Scars and Keloids
Keloid scars are sometimes confused with another type of scar called hypertrophic. Both are similar in shape and size but a keloid scar will grow beyond the boundary of the wound or affected area while a hypertrophic scar will stay within the border of the injury – a keloid is a scar that does not know when to stop.
The appearance of a keloid resembles a tough raised scar, usually with a smooth top, a pink or purple color and irregular shape. Unlike regular scars, a keloid scar can keep on growing and will not usually diminish over time.
After injury to the skin, the healing process will leave a scar unless you have made a concerted effort to prevent the skin from damage. Keloid scars can typically appear following surgery or injury, but there is always the possibility that they can occur spontaneously or as a result of some slight inflammation, such as an acne pimple on the chest or from burns or body piercings.
Although keloids are less common in children and the elderly, there can be a genetic disposition towards developing these scars. Keloids can occur in people of all skin types but those with a darker skin are more prone to this type of scar.
If you are undergoing surgery or have a recent wound, you can help the healing process:
- Certain amino acids help wounds heal faster so any meals should include fish, chicken, eggs, brown rice, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds.
- In addition, vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc are important supplements too. Vitamin C is vital because studies have found that levels of this vital vitamin can drop when you have been injured or undergone surgery. The minimum intake should be between 300 mg to 1g per day during a recovery period.
- 30 minutes or so of sunlight exposure on most of your body several times a week will ensure the vitamin D but if that is not possible, take a Vitamin D3 supplement with added Zinc. Sunlight also accelerates wound healing as those who are exposed to sunlight heal far faster than those who are not.
- A multivitamin that includes B12 and iron (to help bone marrow to form new blood cells) is good while an amino acid supplement that contains glutamine would be a extra help towards wound healing.
- Zinc reduces wound healing time as well as rapidly reducing wound size while bolstering your immune function to avoid infection. The recommended dose is 30 mg per day.
There are various treatment options available for those with keloid scars
- Cortisone injections are one safe and fairly painless option although even the best result can still leave a textured mark.
- Surgery is risky because cutting a keloid can trigger the formation of a similar or even larger keloid.
- Laser which is a safer and less painful procedure. The pulsed-dye laser can be effective at flattening keloids and making them look less red.
- Silicone sheets which involves wearing a sheet of silicone gel on the affected area for several hours a day for long periods of time with mixed success.
- Cryotherapy can be successful when the keloids are frozen with liquid nitrogen resulting in a flattened scar but with a darker color.
- Interferon injections have been successful in reducing the size of keloids although the long term effect is uncertain.
- Flurouracil is an injection of a chemotherapy agent, alone or together with steroids, used to treat keloids.
You can also treat any scars by using H-Scars from Healing Natural Oils or apply to fresh wounds so that you help to eliminate scarring even before it occurs. An injury does not become a scar until the wound is complete healed.
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