when the skin continues to heal itself at the same site it becomes more of a problem. Sometimes there is associated pain, itching and tenderness cause by the keloids. Though the cause of it is unknown, changes in the cellular signals that control growth and proliferation may be related to the process of its formation. Keloids are no respecter of persons and are a torment to both sexes but are less frequently seen in children and the elderly. They are found among all skin types although it can be seen more in the pigmented skinned individual.
Common areas that keloids appear are on the chest, back, shoulders and earlobes but can rarely appear on the face.
How to prevent keloids
The best way is to not get them, however, for those prone to accidental cuts and bruises that is a very difficult thing to do. My advice in respect to keloid prevention is to not undergo any elective surgeries or extra piercings other than the ones you received as a baby. If you have keloids just forming, cover it and use sun screen to prevent it from darkening more than the normal skin around it. Keloids are not medical emergencies, but depending on their location they can be a cosmetic problem, however there are procedures that are presently done in order to gradually flatten the scar. They are as follows:
Intralesional steroid injections: Combined with a chemotherapy agent is safe and not very painful. It is usually given every three to four weeks. It does two things: slows down and suppresses the active fibrous tissue cells from overworking, and prevents active proliferation or growth of these tissue cells.
Cryotherapy: By itself is a procedure that freezes the keloid with liquid nitrogen and may help to flatten it over time, but in combination with the above-mentioned injections, when the growth thaws out, it expands making the once tough fibrous growth very easy to inject allowing for quicker resolving of the growth over time.
Silicone sheets or gels: By itself worn on the affected area for several hours a day for weeks or months at a time may help in the reduction of the keloid, but if used in combination with any of the above can allow for a faster reduction of the growth.
Surgery should not be an option because there is the likelihood that the growth will be removed definitely, but there is a great probability that the growth will come back even larger with time. However, there are cases in which surgical removal with any of the above mentioned procedures has yielded great results in respect to the reoccurrence of the keloid.
Lastly, treatments using radiation with or without combining it with surgery have also been tried but give varying results in respect to the reoccurrence of the keloid.
There are treatments for this undesirable growth, but please keep in mind the fastest way to take it off is not always the best way to remove it.
•Dr. Rokeisha Clare-Kleinbussink studied at Cosmetology Cosmetic Training for Dermal Filler in London, UK and attended the Academy of Beauty Training for Laser and Microdermabrasion in Nottinghamshire, UK. She also attended the University of the West Indies School of Medicine and Cardiff University School of Medicine. She has a private practice at Roseona House of General and Cosmetic Dermatology and can be reached at www.roseonahouse.com or 422-2022.