If you have keloids, you’re not alone. More than 3 million Americans find these fibrous scar tissues every year. While they’re not harmful to your health, many people would rather kiss their keloids goodbye than live with these unsightly scars.
At Manhattan Dermatology in New York City, the dermatologists at our Murray Hill and Midtown East offices help patients hoping to remove or reduce the appearance of keloids with different treatment methods.
Keep reading to learn more about treating keloids and which therapy might be right for you.
What are keloids?
A keloid is a scar that forms when your body sends out an overly aggressive healing response to a wound or skin injury. When you experience an injury, your body’s natural healing response is triggered, sending collagen and other proteins to the area to repair the damage.
Most of the time, scars fade over time. But in some people, an excess of collagen protein creates an overgrowth of scar tissue, resulting in a keloid. While keloids vary from person to person, most of the time they’re bigger than the original injury and may be:
- Pink, red, or flesh-colored
- Raised, ridged, or lumpy
- Prone to growing larger over time
- Itchy, especially if they rub on your clothing
Many types of skin injuries can trigger keloid scarring, including acne, chickenpox, scratches, ear piercing, and burns. Research indicates people with darker skin tones are more likely to develop keloids, as are those with a family history of them.
The good news is that keloids aren’t a health concern. But depending on the location of the keloid, it can make you feel self-conscious or may rub against your clothing and become irritated.
How can I get rid of my keloids?
If you want to remove one or more keloids, it’s best to meet with a board-certified dermatologist. Trying to remove the keloid yourself may not work, or worse, it may grow back bigger than it was before.
At Manhattan Dermatology, we can recommend the right treatment for your keloids. Oftentimes, we begin with the least invasive methods, like silicone pads or ointments to soften the tissue.
For older keloid scars or especially large keloids, we can treat your keloid using laser therapy or in-office surgical removal. Here’s a closer look at both treatments:
Laser therapy can help reduce the appearance of many types of scars, including keloids. Using high-energy beams of concentrated light and heat energy, we can minimize the size of keloids and create a smoother, more evenly toned appearance.
But laser removal of keloids isn’t right for everyone or every keloid. This treatment works best on newer or smaller keloids. We review your history and examine your skin before recommending any treatment.
In-office surgical removal
For keloids you’ve had for some time or for very large keloid scars, we may recommend surgical removal. In many cases, we use a therapy called cryosurgery to freeze the keloid with liquid nitrogen, causing the cells to die and fall away.
In other cases, we may cut away the keloid using a scalpel, although the risk of the keloid returning is higher with this method.
For both types of surgical removal, we may recommend steroid injections to help reduce the risk of the keloid returning after your treatment.
Are you ready to kiss your keloids goodbye? Contact one of our Manhattan Dermatology offices in the Murray Hill or Midtown East sections of Manhattan by calling or using our online booking tool now.