What Do Keloid Scars Look Like Before and After Treatment?


Quick Answer

A keloid scar appears raised, lumpy and discolored prior to treatment, but it typically flattens and reduces in size afterward, reports Healthline. However, in some people, keloid scars grow larger following certain treatments, according to MedlinePlus.

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Before treatment, a keloid scar typically appears red, pink or flesh-colored, states Healthline. Compared to the surrounding skin, a keloid scar might also appear darker if it has been exposed to the sun in the first year it forms, and this dark color may not go away, according to National Institutes of Health. As a result of keloid scar tissue growing outward and upward from the healing area, it often appears larger than the original injury site, explains WebMD. Additionally, a keloid scar might appear inflamed or irritated if it has been exposed to a frictional force such as clothing rubbing against it.

Although a mark still remains on the skin after treating a keloid scar with cortisone injections, the overall appearance of it is improved due to a reduction in size. However, cortisone injections can also make the keloid scar redder by causing superficial blood vessels to develop, explains MedicineNet. Radiation therapy also helps to reduce the size of a keloid scar, as do pulse dye laser treatments that further help to diminish redness. Additionally, a keloid scar typically flattens after treatment with liquid nitrogen, although it might also become darker or lighter in color.

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