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Types of Scars

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Colorado Springs Dermatologist Dr. Reagan Anderson

Video Transcript

So here’s another daily do from your local dermatologist!

So keloids are scars that spread beyond the area of original trauma. Hypertrophic scars are scars that stay within the bounds of the trauma. So if you have a cut that’s right here and it just gets raised up but doesn’t extend beyond the borders of the cut, that’s a hypertrophic scar and if you have a cut here and the scar is extending well beyond the area that was actually injured, that’s a keloid. Those are general rule of thumbs between differentiating the two. Now it doesn’t really matter whether you call it a hypertrophic scar or keloid, because they’re kind of the same process and the treatment is mostly the same. Now you get these because of a genetic predisposition to them, and so if you get a keloid then chances are your kids might get keloids as well after minor traumas and if you get one keloid at 10 years of age, then you’re prone for the rest of your life to develop a keloid later on. So please let all your health care practitioners know before they do any procedure that you have a tendency to Keloid or to hypertrophic scar so that we can take the appropriate precautions and even though we’re taking all those appropriate precautions. You still might get one of these types of scars. Now if you’re going to have a surgical procedure done and you know you have a tendency towards keloids, then please talk to your local dermatologists about having the excision performed and then doing radiation immediately thereafter right to the area to decrease the chances of those turning into keloids. If you already have a keloid and it’s established, there are some treatments for it. One, you can gently massage it for five minutes a day. Don’t rub it just massage it for five minutes a day and see if that can help break it down. Two, you can get injections of things like steroids or other compounds to try to shrink it down. Three, you can always have it cut out and then follow it with radiation to see if that can help, but please know any treatment that you do for hypertrophic scar or a Keloid that causes trauma, whether that’s an injection or an excision or anything else, that can actually make it worse. Your body wants to do this and while we’re fighting it to stop it from doing it there is always a chance that anything that’s traumatic, including our treatments, could cause it to worsen. Please, please, please have a conversation with your local dermatologist before you have any procedures done so that you know how to mitigate the risk as little as possible, so that you don’t get these, and then please don’t do anything that causes trauma for a cosmetic procedure. So earrings, they’re out. You can’t risk it. Tattoos, they’re out. You can’t risk it. Anything that’s cosmetic that doesn’t need to be done that causes trauma, you need to be very, very careful of because prevention is always better than treatment.

Because Dermatologists treat more than just skin cancer!

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