Ask A Skin Doctor : Keloid Treatment

keloid treatment

Dear Doctor

I have what I think was a burn from hair removal  cream years ago.

It was find and would occasionally itch but no thought of it.

Now it is really bad, dries out and itches daily and when I scratch it, it becomes red and inflamed like the picture.

Can you suggest any creams to go on it?

keloid treatment

Dear Patient

Your symptoms are suggestive of a keloid.

Burns like the one you sustained often heal with keloids.

Other common causes of keloids include acne, chickenpox, accidental injuries and surgical operations.


Keloid Treatment

The treatment of keloids includes the use of:

1. Silicone gel

Silicone gels like ScarAway have been shown to be safe and effective treatment for keloids.


2. Corticosteroid Injections

Injections of Triamcinolone Acetonide (Kenalog) are used for keloid treatment. This corticosteroid is injected several times every 4-6 weeks. Adverse effects include hypopigmentation (skin lightening) and atrophy (skin thinning).


3. Surgical removal

Keloidectomy or the surgical removal of keloids is another way of treating them. Unfortunately, it has a recurrence rate of around 50%.

This high recurrence rate can be reduced by combining keloidectomy with monthly steroid injections or radiotherapy.


4. Interferon alfa-2b

Inerferon alfa-2b has been used to reduce keloid scars that were not responding to intralesional steroids. They are also used to prevent keloid recurrences after surgical removal.


5. Imiquimod

Imiquimod 5% cream was shown in a study to prevent keloid recurrences when it was used for 8 weeks. However it can cause hyperpigmentation (skin darkening).


Keloids are quite challenging to treat and I recommend that you discuss your options with your Plastic Surgeon.

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