Scars are generally unsightly and unattractive formations on the skin that can be great sources of aggravation, embarrassment, and low self-esteem for a lot of people. In some cases, even minor scars or markings on the skin can seem like massive or disproportionate disfigurements for patients who have to live with them. Luckily, most instances of scarring are temporary and tend to heal quickly; however, there are situations in which scarring can be more permanent and progressively worsen over time. As a result, the prominence of scar revision surgery, particularly the removal of keloid scars, has seen a great deal of growth in the past few years.
What Are Keloid Scars and How Are They Different from Facial Scars?
Keloid scars occur when your skin sustains a surface injury. They’re typically discoloured overgrowths of skin that can form over a healing laceration, puncture wound, avulsion, or abrasion. They can be classified as benign skin tumours that don’t necessarily pose a threat to your health. Of course, there are rare cases in which some keloid scars can grow in combination with cancerous tumours on the skin.
While keloid scars can occur anywhere on the body, they tend to be more prevalent on the top half including the upper back, the shoulders, chest area, abdomen, and ears. Despite the fact that keloid scars aren’t necessarily hazardous to your health, they continue to increase in size over time as the body has a hard time recognizing when the wound has fully or adequately healed.
Some people can even develop multiple keloid scars throughout their bodies if they’re genetically predisposed to them. The likelihood of developing keloid scars increases if you have a family history of it. Keloid scars can affect anyone between the ages of 10 and 30, but people of African and Asian descent—particularly women who’ve undergone a c-section—are typically at greater risk of developing them.
The main difference between keloid scars and facial scars is the former can spread and fester to surrounding areas if left untreated whereas the latter tend to remain localized.
Causes of Keloid Scars
While the actual medical cause of keloid scars remains a mystery, they’re believed to be hereditary. Of course, certain skin conditions and procedures can also result in an onset of keloid scarring. The following is a list of causes of keloid scarring on the skin:
- Surgical Incisions
- Body Piercings
All of these are considered to be skin injuries and the body’s natural reaction is to try to heal them. Even if these types of surface injuries heal properly without infection, there’s still a chance of developing keloid scarring. These are instances in which the body produces an excess amount of skin cells in an attempt to repair the damages incurred. Unfortunately, in the case of keloid scarring, the body fails to recognize when that portion of the skin has healed and it continues to produce more skin.
Treatment Options for Keloid Scarring
Fortunately, there are a number of effective keloid scarring treatment options that are currently available to people who are suffering from this condition. Depending on your specific physical requirements, potential skin sensitivities, and pre-existing skin conditions, your plastic surgeon can make specialized treatment recommendations after examining the severity of your condition and the quality of your skin.
The following is a list of some of the more prevalent keloid scarring treatments that are currently being used by plastic surgeons:
- Steroid Injections
- Scar Revision Surgery
- Surgery Needling
- Radiation Therapy
- Pressure Dressing
- Silicone Gel Sheeting or Semi-Occlusive Silicone
- Laser Therapy
- Liquid Nitrogen
Some of these treatments are more physically intrusive than others, so there are a few mitigating factors involved in the decision making process. One of the most important things to take into consideration, aside from the severity of your keloid scarring, is how comfortable you are undergoing invasive surgical procedures in order to remedy the problem. Keep in mind that if your keloid scarring has advanced to numerous parts of your body or face, then surgery may be the only or most effective solution.
How to Prevent Keloid Scars from Reappearing
As is usually the case with most medical ailments, once you develop keloid scarring, the chances of recurrence increase exponentially. The good news is that there are certain preventative measures you can take if you’ve already exhibited some form of keloid scarring. Facial surgery is one of the most effective preemptive strikes you can take to prevent keloid scarring from making a comeback.
Whether you’ve suffered a humiliating adult acne breakout and are concerned about a possible flair up the day before you’re wedding or even if you’re simply interested in keeping your skin as blemish-free as possible, then it’s important to do everything within your power to maintain a beautiful and flawless complexion. Keloid scar revision surgery may not be the right answer for all patients, but it’s certainly worth considering for those with severe keloid scarring.
With proper aftercare and treatment during the recovery process, this is a palpable and permanent solution to removing your unpleasant keloid scars once and for all. Of course, this method is usually only reserved for extremely severe cases in which the keloid scarring has spread to large surfaces of the skin. In situations where the keloid scarring is detected early on and still remains localized in its initial area of the skin, topical treatments such as Verapil may still be applicable.
Again, your dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or other healthcare professional should use their full discretion when making these types of suggestions after thoroughly examining the condition and testing your skin sensitivity.
Professional Treatment for Keloid Scars in Toronto
The Toronto Facial Plastic Surgery clinic is known for implementing a large variety of cosmetic and corrective surgical treatments to domestic and international patients. People come from all over the world to be under the care of our esteemed lead facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Andres Gantous and with good reason. Over the last 20+ years, he’s built up a strong reputation for being a world-renowned cosmetic surgeon and has performed countless procedures to help relieve patients of their keloid scarring. To schedule a preliminary consultation at our clinic in Toronto, please contact us.