Case of a patient with severe keloid formation after burn injury!
When skin is injured, fibrous tissue called scar tissue forms over the wound to repair and protect the injury. In some cases, extra scar tissue grows, forming smooth, hard growths called keloids. Keloids can be much larger than the original wound.
They’re most commonly found on the chest, shoulders, earlobes, and cheeks. Keloid scarring can form on large areas of your body, but this is generally rare. When it happens, the hardened, tight scar tissue, like in this case, may restrict movement.
An estimated 10 percent of people experience keloid scarring. People with darker skin tones are more prone to keloids. Keloids tend to have a genetic component, which means you’re more likely to have keloids if one or both of your parents have them.
Keloids are sometimes confused with another more common type of scar called hypertrophic scars. These are flat scars that can range from pink to brown in colour. Unlike keloids, hypertrophic scars are smaller, and they can go away on their own over time.
The decision to treat a keloid can be a tricky one. Keloid scarring is the result of the body’s attempt to repair itself. After removing the keloid, the scar tissue may grow back again, and sometimes it grows back larger than before.
Initially, less-invasive treatments are recommended, such as silicone pads, pressure dressings, or injections, especially if the keloid scar is a fairly new one. These treatments require frequent and careful application to be effective, taking at least three months to work.
In the case of very large keloids or an older keloid scar, surgical removal may be recommended. The rate of return for keloid scarring after surgery can be high. However, the benefits of removing a large keloid may outweigh the risk of post-surgery scars. Cryosurgery is perhaps the most effective type of surgery for keloids. Also called cryotherapy, the process works by essentially “freezing” away the keloid with liquid nitrogen. Corticosteroid injections after surgery may also be recommended to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of the keloid returning.