A keloid injection introduces medication into an area of overgrown scarring to shrink the excess tissue. The treatment of choice is typically steroid medications, although other drugs may be used in some cases. It can be a highly effective approach to keloids, although several follow-up visits may be required for the scar to start responding to therapy. Patients considering options for the management of overgrown scars can talk to a medical professional about the available choices for their cases.
Overgrowth can occur in response to physical trauma for a variety of reasons, and sometimes keloids form spontaneously. These scars don’t stop growing at the boundaries of the injury, but keep swelling and spreading. They can impair mobility and may cause other problems for patients, like pain and irritation. Visible growths can also be a cosmetic issue for patients who feel uncomfortable with the existence of large scars in obvious locations.
Patients may receive a keloid injection to stop the cell growth and shrink the scar down. This may require a local anesthetic for comfort before a medical practitioner inserts a needle into the keloid and injects a small amount of medication. In addition to steroids, other immunosuppressive drugs can be used to fight keloids. Some of these have been used in limited clinical trials only, and may be recommended in off-label use for a patient if a doctor has had good results in the past.
Positioning the needle is important for a keloid injection. It needs to be inside the scar tissue itself, not the underlying skin and muscle, in many cases. The dosage may also need to be carefully calculated on the basis of the patient’s weight and the size of the scar, to reduce the risk of complications. Patients who notice pain or irritation during the keloid injection should bring it up, as these may be signs that something is wrong.
The growth may feel sore and irritated after a keloid injection. It should start to shrink over time, and inflammation around the scar may go down as well. If it doesn’t respond to treatment, other options may need to be considered. Injections tend to be more successful than measures like surgical excision, where the growth is cut off, because excisions can result in recurrence as the body recovers and starts scarring over from the procedure. Other options can include laser therapy and cryotherapy to freeze the scar off.