Keloids

Skin Keloid Treatment in Novato

A keloid is a firm, smooth, shiny outgrowth from the skin that forms at a site of trauma.  Keloids are like scars except they are much larger and often spread beyond the original area of injury.  It is not known why keloids develop, and most people do not develop keloids.  Predisposed people can even develop a keloid after a minor injury such as a pimple or a small scrape or burn.

The most common location of a keloid is the “V” of the chest, the shoulders, and the upper back.  Keloids can also appear on the earlobe as a result of ear piercing. The back of the neck and the beard area of men who have thick curly hair are more prone to keloid formation especially when shaved.  In this case, when growing back, thick curly hairs can fail to exit the skin, and then they curl back into the skin where they get trapped beneath the skin causing inflammation.  Several trapped hairs in one area can cause enough inflammation and trauma to the skin that multiple keloids can occur.  Over time the multiple keloids might merge into one large keloid that is unsightly and may be embarrassing to the patient.

Treatment of keloids most often involves the use of steroids, which are injected into the keloid.  Sometimes, when keloids are large, they can be surgically removed.  Silicone gels can be used to prevent or flatten keloids.  For large burn injuries, compression devices are often used.  There is no therapy that is effective in all keloids, so combination therapy is often necessary.