If you’ve had the chicken pox, a bad burn, experienced a deep cut or horrible acne, you may have noticed the formation of a thick, almost wavy scar in areas that were most affected. These scars are called keloids and they form over a healed skin injury.
Keloids are non-cancerous fibrous skin tumours that can look worse than they actually are. Although a keloid is a form of tumour, if you are prone to them, do not panic. Due to their benign nature, people need not worry about them even if they occasionally itch. They are simply the result of abnormal wound healing and are very common.
When a wound heals, your body balances the production and breakdown of collagen, the protein that makes up your skin’s fibres. Keloids are formed when your body is trying to heal a wound and overdoes it with the collagen production.
Things to know about keloids:
There are treatments available to alter the appearance of keloids and flatten them. Using Kenalog/Cortisone injections – a synthetic corticosteroid used to alleviated allergies and treat a variety of skin conditions – your keloids will eventually appear less noticeable. Some people require multiple treatments performed every four to six weeks, while others only require one or two sessions of injections, depending on the size of the keloid in question.
Remember that keloids are harmless and shouldn’t be a cause for concern. They are oftentimes more of a nuisance than a burden. However, it’s never a bad idea to check with your doctor if you notice something on your skin that you don’t like. If you see that a keloid is growing long after your wound has healed, a doctor can advise on whether or not it should be removed. Keloids are almost always benign, but uncontrolled growth could lead to skin cancer.
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