9 Treatments for a Keloid Scar

Keloid scars are a type of abnormal scar tissue that can develop after an injury or surgery. They are characterized by raised, thickened areas that extend beyond the boundaries of the original wound. Keloid scars can be unsightly and cause discomfort, leading many individuals to seek effective treatments to minimize their appearance. In this article, we will explore nine treatments for keloid scars, ranging from medical interventions to natural remedies and combination therapies.

1. Introduction

Keloid scars can be emotionally distressing and impact a person's self-esteem. Fortunately, various treatment options are available to help reduce the visibility and symptoms associated with keloid scars. Whether you prefer medical interventions or natural remedies, there are several approaches to consider.

2. Understanding Keloid Scars

Keloid scars are an abnormal response to the healing process of the skin. Unlike regular scars that gradually fade over time, keloid scars continue to grow and extend beyond the initial injury site. They result from an overproduction of collagen, a protein that gives the skin its structure. Keloids are often raised, firm, and have a smooth, shiny appearance.

3. Causes of Keloid Scars

Several factors contribute to the development of keloid scars. Genetic predisposition plays a significant role, as individuals with a family history of keloids are more prone to developing them. Additionally, people with darker skin tones, such as individuals of African, Asian, or Hispanic descent, are more susceptible to keloid scarring. Other factors that can trigger keloid formation include:

Trauma to the skin
Surgical incisions
Acne or chickenpox scars
Ear piercings or tattoos
Burns or infections

4. Prevention of Keloid Scars

While it may not be possible to prevent keloid scars entirely, certain measures can help minimize their occurrence. Proper wound care is essential after an injury or surgery to promote optimal healing and reduce the risk of keloid formation. Some preventive measures include:

Keeping the wound clean and covered
Avoiding unnecessary skin tension
Applying silicone gel or sheet dressings
Using pressure garments or dressings
Avoiding unnecessary skin trauma, such as piercings or tattoos

5. Medical Treatments for Keloid Scars

Medical interventions offer several options for the treatment of keloid scars. It's important to consult with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to determine the most suitable approach for your specific case. Some commonly used medical treatments include:

Corticosteroid Injections

Corticosteroid injections are a common treatment for keloid scars. This therapy involves injecting a corticosteroid medication, such as triamcinolone, directly into the keloid. The corticosteroid helps reduce inflammation and suppresses the production of collagen, thereby flattening and softening the scar. Multiple injections may be required over several weeks or months for optimal results.


Cryotherapy involves freezing the keloid scar using liquid nitrogen. The freezing temperature destroys the abnormal scar tissue and stimulates the growth of healthy skin cells. Cryotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed in a dermatologist's office. However, multiple sessions may be necessary, and there is a risk of hypopigmentation or skin lightening in the treated area.

Silicone Gel or Sheet Dressings

Silicone gel or sheet dressings can effectively flatten and soften keloid scars. These dressings create a barrier over the scar, helping to retain moisture and regulate collagen production. Silicone dressings should be applied regularly and worn for several hours each day. With consistent use, they can improve the appearance of keloid scars over time.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy utilizes high-energy light beams to target and break down the excessive collagen in keloid scars. This treatment helps to reduce scar elevation and redness while promoting healthy skin regeneration. Different types of lasers, such as pulsed dye lasers or fractional lasers, may be used depending on the characteristics of the keloid scar. Multiple sessions are typically required for optimal results.

Surgical Excision

Surgical excision involves removing the keloid scar surgically. The surgeon cuts out the keloid and closes the wound with sutures. This procedure is often combined with other treatments, such as corticosteroid injections or radiation therapy, to minimize the risk of the keloid returning. However, it's important to note that keloids have a high recurrence rate after surgical excision, and additional treatments may be needed.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy may be recommended for large or recurring keloid scars. Low-dose radiation is directed at the keloid site to reduce the production of collagen and inhibit scar growth. Radiation therapy is usually administered over several sessions, and precautions are taken to protect the surrounding healthy tissues.

Interferon Injections

Interferon injections are a newer treatment option for keloid scars. Interferons are proteins that modulate the immune system and have antiviral and antitumor properties. By injecting interferon directly into the keloid, it can help reduce scar size and symptoms. However, further research is needed to determine the long-term effectiveness and safety of this treatment.

Fluorouracil (5-FU) Injections

Fluorouracil, also known as 5-FU, is a chemotherapy medication that can be used as an injectable treatment for keloid scars. It works by inhibiting the growth of abnormal cells and reducing collagen production. Multiple injections of 5-FU are typically administered over several weeks or months. This treatment can be combined with other therapies to enhance its effectiveness.

Bleomycin Injections

Bleomycin injections are another option for treating keloid scars. Bleomycin is an anticancer medication that can inhibit the production of collagen and shrink keloids. It is injected directly into the scar tissue, and multiple sessions may be necessary for optimal results. This treatment is still being studied, and its long-term effects are not yet fully understood.

6. Natural and Home Remedies for Keloid Scars

In addition to medical treatments, several natural and home remedies can help improve the appearance of keloid scars. While these remedies may not completely eliminate the scars, they can contribute to their reduction and overall skin health. Some natural remedies for keloid scars include:

Onion Extract

Onion extract contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory and collagen-regulating properties. Applying onion extract gel or cream to the keloid scar can help soften the tissue and reduce redness. Regular and consistent application is necessary to see potential improvements.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a soothing plant with natural healing properties. Applying aloe vera gel or cream to the keloid scar can help hydrate the skin, reduce inflammation, and promote scar healing. Aloe vera can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.


Honey has antimicrobial and wound-healing properties. Applying honey directly to the keloid scar or using it as part of a homemade mask can help moisturize the skin, reduce redness, and promote healing. It's important to use raw, organic honey for optimal benefits.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is believed to have skin-regulating properties. Diluting apple cider vinegar with water and applying it to the keloid scar with a cotton ball can help improve its appearance over time. It's essential to do a patch test first and monitor the skin's reaction.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Diluting tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, and gently massaging it into the keloid scar can help reduce redness and inflammation. It's important to use tea tree oil sparingly and avoid direct contact with open wounds.

7. Combination Treatments

Combining different treatment modalities can enhance the effectiveness of keloid scar reduction. For example, using silicone gel sheets in conjunction with corticosteroid injections or laser therapy can yield better results than using a single treatment alone. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable combination approach for your specific situation.

8. Keloid Scar Removal Creams

There are various over-the-counter creams and gels marketed for keloid scar removal. These products often contain a combination of active ingredients, such as silicone, corticosteroids, and vitamin E. While these creams may provide some improvement, their efficacy can vary. It's important to read reviews, check the ingredients, and consult with a healthcare professional before using any keloid scar removal cream.

9. Conclusion

Keloid scars can be challenging to manage, but with the right treatments, their appearance can be minimized. Medical interventions such as corticosteroid injections, cryotherapy, silicone gel or sheet dressings, laser therapy, surgical excision, radiation therapy, interferon injections, fluorouracil (5-FU) injections, and bleomycin injections can all contribute to scar reduction. Additionally, natural remedies like onion extract, aloe vera, honey, apple cider vinegar, and tea tree oil can provide complementary benefits. Combining treatments and using keloid scar removal creams can also be helpful. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best approach for your individual case.


1. Can keloid scars be completely cured?
While complete cure of keloid scars is challenging, various treatments can help reduce their size, redness, and symptoms. Consistent and personalized care can significantly improve the appearance of keloid scars.

2. Are keloid scars dangerous?
Keloid scars are not dangerous to a person's physical health. However, they can cause discomfort, itchiness, and affect a person's self

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