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Is Keloid scar a serious medical condition?

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When the skin is damaged, some people experience an abnormal growth of a scar which results in a large and soft growth in the affected area.

In some instances, the growth can develop without any apparent skin injury.

In some instances, the growth can develop without any apparent skin injury: Photo / Courtesy

This condition is known as Keloid and is said to occur mostly to people between the ages of 10 – 30 years. People with dark skin have higher risk.

Majority of the people who develop this form of growth usually do not give much medical attention.

What causes keloid?

The cause of keloid diseases remains unknown up-to-date although some researchers say that it is the final product of an abnormal healing process.

Scientists argue that half of the people with keloids will have other members of the family who have also developed the disease.

Keloid growth mostly appears on areas of relatively high tension such as the presternal areas, upper back shoulder and upper arms.

Although the growth isn’t easily noticed at the beginning, rapid grown occurs after few months.

Within three months the growth develops but it takes a bit longer, like a year or so for the skin to be damaged.

At the early stage in time, the original red colour of keloid may change to brown or becomes pale and feel itchy, sensitive or sore. When they have stopped growing they are not usually painful and becomes smaller or remain the same size.

Treatments

Most patients of keloid prefer treatment through surgical means where a cut out is exercised. Unfortunately, sometimes it may not be successful resulting in a bigger keloid.

Therefore, it is advisable for the surgery to be carried out by a special doctor who can easily identify and differentiate whether the growth is keloid or skin tumor.

There are alternative means of treating keloid without surgery such as injecting steroids and local anesthetic into the keloid scar itself.

Rarely used treatment such as radiotherapy or some forms of chemotherapy that are injected to the scar are also applicable.

Other treatments is silicone use which involves putting it on to the skin either as a gel or a flexible sheet with potential ability to reduce the thickness.

Furthermore, having the silicone on the skin is deemed cumbrous if it should stay for longer time.

Most importantly, if someone suffers from such aforementioned skin condition, is advisable to sidestep practices such as piecing, tattoos and other skin surgery unless it is an emergency.

By Joseph Macharia

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