Overgrowth of scar tissue can be alarming, but is usually nothing to worry about. We call this type of scarring a keloid. A keloid is typically just a cosmetic concern; they aren’t contagious or cancerous. Generally, these scars do not be to be treated unless they are causing discomfort or interfering with movement. However, these scars can majorly impact an individual’s self-esteem.
Abnormalities of the skin can be alarming. It is important to perform skin checks on yourself, as well as schedule professional visits to dermatology offices. If an individual notices changes in their skin, they may result in researching the Internet. As we know, the internet can cause someone to self-diagnose and potentially create unnecessary worry.
There are certain irregularities of the skin to watch out for. Melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma start as changes to your skin and can become growths or precancerous lesions. Other blemishes aren’t usually dangerous to a person’s health. Since it is often difficult to know the difference, we recommend you see a dermatologist at least once a year.
How does a keloid develop?
Keloids develop because of injury to your skin cells. To repair itself, the skin forms a scar. A keloid forms when the scar tissue continues to form after the wound has healed. Collagen, a wound healing protein, is overproduced during this process. Therefore, there is an excess of scar tissue, resulting in a raised thick scar. Disfunctions in the wound healing process of acne spots, insect bites, burns, hair removal, piercings, and minor scratches can cause the formation of a keloid.
What does a keloid look like?
After an injury occurs, it may take up to months or even years for the development of a keloid. Some signs point to the presence of a keloid. They can appear as skin-colored, pink, red, or brown and are enlarged and raised. Keloids are often found on areas of the earlobes, chest, cheeks, and shoulders. Like most scars, keloids are not hairy, but rather shiny. Depending on the extent of the injury, keloids vary in size and texture. They can be soft and firm or rubbery.
When should I visit a dermatologist?
As stated previously, keloids are noncancerous and typically pose no health risks. Most of the time, patients seek to remove the scars for cosmetic purposes. The location of the keloid can influence an individual’s decision to have it removed. Other reasons for removal are when the keloid is causing complications. They can be itchy or cause discomfort. If a keloid is located on a joint, the developed, hard tissue can sometimes restrict movement.
How can I prevent keloids?
There are risk factors involved with the development of keloids. Unfortunately, they are more prevalent with darker skin tones. Additionally, genetics plays a fairly significant role. You are more likely to develop keloid scars if your family has had a history of them. Also, after having a keloid, you are at a greater risk of having more keloids. Another risk factor surrounding the development of keloids is age. Between the ages of 20 and 30, a person has a greater risk of developing a keloid than at other ages.
Putting these risk factors aside, there are steps you can take to help prevent keloids. It is always a good idea to practice good hygiene and take care of your skin. This is especially true when you are suffering from an injury or wound. In this case, be sure to keep the area moist and clean. You should use soap and water to gently wash the affected area. Applying ointment regularly is beneficial and helps supports healing. Another obvious tip to avoid keloids is to try to avoid injury altogether. Although this may seem like a giveaway, some forms of protection are not so obvious. If you are prone to keloids, you may want to avoid elective surgeries, tattoos, and piercings. You should inform your doctor of previous keloid development if you decide to undergo surgery. It is also a good idea to treat your acne to avoid scarring.
What can I do to treat keloids?
There are effective treatment methods for scars and keloids. Dr. Gurgen provides patients with a safe way to deal with current issues as well as recommendations for future prevention. If you notice abnormalities in your skin, you should visit a dermatologist. There are many locations on the body that you simply cannot check by yourself. It is particularly critical to have any irregularities examined by a professional out to rule out cancer and other dangerous formations.
If you haven’t had your annual skin check-up or have noticed changes in your skin, contact our office to schedule an appointment. Lady Lake Dermatology and Mohs Surgery in the Villages and Leesburg offers quality and personalized care for our patients!