Keloid removal therapy remains one of the most complicated and delicate treatment courses in the world of medicine. In general, keloids are tricky things, disappearing for a while and then coming back with a vengeance, especially if you had them removed through a traumatic method, such as surgery. In recent years, physicians and scientists all over the world have discovered a new method of treating keloids: steroid injections for keloids. Basically, these steroid injections can be used both on their own and associated with another type of treatment. The most common type of association in the world of dermatology is the one between the steroid injections and surgery.
How do they work and do they really treat keloids? Well, if we are talking about how these injections work, the answer is pretty straightforward: steroids, especially cortisone, are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to reduce any swelling very rapidly. Of course, there are downsides to using them regularly, such as the loss of sexual drive and weight gaining, but in this particular removal treatment, the doses are so small that they present with no side effects. Thus, in theory, steroids deflate and discolour the keloid scars, making them look indistinguishable from the rest of the skin. The reality is a little different, leaving the discrepancy between regular scars and keloids pretty obvious even to an untrained eye.
The second part of the initial question, whether steroid injections are successful in treating keloids is where things get a bit more complicated: steroids are not the cure for keloid scars, therefore injections with steroids do not cure this condition. However, if we are looking at things from the perspective of them doing a lot of good to the sufferer, then yes, steroid injections treat keloids. Of course, nobody really knows what causes keloids, why some patients have them and others do not and why some keloids spread like wildfire and other never grown beyond a couple of centimetres, so a cure is out of the question until we manage to understand this skin disease.
When these injections are associated with surgery, the results are much more spectacular and durable. You see, the keloid scars are attached to the skin through some sort of connective tissue. Usually, when that tissue is cut out, there still are strands of it left embedded in the skin of the sufferer. These strands will develop a new keloid, bigger and much more intensely coloured than the one before. Therefore, a method to destroy even the roots of the keloid had to be developed. This is how intralesional steroid injections were born. Right after the surgery, the physician will inject cortisone into the remaining tissue, effectively blocking the growth of the rebel strands that could lead to the reappearance of the keloid.
While most people are not keen on undergoing surgery, it is good to know that the success rate of this procedure, coupled with the steroid injections for keloids has risen significantly in the past five years. Some might argue that it is not for everyone, since there are keloid patients out there who are very allergic to cortisone, the main steroid injected into the body. Scientists have thought of them, as well. Natural cortisone, ironically extracted from lab mice, is the one that causes all of those pesky allergies. Synthetic cortisone, created in a laboratory from scratch, presents with no known allergenic factors.