SCAR MANAGEMENT: Steroid injection

Keloid scars

They develop where the skin has recovered after an injury and a raised scar is evident.  They have the potential to become far bigger than the wound that first resulted in the scar. A keloid can result from anything that can leave a scar. This includes having pimples, getting burned, getting tattooed, and getting cut (accidentally or following surgery). African or Asian skin is more likely to develop keloid scars, and Caucasian patients using anabolic steroids, such as bodybuilders at a gym, are also more at risk.

Both hypertrophic and keloid scars are treated with steroid injections. The scar is injected with the steroid, typically Kenalog (Triamcinolone). It acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory, suppressing abnormal scar tissue and reducing its appearance. Steroid injections work by breaking the bonds between collagen fibres, reducing the amount of scar tissue beneath the skin. Steroid injection treatments reduce the size of scarring by actively reducing the amount of scar tissue that develops.

Treatment includes steroid injections, which will flatten the scar and improve the itch (several injections 6-8 or more may be required every 6 weeks).

The steroid reduces oedema, suppresses aberrant scar tissue, and flattens the scar. Although the scar won’t completely disappear after this procedure, it will be much less noticeable.

A small needle will be used to inject the steroid straight into the scar tissue after cleaning the scar and its surrounding skin.

This procedure could be uncomfortable, especially the stinging that may occur when the injection is given.

Anyone with a keloid or hypertrophic scar