Some Patients come with the complaint of a scar. These scars grow lumpy and larger than the wound. They are keloids. What is this keloid and how do they form. This is a common question we face in our practice.
Anyone can get a keloid scar but they are common in people with dark skin. Like people from Africa, African- the Caribbean and south Indian communities. Men and women are equally likely to have a keloid scar.
How is this keloid formed?
When the skin is broken- by cut, bite, scratch burn, acne or piercing. The body produces more of a protein called collagen. This collagen gathers around the damaged skin and builds up to help the wound seal over.
This scar usually fades over time, becoming smoother and less noticeable.
In the case of keloids, these scars don’t stop growing, invading healthy skin and becoming bigger than the original wound. These are known as keloid scars.
Keloids can happen anywhere in the body, but they are more commonly found in the:-
1. Upper Chest
3. Head --- Especially the ear lobes
Although keloids are not harmful to health. They create cosmetic concerns.
Symptoms of keloids:-
1. A localized area that is flesh-colored, pink or red.
2. A lumpy area of skin that usually raised.
3. An area that continues to grow larger with scar tissue over time.
4. Keloid is an itchy patch of skin.
Keloid scars are usually harmless to your health. Patients may experience discomfort, tenderness or possible irritation for the clothing or another form of friction.
Some times in burn cases or in accidents when the keloid involves the larger areas of the body the hardened, tight scar tissue may restrict the movements of the body.
Causes of keloids:-
1. Acne scars
3. Chickenpox scars
4. Ear Piercing
6. Surgical incision sites
7. Vaccination sites.
Sometimes keloids can happen spontaneously with no history of skin trauma, they are called spontaneous keloids.
Keloids run in the family. They tend to have a genetic component, which means if one or both of your parents have keloids, you are more likely to get keloids.
According to the study, a gene known as the AHNAK gene may play a role in determining who develops keloids. Researchers found that people who have the AHNAK gene are more likely to develop keloid scars.
How does a keloid scar look like
Keloid scars are:-
3. Raised above the surrounding skin
4. Keloids are hard and rubbery
5. They are red or purple at first, after some time they become brown or pale.
Keloids cannot be completely prevented. Patients those who have known factor for developing keloids, should avoid getting body piercings, unnecessary surgical procedures, or tattoos. A person who has a keloid should not undergo elective or cosmetic skin surgeries.
When it comes to keloids, prevention is very crucial, because a current treatment does not give the desired results.
Prognosis and Treatment for keloids:-
Small keloids can be effectively treated using a variety of methods.
The patients have to understand that the keloids will never entirely disappear. Keloids may become less symptomatic and flatter. Larger keloids are more difficult to treat.
Depending on the seriousness of the keloid, a dermatologist will select the treatment.
1. Keloid treatment is more effective in the early stages of keloid formation.
2. The doctor may begin treatment by injecting steroids, into the keloid. These injections must be given monthly So steroid treatment requires regular visits to the doctor, steroids can cause skin atrophy( Pitting on the skin surface)
3. Keloids can also be frozen with liquid nitrogen.
Liquid nitrogen can lighten the skin, the side effect that is of particular concern for people with dark skin.
Keloid Home Treatment 2 Oils to Treat Keloids
1. 1 tablespoon jojoba oil Few drops of rosehip seed oil
2. 1 Tablespoon virgin coconut oil Few drops of tea tree essential oil 1-2 drops neem oil (optional)
3. Few drops of Jamaican black Castor oil
4. Few drops of Frankincense essential oil
All the combinations are useful. We need to select and use it. What works better for us. Apply a blend of the oils mentioned in the affected area and massage gently.
You can repeat this remedy several times every day for our best results.
There are multiple combinations of carrier oils and essential oils that work well in fading away keloid scars. The carrier oils have the property to moisturize and nourish the skin with essential fatty acids. The essential oils possess skin generating and healing properties along with antioxidants to aid the carrier oils in healing the keloids.
2. The effectiveness of the onion in reducing keloid and hypertrophic scars was tested a few years back by scientists. It was shown that the appearance of the scars improved to a great deal with this treatment. Onion juice or onion extract used multiple mechanisms to heal scars in a short period. Garlic prevents excess fibroblast proliferation that is mainly responsible for the enlargement of keloid scars. It also improves blood circulation to the area and this helps in fastening the healing process of the keloid.
1. Apply crushed garlic gloves and onion on the scars and leave it for 15 minutes.
2. Wash the area later with Luke warm water
You can also use garlic oil instead of fresh garlic cloves.
Repeat this every day, preferably twice a day.
3. A simple way to reduce keloid scars is to keep it moisturized and hydrated all the time. Petroleum jelly is an occlusive agent traps the moisture and helps in reducing the keloids. Aloe Vera gel has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help in healing keloids in the initial stage. It reduces pain, inflammation, and has wound healing properties.
Mix equal amount of aloe vera gel and petroleum jelly. Reapply the combination 3-4 times in a day.
4. If a person is suffering from the itching and burning sensation in the keloids. One of the effective treatments I have seen in my practice is a mixture of sandalwood powder and rose water.
1-2 teaspoons sandalwood powder
1. Make a thick paste of sandalwood in rose water and apply on the affected area at bedtime.
2. Wash off the next morning with warm water.
This Treatment can be repeated everyday night Sandalwood Known for its skin regenerating property, sandalwood has a soothing effect on the skin and rose water is a skin toner that works great when used to get rid of keloids.
Does tea tree oil help in curing keloids?
Tea tree oil is primarily composed of teripinen-4-0l and alpha and gamma-terpinene. These attribute to the anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties of tree oil.
Tea tree oil is also anti-inflammatory in nature and can be used as an antiseptic. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of tree oil, it is helpful not only in relieving pain caused by keloids but also in preventing the occurrence of the keloids. It is effective in inhibiting keloids’ formation and reduces itching.
Tea Tree oil with Vitamin E:
Mix tea tree oil with an equal concentration of vitamin E oil.
Take a sterile cotton swab and dip it in the oil mixture.
Drain excess oil and apply this on the affected area gently.
Repeat this process twice or thrice a day until the keloids start to heal.
Tea Tree oil with sea salt:
Take 2-3 drops of tea tree oil.
In a glass of warm distilled water, and half a teaspoon of sea salt and the drops of tea tree oil.
Soak the affected area in this liquid for 10-15 minutes.
This can be done every day before going to bed until the keloids heal.
Tea Tree Oil:
If not allergic to tea tree oil, then tea tree oil can be applied directly to the keloid scars.
Just dip a cotton ball in tree oil.
Gently rub the cotton ball soaked in the oil on the scars.
This can be done as many times as desired.
Tips and Precautions:
Although tea tree oil is considered a safe and effective method to cure keloid scars, it is always advisable to do a patch test on the skin with tea tree oil to avoid further infections or allergic reactions caused by tea tree oil.