Keloids are thickened scars that grow beyond the area of original injury. Original injury can be minor, major or even imperceptible thus giving rise to the concept of spontaneous keloid formation. Keloids are more common in people of color, but can occur in persons of any ancestry. Earlobes are a common site for keloids to form.
Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloids as they are thickened scars, but in contrast to keloids they only are thickened/raised in the area of the original injury. They typically can be treated without surgery.
If small, keloids can also be treated with non-surgical approaches such as topical medications, steroid injections, pressure appliances, intralesional cryosurgery, etc. If a surgical approach is elected, it is important to note that recurrence is very common (40-50% with surgery alone) thus surgery should be combined with other treatment(s) to reduce recurrence risk. Keloid surgery approach depends on a number of factors including the size, location, and shape of the keloid. Surgical approaches include shave excision, elliptical excision, and laser surgery. After the keloid is removed, brief follow-up visits are generally required for close monitoring while healing and for continued treatment with topicals, injections or other adjunctive treatments.
Keloids removed by Dr. Buster are sent to a pathology lab for analysis by a board-certified dermatopathologist (skin pathologist).