Keloids are growths made of excessive scar tissue. These oversized scars can form as a result of injuries like ear piercings. While keloids aren't dangerous, they can be lumpy and darker than the rest of your skin, so they can cause cosmetic concerns. If you're sick of your keloids, your dermatologist may be able to remove them with laser treatment. Here are three things you need to know about laser treatment for keloids.
How is laser treatment performed?
Laser treatment for keloids is fairly simple and can be performed as an outpatient procedure. Your doctor will direct pulses from a laser device at your scar tissue and slowly treat the entire surface of the keloid. Each pulse of the laser treats a very small area—a spot seven to 10 millimeters in diameter—and your doctor will be careful not to overlap the pulses or to target the healthy skin that surrounds your keloid.
Generally, patients need two to six treatment sessions every six to eight weeks, though people with darker skin may need to wait longer between treatments to avoid hyper-pigmentation (darkening of the treated areas). It's normal to not see any results after the first session, but after the second treatment, the keloid should start to shrink.
How does laser treatment work?
Lasers help to treat keloids in a few different ways. First, they target melanin, the substance that gives your skin its pigment. This can help to lighten keloids that are darker than the skin, which makes them less noticeable.
Lasers also target the blood vessels deep within your skin that supply the scar tissue. Scar tissue needs blood supply to survive, just like any other tissue in your body, so destroying the blood vessels that supply the keloid can help to shrink or destroy it.
Finally, lasers affect the fibroblasts within your keloids. Fibroblasts are cells that produce collagen and create scar tissue. By affecting the function of these cells, lasers are able to stop the production of further scar tissue, which would allow your keloids to grow.
How effective is this treatment?
Studies have indicated that 57% to 83% of people who receive laser treatment for keloids will see improvement in their scar tissue. These improvements include reduced height of the keloids, less discoloration, and less itching. Laser treatment also improves the texture of your skin, so treated keloids will be less lumpy.
If you have keloids on your earlobes and want to get rid of them, ask your dermatologist about laser treatment.
For cosmetic dermatology, contact an organization such as Advanced Dermatology Care.Share
9 June 2016
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