Itching and Painful Keloids - Treatment?

I have keloids on my back, chest and cheek. They all between 5 and 10years old they are large and raised.And are still continuing to get larger. They are very painful and itch. I have had them excised, injected with kenalog and had radiation therapy.And new scars appear daily. Is there some type of treatment that would stop new keloids from appearing? Is there something that can be rubbed on the existing keloids to help with itching and pain?

Doctor Answers 4

Treatment of painful keloids - Los Angeles

I have treated thousands of keloids and have found that my protocol, which incorporates multi modality treatment, works best. Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Refractory keloid treatment

Symptomatic keloids that are refractory to treatment are a very difficult problem. Frequently, multi-modality treatments are required. This usually includes surgical excision, intra-operative steroid injection, immediate post-operative low dose radiation therapy and possible even follow-up steroid injections. Particularly if you have failed therapy in the past, aggressive re-treatment is usually required.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Treatment considerations for recurrent keloids

Typically, following removal of a keloid, effectiveness of treatment may be increased with immediate injection of kenalog followed by potential monthly injections as indicated. These need to be followed very closely due to their moderately high risk of recurrence which may be for at least 18 months.

If radiation treatments are elected, they should start within 24 hrs of the surgical removal.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Painful keloids: How was your radiation timed?

Many times when radiation is applied, it is not done with the right interval leading to a high chance of failure.  The radiation must be started within 24 hours after complete surgical excision.  Although the success rate is not 100%, it greatly limits the chance of success if you do not time it right.  Again, it must be right after surgical removal.  That is the first thing.  As far as things you can, silicone gel over it can help but not too much.  But I would try it too.  I have found that injections with steroids and without timed surgery and radiation leads to too high a failure risk.

As far as prevention, barring an abnormal skin condition, you have to evaluate what may be causing it.  Are you picking at your skin leading to the problem?  Are you having ongoing cystic acne that could be controlled?  If not, you really need to see a dermatologist to make sure that the right diagnosis is in fact a keloid.


Dr. Sam Lam

Dallas, Texas

Sam Lam, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.