Keloids represent scar tissue that grow beyond the edges of the wound or incision. They are often red or darker in color than the surrounding skin. Keloids occur when the body continues to produce the tough, fibrous protein known as collagen after a wound has healed.
Keloids can appear anywhere on the body, but they’re most common over the breastbone, on the earlobes, and on the shoulders. They occur more often in dark skinned people than in those who are fair. The tendency to develop keloid scars lessens with age.
Keloid scars are often treated by injecting a steroid medication directly into the scar tissue to reduce redness, itching, and burning. In some cases, this will also shrink the scar.
If steroid treatment is inadequate, the scar tissue can be removed and the wound closed with one or more layers of stitches. This is generally an outpatient procedure, performed under local anesthesia. You should be back at work in a day, and the stitches will be removed in a few days.
No matter what approach is taken, keloid scars have a stubborn tendency to recur, sometimes even larger than before. To discourage this, Dr. Economou will combine scar removal with steroid injections, direct application of steroids during surgery and pressure therapy over the scar. Even so, a keloid scar may return, requiring to repeat the procedure in a few years.