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What are Keloid Scars?
14-01-2013, 21:33
Post: #1
What are Keloid Scars?

The body's tissue naturally heals itself when it is damaged. This healing process can cause scars to appear.
If the skin is broken (for example by a cut, bite, scratch, burn or acne), the body produces more of a protein called collagen.

So what are Keloid Scars?

Collagen gathers around the damage and builds up to help the wound seal over. The resulting scar usually fades over time, becoming smoother and less noticeable. However, some scars don't stop growing. They 'invade' the surrounding healthy skin and become bigger than the original wound. These are known as keloid scars.

"A keloid scar is an overgrown scar that can spread outside the original area of skin damage," according to the British Skin Foundation. "Keloid scars are shiny and hairless, they're raised above the surrounding skin, and can feel hard and rubbery." Keloids affect around 10-15% of all wounds. They can appear anywhere on the body but usually form on the shoulders, head and neck.

They can last for years and sometimes don't form until months or years after the initial injury. New keloid scars are sometimes red or purple. Some people feel embarrassed or upset if they think the scar is disfiguring them, whilst others suffer daily pain often in the form of sharp shooting pains or a burning sensation. Keloids can often also feel very itchy.

Medical experts do not fully understand why keloid scarring happens, but these scars are not contagious and there is no risk of them turning into cancer.

Who gets keloid scars?

"People with dark skin get keloids much more easily than people with fairer skin, and it's common in people with black skin," according to the British Skin Foundation.. "They're most common between the ages of 10 and 30, and can run in families."

Keloid scars can develop after even a very minor injury, such as burns, acne scars and wounds that get infected. All are particularly likely to form keloids.

You are at higher risk of getting a keloid scar if you have had one before.

What is the treatment for keloid scars?

There is no known cure, sadly Icon_cry.

There are several treatments available, but none of them has been shown to be more effective than the others. The different options available are discussed in the 'Clinic' forums here at Keloid Scar Forum.

*credit to the NHS for providing the above information
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