A keloid scar is a raised lumpy scar that continues to grow after the original wound has healed. It can grow much bigger than the original scar area and can be very difficult to treat. We do not know exactly what causes a keloid scar to form but we know that it is more commonly a problem for darker skined or Asian races. Very pale skined people with red hair can also be prone to red lumpy scars. Certain parts of the body are more prone to making keloid scars such as the ear, the sternum (breast bone) and the outer upper arm (deltoid area).
Once a keloid scar has occured, it can be treated in a number of ways. While many can improve the situation, none are guaranteed to work. The use of silicone gels or sheets and pressure on the area may help to soften and flatten the scar. If this does not work, steroid injections into the scar can help in many people. These can be repeated every six to eight weeks in a course of three to four injections.
Surgery is only rarely indicated and if done, often a steroid injection is given at the same time. Surgery alone is usually not effective. In fact surgery may have been the trigger for the keloid scar to develop in the first instance. Sometimes radiotherapy is planned for immediately after the surgery as this has been shown to help in some cases. Radiotherapy is only used in severe cases as it can have unwanted side effects.