Your Most Embarrassing Beauty Problems - Decoded
Too mortified to talk to your friends or derm about your gross beauty issues? Here's the ugly truth on what's causing them -- and how to lose them for good
What It Actually Is: Keloid scars are oddly shaped lumps that form in an area of injury. After they form, they continue to grow outside the area of initial injury. Dr. Krant says keloid scars are distinct because they are made of "neoplastic" benign tumor tissue that grows into the shape of large lumps or irregular shapes. These are not to be confused with a hypertrophic scar, which is a thickened, raised scar that can be red or purple, but never grows beyond the original injury site.
How You Get It: "The tendency to form keloid scars is largely genetic," says Dr. Krant. Doctors don't really know why some scars form keloids and others do not, but your chances are greater if you have a family history.
How You Get Rid of It: Both keloids and hypertrophic scars can be flattened and faded with a silicone gel sheet, corticosteroid injections and lasers. However, Dr. Krant warns that while these treatments may work well on hypertrophic scars, a keloid scar may respond the wrong way and grow even more. Yay. Left untreated, keloids may continue to grow over time. Some keloids, like those received from ear piercings, can be cut off completely. If partially cut off or done incorrectly, the keloid, says Dr. Krant, can grow back larger than before. Word of caution: while researching this story, I saw a YouTube video of someone removing their own keloid scar. Do. Not. Do. This. It's a very bad idea.
How You Prevent It: If you know you are prone to keloids, just say no to elective surgical procedures (like body piercings or tattoos) -- it's the only way to avoid developing this type of scarring. Short of covering yourself in bubble wrap and living in a padded room, there's no way to avoid them totally.
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