If you have a raised and discoloured scar that doesn’t seem to be going away, you could have a keloid or hypertrophic scar.
These scars both have a dark and red appearance and are often lumpy or raised above the skin. Keloid and hypertrophic scars are caused by an excess of collagen during the healing process. Even though collagen is necessary for scar healing, too much of it can cause abnormal scars.
Even though these two types of scars are similar in many ways, they also have some key differences.
What you need to know about keloid scars
One of the easiest ways to determine whether you have a keloid scar is if it has grown beyond the boundaries of the original injury. Keloids generally look and feel like small balls of skin that have grown around your original injury. Keloids are very common on earlobes, especially after piercing the ear. The sternum, upper back and upper arms are also common areas for keloids to form. This is mainly because there is a high level of skin and muscle tension. People with darker skin pigmentation are generally more prone to keloids.
It should be noted that keloids are not due to infection or trauma. In fact, keloids only form around clean wounds.
Keloid scars will usually turn from red to brown and are known to be very sensitive and uncomfortable. This particular type of scar can also cause itching and is tender when it rubs against clothing.
Specialists for keloid scarring, The DOC clinic Melbourne, recommend treating keloid scars as soon as you can as they can continue to grow and thicken if left untreated.
The fact that keloid scars continue to grow and thicken is one of the other key differences between these two types of scars.
There are also a number of products on the market that can help prevent keloid formation.
What you need to know about hypertrophic scars
Even though hypertrophic scars are also raised, it usually isn’t more than 4 mm above the skin. This type of scar can be red or pink in colour and unlike keloid scars, they won’t grow past the boundaries of the original injury. Hypertrophic scars are also commonly associated with negative wound healing factors such as infections but this isn’t the case. Children and adults with fair complexions or rosacea are most susceptible to hypertrophic scarring.
There is a chance that hypertrophic scars can disappear over time but you can speed up recovery by seeking professional treatment as soon as the scar appears.
When seeking treatment for scarring, consult with a professional dermatologist who has experience with these specific types of scarring. It should also be noted that there are no miracle products that will help you get rid of these scars on your own. There are products that can minimise the appearance of the scars and sometimes reduce your risk of developing them but it’s always best to consult with a professional first.