Enlarged, discolored, raised scars on the body, which extend beyond the original wound are known as keloid. Keloids can develop even after minor injury and trauma to the skin, and can become quite large. Keloids on highly visible areas like the face are often of cosmetic concern to the patient. In such cases, healthcare providers like dermatologists and Best Skin specialist in Karachi can offer various treatment options.
How are keloids diagnosed?
Keloids are diagnosed by clinical examination. Confirmatory tests include a skin biopsy, in which the skin specialist removes a small section of the keloid for examination under the microscope. This can be done during an outpatient visit.
What are the treatment options for keloids?
There is no single effective treatment option for keloids. Keloids have a strong tendency to reoccur, which is why multiple therapies are used to prevent recurrence. Treatment options can include:
Corticosteroid injection with other medication: injecting steroids directly into the keloid help to shrink it. These injections are given every three to four weeks. The keloids become softer over subsequent injections and decrease in size. The five-year recurrence rate of keloids is, however, high if corticosteroids are used alone. Other treatment modalities can be combined to prevent that.
Surgical removal of the keloid may seem like a permanent solution but unfortunately the return rate of keloids is 100 percent after surgery alone. Corticosteroid injection can be given along with surgery to prevent recurrence.
Radiation therapy for keloid along with surgery can prove beneficial. It is started a day any time after surgery, from after one day to a week later.
Laser therapy can not only reduce the length of the keloid but also fade is hyperpigmented appearance. Laser is often combined with corticosteroid for optimal results.
Cryotherapy, as the name implies is freezing of the keloid from the inside. This technique helps to flatten the keloid and reduce its hardness. This is a great option for smaller scars.
Ligature offers a surgical thread to be tied around the keloid, which slowly cuts into it and causes it to fall off. After every two to three weeks, a new thread is tied around the keloid.
Silicone sheet are used to prevent keloid from returning. The idea is to put pressure along with silicone sheet to flatten the keloid. Studies have shown significant flattening of keloids after silicone gels are used regularly for a period of six months.
Pressure dressing is used after surgery to apply pressure on the site of keloid to reduce its blood flow. The devices used for pressure dressing are worn for around sixteen hours a day for maximum benefit. Pressure dressing is ideally used after surgical removal of the keloid to prevent a recurrence. Even though it can be difficult to wear the device, 90 to 100 percent of the patients report a positive effect.
Despite careful removal and follow up treatment, keloids can return. The odds of eliminating keloids completely involve adhering completely to the instructions of your dermatologist or Best Skin specialist in Islamabad.