The color of your skin can have an impact on the likelihood of scarring. Patients with darker skin tones are more likely to develop keloid scars than patients from a Caucasian background. Patients with genetic roots in Africa are especially prone to this type of raised scar.
What can you do about unwanted scarring if you have darker skin? How can you treat and prevent keloid and hypertrophic scars? Dr. Brian Machida is a double board-certified plastic surgeon with experience treating scars. Come in for a consultation to learn about the many options available to you.
What Are Keloid Scars?
Keloids are raised, overgrown scars. They occur when the collagen generated for tissue repair doesn’t stop when the wound is covered. The collagen keeps growing, extending over the borders of the scar and creating a raised, sometimes uncomfortable bump. They form due to an overproduction of collagen. These scars can be very large.
Keloid scars aren’t purely a cosmetic problem. They often itch and may be easily irritated. Occasionally, they mimic the appearance of other types of tumors. Keloid scars aren’t usually harmful to your health, but it is always wise to have your doctor check any growths that you aren’t sure of.
Most people aren’t at risk for developing keloid scars, but an estimated 10% of the population will develop keloids. Patients with darker skin are much more likely to be susceptible to this type of scar. Keloid scars can occur after even a small injury.
Scar Removal for Skin of Color: 3 Considerations
Keloid and hypertrophic scarring can be difficult to treat, but there are many options available. Dr. Machida has successfully treated many of these scars, helping patients to feel more comfortable and confident in their skin appearance.
- Be patient. Scar removal isn’t always a fast process, but with patience and effort, we can resolve many unwanted scars. We may need to try a few treatment options to find the solution that works. Multiple treatments are often needed and a key to getting the best results from these is consistency. If we recommend scar massage, learn the technique and perform it diligently, on schedule. Daily, consistent actions are often more effective than treatments performed occasionally.
- Prevention is key. If you know that you’re prone to keloid scarring and planning plastic surgery, let your doctor know prior to surgery so we can start treating the scar before it forms. Some patients with keloid scars may want to avoid optional surgical procedures due to the likelihood of developing extensive scarring.
- Surgery isn’t always the answer. When we remove a keloid scar through surgery, a new one can develop in its place. We usually try less invasive and non-surgical treatments first, turning to surgery only if these options don’t help.
A personalized approach is key to achieving good results through scar removal. We use the many tools in our toolbox (scar massage, compression, silicone sheeting and gels, corticosteroid injection, laser scar removal, surgery) to help our patients achieve their best results.
Choose a doctor that has worked extensively on patients with your skin color and ethnicity. Treating patients with darker skin tones can be difficult and requires an experienced provider.
Contact us to learn more about scar removal in the Inland Empire. 800-303-9541