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Do Pressure Dressings Help Keloids


Do Pressure Dressings Help Keloids

Keloid is an overgrown scar tissue around an injury. It takes nearly 3 months or even a year to form. There are many causes for keloid formation like acne, body piercing, surgical wounds, and boils. They are common among the age group of 10 – 30years.

The formation can be diagnosed by clinical inspection and no investigation is required. Keloids are regarded as harmless and do not become cancerous. In course of time, these formations might reduce in size but never really disappears until removed or treated.

Pressure dressing/occlusive (airtight) dressing

This procedure started in 1981 and gained its popularity in 1990’s. It is one of the popular methods generally adopted to treat Keloids. It is a non-invasive procedure which involves applying pressure and restricting air from contacting with the wound.

This procedure is considered to be safe as it has minimal or no side effects, painless and cost effective.

  • First a silicon in the form of gel/impregnated adhesive sheet or polyurethane patch is used to dress the wound.
  • This dressing is kept for 12 – 24 hours a day and is repeated for 6 to 12 months.
  • For earlobe Keloids, clip – on earring is the only practical solution.

The pressure applied during the dressing, helps to decrease the metabolism of tissues. It also aims at compressing and softening the scar and resulting in loser collagen or scar tissue grouping.

This form of dressing is highly recommended as the first-line of treatment for keloid or hypertrophic scars, especially for burns or after skin grafting. It is more of mechanical dressing and is helpful because it can be customized based on:

  • The patients age
  • Section of affected area like limb and torso; face and neck; hands and feet;
  • Size of the wound.
  • Type and density of the keloid.

The effectiveness of keloid treatment through pressure dressing has been regarded clinically successful. Few practitioners have reported.

  • 60% - 80% of patients who followed the regime diligently have had partial improvement.
  • 86% of the patients have shown improvement in texture reduction.
  • 84% have shown improvement in skin color.
  • 68% have said there has been a remarkable reduction in the height/bulge of the scar.

Though there are reports suggesting significant improvement in treating keloid with the pressure dressing procedure. Few practitioners feel no one method can help in completely getting rid of keloids.

  • For example some believed surgical excision combined with ‘pressure dressing‘ as an additional treatment can help in getting rid of the scar more efficiently.

The treatments time frame has led to a few factors that interrupt the treatment and thus have had very little success ratio to exhibit the results.

  • Duration of the treatment resulting in poor adherence of the regime.
  • Difficulty in scheduling appointments for re-dressing after every12 or 24 hours.
  • The prolonged dressing cause discomfort to patience due to excess sweating.
  • The adhesive on the dressing patch may cause irritation or skin rashes