Are steroid injections the best treatment for keloid scars?

Tags:woman age 35-44 ears side effects keloid scar

I recently went for a consultation, and the doctor said the best way to decrease the size of the keloid scar I have on the back of my ear is with steroid injections. I know nothing about this. Would these steroid injections bring me the results I want without really bad side effects? I'm kind of worried.

Salamander

F, 43, New Jersey

I had a keloid scar on my shoulder that was caused by a cut. A plastic surgeon explained to me that although it was unattractive and concerning to me, it didn't pose a health threat. I was glad that I went to an expert to get answers because my body was overhealing in that area and causing a keloid scar that was extending. The scar itself was rubbery, raised and larger than the initial cut. It turns out that I am more susceptible to this type of growth, and it's best if I have it treated before it starts to grow. From now on I will see my plastic surgeon as soon as I get a cut. Some treatment options can be done early on, including massage for 10 minutes several times a day and the application of silicone gel pads over the area.

I had steroid injections administered into the scar formation to soften the tissue and help to flatten the keloid scar. I achieved about 80 percent improvement, and my doctor explained that pulsed dye laser treatment could help me to get more substantial results. I'm happy with the results that I got with the steroid injections. The scar is still noticeable and slightly raised, but it's smaller, softer and more pliable. I recommend that you see a plastic surgeon to start the scar revision process as soon as possible because keloid scars continue to grow larger, and it is easier to treat the condition earlier rather than later.

I never knew anything about keloids, or that I had keloid skin until I went skateboarding as a teenager. I was skateboarding after school, showing off for my friends, when I went sliding in one direction, and my skateboard in another. I banged my knee up pretty bad. I ended with a large, raised scar once the healing was done. The doctor explained to me and my mom that this was a keloid. Of course, I did not want to have to live with a large lump on my knee, but nothing worked as far as getting it to diminish. I wanted it to be removed but my mom was not able to have that done. I ended up being advised about steroid injections, as an adult. I researched them, and thought they would be a good fit for my needs. The intralesional injection did decrease the size of my keloid. It is smaller and you would not know if I had a keloid there, unless I told you the story. It looks like a smaller scar now. I have read that there are laser treatments as well to treat keloid and hypertrophic scars.

I also have two itchy and unsightly keloid scars that over-the-counter treatments could not fade. After trying topical creams and silicone sheets, I ended up going with steroid injections. I worried about side effects as well, but I am happy to share I experienced nothing aside from pain at the injection site. I also had to be careful since the skin around the steroid injection thinned out a bit (totally manageable compared to the keloid). The steroid injections reduced my scar’s itchiness and swelling, and the cosmetic doctor told me steroids break up the scar tissue beneath the surface of the skin. I had one steroid injection per month for six months. Each appointment only took a few minutes and has been the only treatment that kept the scar from returning. Also, since the steroid injections helped soften the scar a bit, the keloid was more receptive to vitamin A and vitamin E applications. Thanks to the steroid treatments, post-injection maintenance was more rewarding.

Well, I think steroid injections could get the job done for you, but you will want to weigh the pros and cons first and then think about some alternative options before deciding that you would like to go with steroids for treatment. Steroid treatments will work about half the time. If you are at your wits end with your keloid scar, and out of options, it might be the way to go. As long as you are aware of the fact that even if it does work, your keloid scar may actually return. As strange as that sounds, it is possible. The other thing to consider is the age of your scar. If it is old, then the chances of the steroid injection working diminish even more. So it may only be worth it if you are hoping to soften the tissues to provide relief. You will also want to think about the side effects that present with the steroid injection like fat atrophy and spider veins. So, bring up these concerns to your plastic surgeon and maybe think about using a silicone gel instead, or at least before you decide upon steroid injections.