There are various medical and surgical means of keloid treatment. From a medical perspective, steroids and other drugs can be used directly on the hypertrophic scar. In most cases, however, keloid removal will involve some sort of surgical intervention ranging from cryotherapy (freezing the keloid) to actual keloid removal surgery.
Keloid Removal Procedures
- Cryotherapy is a keloid treatment aimed at freezing and destroying the hypertrophic scar directly. A substance, usually liquid nitrogen, is carefully applied to the acne keloid or keloid scar until it freezes through. As the cells freeze, the freezing water crystals inside the cells cause the cells to burst.
- Excision is the simple cutting of the acne keloid or keloid scar. The raised area of the hypertrophic scar is completely removed and the healthy skin is carefully and gently sutured together.
- Lasers are increasingly being used in keloid removal. Several different types of lasers including carbon dioxide, PDL, and argon can be used for the purpose. In this keloid treatment, the laser is used to heat the acne keloid cells and ablate or destroy them. More recently, ultraviolet and intense pulsed light has been used in keloid removal surgery.
Risks of Keloid Removal Surgery
The risks associated with keloid removal surgery vary depending on the surgical approach. In cryotherapy, the most common risk is frostbite or freezing damage to healthy surrounding skin. In excision, the primary complication is that a new hypertrophic scar or keloid will from at the area that was cut. Laser keloid treatment has been very safe and effective with few side effects. Skin burns and incomplete keloid removal are possible complications of laser keloid removal surgery.
Recovery from Keloid Removal
Recovery from keloid removal surgery is quite rapid and relatively painless. After keloid removal, follow up with a surgeon or physician is important to watch for the formation of new keloids at the site of treatment.
Keloid Removal Costs
The cost of keloid removal surgery will vary depending on the surgical approach. Cryotherapy is usually the least expensive procedure type. Keloid excision is slightly more expensive, but can be done as an outpatient under local anesthesia. Laser keloid removal surgery can be more expensive depending on the type of laser used. Keloid removal surgery may be covered by health insurance under some circumstances.
Consulting with a Plastic Surgeon Professional
The best resource for keloid removal surgery is a plastic surgeon. These professionals are best qualified to guide you to the most effective keloid treatment and to pursue that treatment in the most cosmetically pleasing way.