How to Get Rid of Keloid Scars on the Ear

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Keloid scars on the ear can be treated in numerous ways, some of which require surgery. Remove keloid scars from your ear with advice from a practicing pediatrician in this free video on ear care.

Part of the Video Series: Ear Care & Treatments
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. David Hill and today we're going to be talking about how to get rid of a keloid scar on the ear. Now when we think about keloids we're really thinking of two related conditions, keloid scars and hypertrophic scars. These are both scars in which the healing process by which the skin responds to an injury gets a little bit out of control and there's excess collagen made and excess fibers within the scar and instead of getting a nice even flat scar you get kind of a heaped up scar. Now the difference between the keloid scar and a hypertrophic scar is that a hypertrophic scar is heaped up but it's still just at the site of injury. A keloid scar continues to grow, can continue to grow well beyond the site of the original injury and take on more of the skin around it. Now the obvious thing in terms of getting rid of one of these would be well just cut it off. Go to a plastic surgeon or an ear nose and throat surgeon and have him remove the scar. The problem is when you re-injure that area you create more scar formation and between half and a hundred percent of keloids and hypertrophic scars recur, if all you do is try to cut them out. So you have to get a lot more creative than that. Fortunately people have gotten very creative and there are more cures for hypertrophic and keloid scars than we're going to have anywhere near enough time to talk about today, but let's talk about some of the more basic ones and talk about some of the ideas that are out there as well. And you can talk to your doctor about the specific varieties. The most common thing that we've seen is injecting steroids into the scar tissue itself to help it shrink and stop forming new scar tissue. This is very effective and it's still used as a mainstay of treatment for these types of scars. Pressure against the skin also tends to thin the skin and reduce the thickness of the scar. So you'll see there are a variety of pressure on the ear specifically, they make these pressure earrings that will push down on the scar chronically over months to help it shrink up. Now there are other medicines that can be injected into the scar tissue in addition to just the steroids. You can put actually a blood pressure medicine called Verapamil into the scar tissue to shrink it down. There are many different medicines that are used to fight cancer including Adriamycin 5-Fluorouracil and a whole bunch of others all with long names that various doctors have tried injecting into these lesions with a good bit of success. There are also special chemicals that are created by the body normally to fight off disease, like interferons and interleukins that have a role to play in reducing the inflammation that causes this excess scar tissue. So there a quite a few things that can be put into the tissue to shrink it. Now some people also use laser therapy or cryotherapy using cold things like liquid nitrogen, for example, to try and destroy some of the scar tissue and make it smaller and prevent it from occurring. The key with hypertrophic or keloid scars is to find a practitioner who's really comfortable dealing with them, ideally a plastic surgeon or dermatologist. And then really talk about all the options with that person, because there are so many options. You want to do something that your provider is comfortable and experienced with, because in the hands of an experienced provider that is the option that is the best for that person to be doing. So talking about treating hypertrophic and keloid scars on the ear, I'm Dr. David Hill.


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