Keloids are these large, raised scars that can be unsightly. They form at the site of an injury to your skin. They are very tough to remove once they have formed so prevention is better than treatment. Keloids are the body’s overactive response to healing a wound where it generates too much scar tissue around the site. A keloid scar can grow slowly for months or years.
Here’s what you need to know about Keloids:
1. They form just after the onset of puberty up to the age of 40 – Any formation of keloids before puberty or after 40 is very rare. Most people see keloid scars form when they are in their 20s. During the age of 12 to 13, or when you are in your late 20’s, the risk of keloid formation is higher. This can be compounded when you already have existing ones.
2. Genetics play a role in the formation of keloids – If your parents have them, then there’s a likely chance that you will have them too. Remember that an important part in learning the risks of getting skin diseases is that they can come from your family history.
3. Ethnicity is a factor – Keloid scars are one of the most reported and common skin conditions for Ethnic Chinese in Asia. Here in the United States, those who are of African American descent or Hispanic are more likely to get them than Caucasians.
4. Treatment is a bit complicated – Dermatologists do a combination of treatments to treat keloids. This may include injections to shrink the scar, surgically removing the scar, pressure garments and dressings, lasers and even silicone sheets to flatten the scar. However there can be a high chance that the keloid returns. What the treatments do most of the time is to reduce the symptoms of itching and pain, or shrink the keloid itself. Removing a keloid completely can be complicated and there is the risk that it may return.
If you have any concerns about keloids on your skin, contact your dermatologist to see what treatment options are available for you.