Surgical Dermatology - Treatment of Keloids / Scar Revision

Scars form as a part of the body’s natural healing process. Often, scars shrink and fade over time, but sometimes they remain large, raised, depressed, discolored, itchy, or painful. Occasionally they grow to exceed the boundaries of the original wound, a type of scar called a keloid. For those who feel embarrassed or disfigured by excessive scar tissue, our practice offers several keloid treatment options that can reduce the appearance of the scar.

What Is a Keloid Scar?

Keloids are raised overgrowths of scar tissue that result from an overly aggressive healing process, possibly related to a defect in collagen production. The scar forms after some kind of trauma to the skin, such as surgery, blisters, vaccinations, acne, or body piercing. Extending beyond the original injury area, keloid scars are elevated, smooth, and shiny, and may appear pink, purple, or brown. They can feel soft and doughy, or firm and rubbery. Symptoms may include itching, burning, pain, and tenderness at the site of the scar.

Keloids are more common in African-Americans and those with darker skin tones, and generally occur between the ages of 10 and 30. Although keloids can appear anywhere on the body, they are typically seen on the shoulders, upper back, and chest.

What Are the Common Treatment Options?

Although keloids are not harmful, a keloid that is constantly itchy or irritated or in an obvious location can make some people seek treatment. Older and larger keloids are more difficult to treat, and often two or more methods are combined for the best results.

Treatment options include:

  • Steroid injections: Corticosteroids can safely reduce the size and irritation of keloid scars, but it requires multiple injections over several months.
  • Laser therapy: Our IPL device can be used to make them appear less red. Several treatments may be needed, but it is safe and not very painful.
  • Silicone gel applications: Moist dressings made of silicone gel have been shown to reduce the size of keloids over time. This treatment is safe and painless.
  • Radiation therapy: If used soon after the scar develops – for example, while a surgical wound is healing – radiation treatments can reduce scar formation.
  • Conventional surgery: If the above options are not helping, we can surgically excise the keloid with combination of steroid injections or pressure dressings for better results.

At Castle Dermatology, Dr. Peyman Ghasri and Dr. Pedram Ghasri have the training and expertise to discuss all of these options with you and tailor a personal treatment plan to meet your goals.