Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Keloids

Feb 16 10:29 2008 Ricky Hussey Print This Article

A keloid is a type of scar characterized by an over-growth of fibrous scar tissue

Description It looks raised sometimes even puffy-and often continues to grow long after the original wound has healed.A keloid can be caused by a cut or wound,Guest Posting an acne scar, or even a patch of itchy skin that was scratched too vigorously. Though the condition can strike anyone, people with dark complexions tend to be at higher risk, possibly because of an abnormality in melanocytic-stimulating hormones. In fact, keloids are up to 20 times more common in people of African and Asian descent than they are in people of Caucasian ancestry; Hispanics also have a higher incidence of keloids. The condition tends to run in families.Signs and SymptomsFirm, smooth, elevated scar that extends past the borders of the initial wound and may continue to grow over a period of years, often with claw-like projectionsItchiness, tenderness, or pain at the affected siteIrregular pigmentation of the scar, either lighter or darker than normalConventional Medical TreatmentIf you develop what appears to be a keloid scar, see your dermatologist, who can diagnose the condition by physically examining the scar. Treatment usually consists of getting monthly corticosteroid injections in the site for six months to a year. This treatment causes the scar to atrophy into a patch of flat, shiny skin. If a keloid is detected as a wound heals, further growth can be prohibited with a pressure bandage, which is usually worn constantly for six months to a year. Surgery to repair a keloid is generally ineffective, since an incision is likely to prompt the formation of new keloid tissue. On the other hand, in instances where the keloid is very large, skin can be grafted from another part of the body to replace the scarred tissue.Complementary and Alternative TreatmentsTraditional Chinese MedicineAcupuncture Acupuncture is effective at improving blood flow and circulation, which may enhance the skin's ability to heal and prevent the formation of an unsightly keloid scar.Chinese Herbal Therapy Blood-moving formulas may help; check with your practitioner.

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Ricky Hussey
Ricky Hussey

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