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Keloid Scars in Manchester and Cheshire

Understanding and Managing Keloid Scars

Prevention, Risk Factors, and Treatment Options

We know at CLNQ in Cheshire & Manchester keloid scars are a common and often frustrating skin condition that can cause significant distress due to their appearance and the difficulty involved in treating them. Characterised by an overgrowth of scar tissue, keloids extend beyond the boundaries of the original wound, creating a raised, thick, and often irregular area of skin. This explores what keloid scars are, the risk factors associated with them, how to prevent their formation, and the various treatment options available, including the role of silicone scar tapes and gels.

What are Keloid Scars?

Keloid scars are the result of an overly aggressive healing process. They develop when the body continues to produce a protein called collagen after a wound has healed. Unlike regular scars, keloids do not subside over time and can actually grow larger than the original injury. These scars are typically raised above the skin level, are hard and rubbery in texture, and can vary in colour from pink to red or even dark brown.

Risk Factors for Keloid Scars

Keloid formation can affect any individual, but certain factors increase the likelihood of developing these scars. These risk factors include:

  1. Genetic Predisposition: A family history of keloids significantly increases the risk. Individuals of African, Asian, or Hispanic descent are also more prone to developing keloids.
  2. Age: Younger individuals, particularly those between the ages of 10 and 30, are more likely to develop keloids.
  3. Skin Type: People with darker skin tones are more prone to keloid formation.
  4. Location of Injury: Keloids are more commonly formed on certain parts of the body, such as the chest, shoulders, earlobes, upper arms, and cheeks.

With keloid scars Manchester & Chesire patients will find understanding these risk factors can help in both preventing and managing them effectively.

Preventing Keloid Scars

Prevention is particularly important for those who are prone to keloids, either due to genetic factors or previous experiences with keloid formation. Here are some effective preventive measures:

  1. Avoid Unnecessary Skin Trauma: Minimise elective surgeries and piercings, especially in high-risk areas. Excessive tension on the wound can also potentially cause keloids.
  2. Prompt and Appropriate Wound Care: Keep any wounds clean and moist to prevent infection and reduce the chances of scar formation.
  3. Pressure Garments: In some cases, wearing pressure garments over a healing wound can help prevent keloids by applying steady pressure and reducing collagen production.
  4. Silicone Sheets and Gels: Early use of silicone-based products can help manage scar formation by hydrating the scar area and reducing collagen build-up.

Treatment Options for Keloid Scars

Despite preventive efforts, keloids can still develop and require treatment. Several options are available, each with varying degrees of success:

  1. Corticosteroid Injections: These are often the first line of treatment, helping to reduce inflammation and flatten the keloid scar over time. These will often require a course of treatments every four to six weeks. They are helpful for reducing the raised nature of keloid scars and sometimes symptoms such as itching.
  2. Laser Therapy: Lasers can be effective in reducing the redness of keloids and making them less noticeable. There are vascular lasers, such as the PDL or YAG, that can help with redness. The CO2 lasers, which are ablative lasers, can help debulk or reduce the size of the keloids.
  3. Surgical Removal: This is typically reserved for larger or more problematic keloids, although there is a risk of new keloids forming at the site of the removal. The risk of recurrence is always high and may even become worse in some patients.
  4. Cryotherapy: Freezing the keloid with liquid nitrogen can help reduce its size. There are techniques such as the Cryoshape that involve passing a probe into the keloid and then freezing it.

Silicone Scar Tapes and Gels

Among the non-invasive treatment options, silicone scar tapes and gels are particularly noteworthy. These products work by forming a protective barrier over the scar, which helps to hydrate the area and regulate fibroblast production, the cells responsible for collagen production. This can lead to a softer and flatter scar. Silicone tapes and gels are easy to use, safe, and can be an effective first step in managing keloids, especially when used as part of a comprehensive scar management strategy.

At CLNQ, we have our very own silicone scar gel that we recommend to patients following surgery to apply to their scars. The silicone scar gels are usually applied twice daily in the morning and evening. We recommend massaging the scars with any type of simple moisturizer first. After the massage, you apply a thin layer of the silicone gel. This is then left, and since it is a clear gel, it is not visible.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Keloid scars are a complex condition with a significant aesthetic and psychological impact on those affected. Understanding the risk factors and implementing preventive measures are key steps in managing keloids.

For those already dealing with keloid scars Cheshire & Manchester patients receiving a combination of treatments tailored to the individual's needs often is the most effective approach. Silicone scar tapes and gels, in particular, offer a non-invasive treatment option that can help manage the appearance and symptoms of keloid scars, improving the quality of life for many sufferers.

With the right approach, managing and treating keloid scars is achievable, providing relief and visible improvement in skin appearance. To book your consultation with our team of experienced scar doctors and plastic surgeons call us now.

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