published Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Ask a doctor: What is a keloid, and how can it be treated?

Q: I have an excessively large scar that itches and is painful that I was told is a keloid. What is it, and how can it be treated?

A: A keloid is a scar that grows beyond the original wound or incision and is usually raised and very firm and, in the case of earlobes, often looks like a tumor. It may be associated with itching or even discomfort and is usually considered to be very unsightly. Keloids are difficult to treat as they have a very high chance of returning after removal. Treatment options include a combination of steroid injections, surgery and radiation therapy. There are other scar management techniques that may be helpful. The proper therapy depends on the severity of symptoms and the location of the keloid.

-- Dr. Jimmy Waldrop, Plastic Surgery Group; member,

Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for medical doctors, email it to Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com. See this space each week for answers.

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