Essentially an excess of scar tissue, Keloids can happen on any part of the body; but they are most common on the ears, chest, shoulders, and back as a skin injury heals. During the natural healing process, the body adds more collagen to an injury site to strengthen the skin.
However, in some people, the body responds to the injury with excessive production of collagen, and the scar may continue to thicken for up to six months in areas beyond the initial wound site. The result is Keloid scars - firm, rubbery lesions or shiny, fibrous nodules and can vary from pink or red to dark brown in colour.
How is it treated?
Intralesional steroid injections are given every two to six weeks until improvement is evident. Although the area to be treated can be numbed with a local anaesthetic, this is not normally necessary; the discomfort associated with the steroid injection is very similar to that caused by an injection of local anaesthetic.
Depending on the size of the area to be treated, a number of injections may be required.
What can I expect from the treatment?
Intralesional steroid therapy is, by and large, a safe procedure, and will NOT cause you to put on weight or develop excess hair.
The amount of steroid injected at any one time is small, and the risk of it being absorbed into the bloodstream in sufficient amounts to produce internal side effects is very low.
Possible side-effects are pigment changes, telangiectasia and subcutaneous atrophy (which may resolve with time).