When you burn or cut your skin, skin tissue will slowly form over the wound. With small, superficial injuries, the skin will often heal well enough to remove all traces of the original trauma, but more serious wounds will generally leave scars that remain permanently visible. For people with keloid skin, the healing process is quite different, and a scar from a wound can often cause a bigger issue. Discover more about the symptoms and causes of keloid skin, and find out if cosmetic facial surgery is a suitable treatment option.
Keloids are enlarged, unsightly scars that form over a wound. For people with keloid skin, a relatively minor wound can eventually turn into a large keloid, which sticks out above the skin's surface. Keloids come in all shapes and sizes, but some of these growths can become very large. Keloids can form anywhere on the body, but the ears, upper chest and upper back are more prone to the problem.
The slightest trauma can cause a keloid. People with keloid skin can even get a new lesion after they pierce their ears or bump into something. In many cases, the original trauma is so slight that the patient doesn't even remember what caused the keloid.
Doctors aren't entirely sure what causes keloids. The condition is relatively rare, although some people are at higher risk than others. For example, one study suggests that African-Americans are seven times more likely to develop keloids after surgery than their Caucasian peers. Even if you remove a keloid, the growth can come back. Fortunately, keloids don't turn into skin cancer.
Over time, any substantial scar will grow lighter and change color, but even in a healthy person, this scar tissue will not disappear completely. As such, keloids are particularly difficult to deal with because the growths contain so much stubborn scar tissue.
Dermatologists can treat some keloids. Your treatment plan will normally include three stages:
1 – The dermatologist will tackle any pain.
2 – Your treatment will deal with any itching or other discomfort.
3 – The treatment will attempt to flatten the lesion, to help the skin blend in with its surroundings
Dermatologists will normally use topical anti-inflammatory preparations, which help decrease the size of the lesion. Other topical preparations can also help shrink the keloid, along with laser treatments and steroid injections. The right aftercare is important when dealing with keloids, as the risk of new scar tissue forming remains high.
Facial cosmetic surgery and keloids
To deal with facial keloids, it's generally better to pursue non-surgical options, if possible. Dermatologists recommend corticosteroid injections, particularly on smaller keloids, where this type of treatment can achieve success in 80 to 90 percent of cases. Nonetheless, some keloids are so unsightly or problematic that surgery is the only option. For example, a large keloid on your ear could start to cause hearing issues.
Of course, trauma from surgery is likely to cause another keloid to form, so surgeons will use the latest techniques to cut the risk of further problems. For example, laser resurfacing with a carbon dioxide laser can often help get rid of large keloids. Carbon dioxide lasers can more effectively tackle keloid tissue without harming healthy, normal skin. What's more, you're less likely to bleed, and there's a lower risk that new lesions will form.
To further cut the risk of further keloids, your doctor will also prescribe other treatment methods during the recovery period. As such, you may need to continue to have injections after the surgery to help the skin cope with the trauma. Compression therapy can also mechanically flatten the scar as it forms.
If you have keloid skin and you are are considering any type of facial surgery, you should also consult a dermatologist. He or she can help you understand the risk of keloid scars. A cosmetic surgeon can also help you understand the options available to you. Click here for more info on cosmetic treatment in your area.