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Why you shouldn’t remove a keloid yourself

The internet is amazing. It offers us every kind of hint, tip and trick for any topic you could think of, instantly.

Where once we may have had to visit a library to obtain some information on a specific subject, we can now simply open our laptops, glance at our phones and Google anything and everything under the sun. Although the internet can be a treasure trove of information, some things are better off dealt with by medically qualified and highly-trained professionals when it comes to our health and well-being. Nothing could be more true than the removal of keloid scars.

At The London Keloid Scar Clinic, we see more and more patients come to us who have attempted to remove or reduce their keloid scarring and failed, following research on the internet and ill-advised recommendations.

To understand why the removal of keloid scars should be left in medical hands, we need to explain what a keloid scar is. Keloid scars form as a result of an injury to the skin. This could be a surgical incision, cut, graze, piercing or burn. As part of the natural healing process to any skin injury, collagen production is activated so that the skin can heal.

With normal scars, a small amount of scar tissue will form to coat the area and prevent infection from an open wound. With keloid scarring and for reasons we still aren’t sure of, an excessive amount of collagen arises, resulting in bulbous, exaggerated scar tissue, which can become significantly larger than the original wound. Keloid scars are often different in colour to the natural skin tone – pink, red or brown, for example. Those who have dark skins are more susceptible to experiencing keloids scarring, though anyone with a genetic predisposition can suffer from this condition.

Keloid scars are not the result of the skin injury alone but due to a combination of genetics. Therefore the removal of keloid scars needs to be done in a controlled way and using clinically proven methods and treatments. There are plenty of home remedies suggesting using garlic, aspirin and honey to reduce or remove these scars. Any site that tells you to remove your keloid scars using these methods, dangerous home-use products or non-regulated devices that are not operated by a medical professional and are not proven should be avoided altogether. Any reaction to topical or ablative procedures could aggravate the skin and produce the reverse effect – more keloids.

After all, when was the last time you crushed a garlic clove and rubbed it on your skin? Do you know if your skin might be aggravated or even burned by doing this? A scar does not have the same cell composition as regular skin and can be easily compromised, damaged or over-heated. Choosing medical advice over online remedies or ‘old housewives’ tales could save you a lot of stress, time, and extra money on repairing any damage done at home. The plain truth is that most of these remedies don’t work in the long term, and a keloid scar will need proper medical attention if it is to be effectively reduced or eradicated completely.

There is also the management of removed keloids that we must consider, as keloids can reoccur if not watched. Ongoing treatment, such as steroid injections following surgical excision or pressure treatments which can go on for several months, follow the removal of your keloid. Regular check-ups at the clinic are vital for the success of your keloid removal and management to make sure the keloid is not growing back and, if it is, to manage it with further treatment actively. This is something a homemade remedy will not achieve.

If you are considering removing your keloid scars and don’t know where to start, the good news is that we offer a no-obligation consultation here at The London Keloid Scar Clinic to discuss your concerns about your keloid scars and to check your medical history. We can also talk about the options open to you and what we feel would be the most successful and safe course of action for you to take.

Book a consultation with an expert who knows what they are talking about. After all, what have you got to lose? Other than your keloid scars!

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