Keloids represent a specific type of scar. These are not the same as a hypertrophic scar or a "bad" scar. They involve the body's normal healing mechanism going out of control creating a scar that extends well beyond the original trauma to the skin. This is different from a hypertrophic scar that merely elevates in the area where the scar was originally located.
They may be the result of trauma, planned surgery, piercings, or something as innocuous as an insect bite. Certain groups are more predisposed to this including those of African descent. In fact, the more pigment you have in your skin, the more prone you are to keloids. However, keloids can develop in anyone other than albinos, who lack all pigment.
The treatment for keloids are different from that of normal scars. They frequently involve a combination of treatments. A common option is surgery. However, surgery alone very rarely cures keloids and often leads to a quick recurrence. Steroid injections are a main stay of therapy. These, when combined with another ingredient can help to not only control the itch, burn, and pain associated with keloids but also the size. The use of topical silicone products such as BioCorneum and Embrace have also been shown to decrease the risk of recurrence. Although radiation therapy has been used for keloid scars, Dr. Guy does not utilize this treatment as he feels the long term risks far outweigh the possible benefits.