Information about cause, treatment, and prevention

Can Keloid Scars Be Prevented?

Experts suggest there are ways to avoid keloid formation.

The most common sense preventive measure is to avoid or minimize wound formation, especially in individuals who are at higher risk of developing keloids. The obvious precautions are to avoid unnecessary trauma (e.g., ear piercing) and drugs associated with keloid formation. Of course many people choose to have elective surgery or cosmetic procedures (including ear piercing) and there are ways to at least minimize the risk of keloid scarring:5

  • Avoid chest incisions if possible.
  • Align incisions with natural skin creases to lessen tension.
  • Don’t make incisions across joints, which are a high-stress area for the skin.
  • Don’t make tight sutures to minimize tension at wound site.
  • Use all necessary precautions to avoid further inflammation by infection or foreign material left under the skin (e.g., sutures).

Unfortunately, even careful consideration of surgical procedure is not guaranteed to prevent keloid formation. In fact, surgery is the most common cause of keloids in Caucasians.2 Extra measures should also be taken after surgery to help minimize scarring, such as massage and application of healing ointments.

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