Keloid and Hypertrophic scars are raised pink, red, or flesh coloured scar tissue that has abnormally formed over an original wound on the skin. Hypertrophic scars do not grow beyond the boundaries of the original wound whereas keloids scars that spread into the surrounding normal skin. They may be hard, smooth or lumpy and are often itchy. Although they may be unsightly, they are not a danger to general health.
What causes it?
Keloid and Hypertrophic scars are caused by the abnormal healing of any skin injury including but not limited to acne, burns, ear piercing, surgical incisions, cuts or scratches. They are caused when fibrous scar tissue forms over an original wound to heal and protect the injury. Keloids are the extra scar tissue that is formed.
What are the symptoms?
Keloid and Hypertrophic scars are slow growing and can appear months or even years after the original injury. They are raised on the skin and can be a pink, red or flesh colour and they feel different to the surrounding skin. They can be soft or hard, doughy or rubbery. During the growth phase, the area of the skin can be itchy and painful, but these symptoms normally disappear once they have been diagnosed.
How are keloid and Hypertrophic scars treated?
Keloid and Hypertrophic scars are treated with injection but they can be difficult to remove permanently. Usually the goal is to flatten or shrink the scar. For effective results ongoing treatments need to be maintained every 3-6 months for a few years.