During normal wound healing, formation of scar tissue is an essential part of skin repair and recovery.
In abnormal cases, scar tissues overgrow and form raised, hard lumps resulting in the formation of a keloid.
Keloids can be found on any part of the body after skin injury.
They may be cosmetically unpleasant but are largely asymptomatic. Rarely, keloids may cause pain and itch
Post Cesarean section (c-section) scars are a commonly seen type of keloid that occurs after pregnancy.
During the c-section, the surgeon would usually make a linear incision of around 4 to 6 inches along the lower abdomen to remove the baby.
In normal cases, the wound should heal and appear as a faded line which is barely noticeable. However, some individuals may over produce scar tissue, resulting in the formation of keloids.
These scars appear as thick, raised, red bumps over the surgical incision site.
Corticosteroid keloid injections are anti-inflammatory and are the most commonly performed procedure for keloid scars.
Dr Edwin prefers to use Triamcinolone Acetate which is well studied for the treatment of keloids.
They are injected directly into the keloid to reduce its size and prevent further growth.
After one injection, the keloid may reduce by 50 to 90% in size. Patients may undergo a second injection 1 month after for further improvement.
Rarely, stubborn keloids may require multiple treatments to achieve good results.
Regular keloid injections 3 to 4 times a year are sometimes needed to maintain optimal results.
Silicone Scar Gel
Studies have reported improvement in keloid scars after daily application of Silicone gel for 4 to 6 months.
Laser Keloid Removal
Ablative lasers like the CO2 laser can reduce the size and improve the appearance of keloid scars. It is normally used in conjunction with keloid injections and are reserved for large or stubborn keloid scars that do not respond well to injections.
Keloid removal surgery
Surgical excision of keloids is rarely done as it has a high recurrence rate of keloid formation post-surgery.
Dr Edwin usually recommends to start with Keloid Injections as Laser Keloid Removal and Keloid Removal Surgery both run the risk of new keloid formation.
Keloid injections are safe with minimal systemic risks (i.e minimal impact on one's general health).
Side effects are localised to the treatment area such as swelling, bruising and redness.
Other rarer side effects include skin thinning, hypopigmentation, atrophic scarring and telangiectasia.
Every clinic offers different keloid scar treatment options. No one clinic is same as the other. If you want to make sure that keloid treatments are performed safely and effectively, make sure that the clinic is experienced in offering such keloid injections. The clinic should also offer information on the various types of keloid treatments before proceeding.