When dealing with keloid scars, immediate treatment is not always possible. Managing keloids can be challenging due to poor wound healing, ongoing local inflammation, and excessive collagen deposition.
Today, one of the most commonly used keloid treatments is infiltration, which is generally well-tolerated, effective, and pain-free.
Keloid Infiltration: Procedure and Benefits
Keloids are scars that result from poor wound healing, involving ongoing inflammation and excessive collagen deposition.
Infiltration is a widely used keloid treatment known for its effectiveness and patient tolerance. The procedure involves injecting substances into the keloid area to stimulate the production of enzymes that counteract fibrous tissue development.
Infiltration can improve the appearance of the scar, flatten it, and alleviate symptoms such as itching and soreness.
The injections are done with a fine needle, and the specific technique varies depending on the keloid size. While the injections may cause some discomfort, they do not harm health.
Understanding Scar Healing Process
Before discussing keloid infiltration, it is crucial to understand how scars heal. Wound healing involves four distinct phases:
- Hemostasis and Coagulation: The body responds to the injury by forming a clot to stop the bleeding;
- Inflammatory Phase: Blood vessels dilate, allowing various cells, antibodies, growth factors, and nutrients to reach the injured area. This leads to swelling, heat, pain, redness, and inflammation;
- Proliferation Phase: The wound starts to rebuild during this phase;
- Maturation Phase: The wound closes completely, and the scar begins to fade.
Factors Affecting Wound Healing
Several factors can impact wound healing:
- Age: The aging process can slow down wound healing as the skin becomes thinner and the inflammatory response decreases;
- Nutrition: Proper nutrition is crucial for optimal wound healing, as the body requires essential nutrients for repair and cell growth;
- Body Weight: Excessive body weight, notably exceeding the ideal weight by 20 percent or more, can increase the risk of infection during wound healing;
- Repeated Trauma: Sustaining multiple wounds can impair the body’s defense mechanisms and slow down the healing process;
- Skin Condition: Dry skin, especially in older individuals, increases the risk of injury, infection, and thickening, which can hinder wound healing. Conversely, excessively moist skin can lead to maceration and infection;
- Chronic Diseases and Medications: Certain chronic diseases and medications can affect the body’s ability to heal wounds. For example, anticoagulants interfere with blood clotting, while immunosuppressants weaken the immune system, increasing the risk of infection.
Types of Scars
Scars can be categorized into three main types:
- Atrophic Scars: These scars form when there is insufficient tissue to repair an injury, resulting in a sinking of the skin in the affected area;
- Hypertrophic Scars: These scars are wider, thickened, and raised;
- Keloid Scars: Keloids are abnormal fibrotic tissue growths following abrasions, wounds, burns, trauma, or surgery. Unlike hypertrophic scars, keloids can rise, widen, and not regress spontaneously.
Keloid Treatment Options
Various procedures can be used to treat keloids:
- Intralesional cortisone injections
- Interferon and fluorouracil injections
- Laser therapy, cryotherapy, silicone sheet application
Among these options, intralesional cortisone injections and laser therapy are popular treatments that can flatten keloids and make them less visible.
It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable treatment approach based on individual circumstances.