What are Keloids?
As part of the healing process, it’s common for scars to form following an injury, such as a cut or burn or even severe acne. However, for some people, the scar becomes larger than the original wound and forms what is known as a keloid.
Keloids are raised scars above the skin that spread and can take weeks, months and sometimes years to grow. They typically appear as a raised pink, red or purple scar and become darker with time. Various types of skin injuries, such as cuts, surgical scars, insect bites, piercings and tattoos can result in the formation of a keloid. As the keloid grows, it may become itchy, tender and sometimes even painful. In general, keloids tend to develop on people who have keloid-prone skin; individuals of African American, Latino and Asian descent, pregnant women, teenagers going through puberty, young adults under the age of 30, and individuals with a family history of keloids fit in this category.
While keloids are not a precursor to cancer or harmful to your health, they are for many people embarrassing and can cause low self-esteem.
Can Keloids Be Treated or Removed?
The good news … Keloids are treatable. Some popular treatment options include:
- Corticosteroid shots, which helps to shrink keloid and can help with itch and pain
- Freezing method, which reduces the hardness and size of the keloid.
- Applying silicone patches or gel over the keloid, which helps to flatten.
- Laser therapy, which flattens and fade the color of the keloid.
- Surgical removal, which involves cutting out the keloid.
How do you determine which treatment is the most applicable treatment option? For the best results, individuals should see a board certified dermatologist. Dermatologists are best qualified to choose the appropriate treatment based on various considerations, such as a patient’s age and the type and size of the keloid.
A dermatologist may recommend surgical removal of a keloid if it is exceptionally large or if it is located on the base of an earlobe. Surgical removal in these cases yields better results. The surgical procedure for removing a keloid from an earlobe involves surgically cutting out the growth.
The surgical procedure for removing larger keloids requires making an incision around the keloid and removing it; this allows the surgeon to then apply specialized cosmetic techniques to close the wound, which results in removal of the keloid. Most dermatologists will combine a surgical procedure with nonsurgical treatment. Corticosteroid injections are often required after the procedure to prevent the keloid from coming back.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
For individuals with keloid-prone skin, there are some simple steps to take to lower the risks of the formation of keloid scarring.
- Treat injuries and burns immediately
- Keep wounds moisturized
- Just say no to body piercings
- Just say no to cosmetic surgery
- DO NOT pop your pimples and cleanse your face twice a day
- Grow a beard or if you must shave – do so very gingerly
And, perhaps the most important step is to see a dermatologist on a frequent basis.
What is Holistic Dermatology?
Holistic dermatology relies on using all-natural products and remedies to treat skin conditions. Using natural dermatology to treat the underlying causes of an individual’s skin problem using the least invasive means first.
What Causes Your Skin to Break Out?
Although everyone has different underlying causes for skin issues these are some common things that can cause anyone’s skin to break out. Acne affects up to 80% of people sometime during their lives. So, it’s important to know what might be causing the breakouts so you can preemptively treat the root causes instead of focusing only on the symptoms.
The simplest cause of most breakouts are clogged pores for an assortment of reasons. Acne of all stages, white heads, black heads and pimples are all caused when your hair follicles become clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. Often time in addition to regular daily activities, excess sweating, make-up use or a build-up of other products can affect negatively affect your pores.
One of the biggest factors when it comes to breakouts is hormonal changes. Hormones fluctuate for many different reasons and stress is one of them that affects both genders. Emotional stress hasn’t been proven to trigger brand new cases of acne, but it can prolong or worsen existing breakouts.
Contrary to popular belief cutting out greasy foods alone has very little effect on acne. However, many studies have found links between worsened acne symptoms and dairy products, sugar, and carbohydrate-rich foods. It’s important to note that people's bodies respond differently to all types of dietary restrictions, so it may not be a quick fix.
Tips and Tricks for Effective Holistic Dermatology
While many people are stuck at home unable to visit the dermatologist, the following suggestions are some holistic acne treatment tips that can be used at home.
Simple Stress Relievers
When cooped up at home, or under pressure from outside sources it’s important to take time for yourself and acknowledge the connection between a person's mental health and their physical well-being. Practicing deep breathing or yoga, reducing your caffeine intake, exercising, lighting incense or candles and listening to music are all simple ways to reduce some stress that can have a positive effect on your skin.
It may be common sense that you should establish a routine even when at home, but it can easy to forget. Avoiding touching your face is not only a good suggestion to avoid getting sick and spreading germs but it also keeps extra dirt and bacteria from transferring from your fingertips to your pores. While it is important to remove excess oil, buildup, and sweat washing your face too frequently or with harsh chemicals and exfoliants can have adverse effects as well. Use warm, water and a mild cleanser, do not scrub, rinse with cool water, pat dry with a clean towel and follow up with a moisturizer of your choice.
Switch Up Your Diet
While you may not have a severe allergy to certain foods or food groups if you are noticing worsening skin issues such as dryness, discoloration, itchiness and increased breakouts it’s worth it to examine your diet. Keep a food journal to help you keep track or try your own version of an elimination diet if you already suspect certain types of foods may be causing a break out. In general, decreasing your intake of processed food and sugar is a great first step. Increasing cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts will help detoxify your system and fresh berries can help reduce inflammation.
Use Natural Products
There are some natural products that you may already have at home that can be used to relieve some symptoms. Dry bouts of inflammation like psoriasis or eczema can be soothed with ginger root, spirulina, and turmeric which are all-natural anti-inflammatory immune boosters. Oily skin and acne breakouts can be reduced with witch hazel and tea tree oil. Both of these can be used as a holistic treatment for acne because they address bacterial build up and help keep your skin clean and dry. Bakuchiol, a new and exciting holistic treatment has been shown to act like a natural retinoid, with less irritation. It can reduce acne and inflammation and prevent wrinkles.
Power Up with Probiotics & Supplements
Keeping your skin healthy from home can be as simple as boosting up your internal nutrients. A lot of nutrients come from our diet, however, sometimes supplements can help fill the gaps. Studies have linked increased intake of probiotics, omega-3’s, vitamin B, vitamin D, and zinc to benefiting people with acne. If you are unable to get these supplements, work on incorporating a nutrient-dense diet, make an effort to eat and drink things with higher levels of these key nutrients.
Consult with a holistic dermatologist online!
While non-emergency in-person appointments have been put on hold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, receiving a virtual consultation with a holistic skin care specialist to better understand your individual situation is highly recommended.