Keloid scars on the body can be very difficult to treat because of their propensity to grow back even larger after surgery. For some reason, the ears and especially the earlobes have a proclivity to develop keloid scars and, in this area, are considerably more common in African-Americans than in Caucasians.
True keloid scars are not real common and most people who think that they have had a keloid scar are mistaken. Virtually everyone tends to form hypertrophic scars which many people incorrectly call keloid scars. This includes many physicians, as most do not know the difference between the two. True keloid scars grow beyond the original area of the trauma, become very raised and hard and never go down. Hypertrophic scars can get very raised, red and hard but generally stay in the area of the skin trauma and will go down over time; which may take over a year to leave a wide, flat scar. The ears have an unusual tendency to form both hypertrophic and keloid scars.
Keloids can grow very large on the earlobes causing significant distortion and pain. If you have had one keloid scar, you are at a much higher risk of forming more in the future. If a keloid scar is removed and nothing else is done to stop it from coming back, it will almost always grow back larger than before.
Local injection of a steroid into the keloid can make it go down, however many injections are usually necessary and must be done at regular intervals, about six weeks apart. It is advisable to inject steroids into the skin at the time of removing a keloid scar and continue to perform more steroid injections several times after the surgery at approximately six week intervals.
Application of pressure to a healing scar can be beneficial to the final appearance of the scar. Patients who have severe scarring from burn injuries frequently have specially made garments made to apply pressure to the scars as they mature. This has been shown to be beneficial to final scar result and seems to shorten the recovery period. Special clamp on earrings can be worn after an earlobe keloid scar removal to improve the result and reduce the risk of recurrence but should be obtained prior to surgery.
The application of tape over healing scars can also help the final appearance of a scar. This is recommended by many plastic surgeons after many common cosmetic procedures such as breast augmentations, breast lifts, tummy tucks and more.
In addition, the application of a steroid impregnated tape over the scar can also be beneficial in an attempt to reduce recurrence of a keloid scar and may also be effective in halting the growth of hypertrophic scars.
Unfortunately, even if everything is done perfectly, keloids scars may still grow back as big or even larger than they were before surgery. This must be recognized by patients who undergo surgery to treat keloid scars.