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How to approach treatment of a keloid resulting from a burn. Dr. Emily Altman, Cosmetic Dermatologist NJ

A keloid is a type of scar that results from an overactivity of the skin’s normal wound repair mechanisms.  Keloids are usually pink or violaceous, and can be tender or itchy. Keloids can be improved with treatment, in that they will become flatter and lighter, but because they are scars (a permanent change in the skin)it is not possible to remove it completely.

Keloid image

A keloid from a surgical procedure

There are a number of different treatments for keloids. One treatment that has been shown to help flatten keloids is silicone gel sheeting. It is a rubbery sheet made of silicone that is applied to the keloid and worn 24 hours a day (except showering). Silicone gel sheeting helps flatten the keloid by the constant pressure it provides.

I usually start keloid treatments with intralesional (meaning into the keloid itself) Kenalog (steroid) injection. For most small keloids this will flatten them over a period of time. Some keloid may require more than one injection approximately one month apart. Once the keloid is flattened, it may stay quiet or it may become active again and require more injections. Pre-treating the keloid with a pulse dye laser works well in conjunction with intralesional Kenalog injections.

There are other more complicated treatments that are used for keloids if Kenalog injections fail. Surgical excision by itself carries a high risk of recurrence and worsening of the keloids, but when combined with kenalog injections, imiquimod cream or radiation therapy the chances of improvement are better.

Please remember that keloids are very active tissue and respond to trauma by growing.

Disclaimer: Dr. Emily Altman and Advanced Skin Wisdom provides the content on this website solely for informational and educational purposes. Information provided on this website should not be considered medical advice and is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional. Communications to or from Dr. Altman and Advanced Skin Wisdom and any person will not be considered to establish a patient/doctor relationship.

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Disclaimer: The information on this Web site is solely for to educate patients. It is not intended to be medical advice and, therefore, should not be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional. Communications to or from the Summit Medical Group Web site and any person will not be used to establish a relationship between a patient and doctor.