Keloids can be removed by various methods – each with its own cost and convenience. Read this HealthHearty article to get an idea of the method best suitable for you and its approximate cost.
Varied Removal Cost
The cost to remove a keloid depends mainly on three factors, type of treatment, size and location of the keloid. The total cost, including physician fees, can vary anywhere between a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Keloids are basically an overgrowth of the scar tissue and can occur due to acne, piercings, cuts, scratches, insect bites, vaccinations or even spontaneously. They are usually the same color as the surrounding skin, but can also be darker, lighter, pink or red in color. Keloids can become raised and shiny, and spread beyond the area of injury. They do tend to run in families and are observed much more frequently in people with dark skin, such as those with African, Hispanic, or South Asian ancestry.
Although they are not painful, sometimes they may feel tender or itchy. If occurring on joints there is also a possibility that they may inhibit movement due to tightening of skin. They can also be a bit embarrassing especially if they’re on visible skin areas like underneath earlobes, face, arms, or back of the head, etc. Experts generally advise against removing scars, as they can only reduce the size of the scar tissue and some might even cause a bigger scar to develop.
Keloid Removal Methods
After physical examination and analysis of your medical history, the physician may suggest several treatment options. Here are a few of them and the approximate cost –
This is the most popular treatment for reducing keloids and might be used in conjunction with other treatments or on its own. This treatment involves corticosteroids like Triamcinolone acetonide or Methylprednisolone being injected directly in the keloid. The corticosteroids reduce the growth of scar tissue and flatten the keloid, thereby reducing its appearance.
The cost of this treatment depends on the size of the keloid and the number of sessions required. The cost of each session may vary from $75 – $250.
Keloids can be removed surgically but due to high recurrence rate it is usually the last resort, reserved for extreme cases. Other therapies are also needed after a surgery to reduce recurrence of keloids and include corticosteroid injections, silicone patches and/or laser.
The cost for a keloid removal surgery depends on the size and also the expertise of the surgeon. The follow-up treatment will cost extra and the total cost might vary from around $500 to several hundred dollars.
This is a non-invasive treatment and uses small strips or sheets of silicone to apply pressure on the keloid. Besides reducing the size, they are also effective in reducing the pain and itching. The treatment involves applying the sheets on a clean patch of keloid-afflicted skin and leaving it on for a minimum of 12 hours, for a period of 2-3 months. Silicone gel – a thin layer of gel which solidifies into a sheet and silicone foams and sprays are also available.
The sheets are available at most chemist stores and are found in many different shapes and sizes. The prices can range from $50-200 as per the type, shape and size of the strips and the store.
In cryotherapy, liquid nitrogen is either sprayed on or injected into the scar tissue. The very low temperature of liquid nitrogen causes the scar tissue to damage and slough off, resulting in reduction in the size of the keloid. The physician will decide whether the scar needs to be sprayed or injected based on the size and thickness of the scar. The number of sessions will also vary depending on how the scar responds to the treatment.
The cost for a single session of cryotherapy is usually $100, but can vary from clinic to clinic.
Pulsed dye laser is mostly used in reducing the redness associated with keloids and its effect on the size or thickness of the keloid itself is still debated. In this treatment, a 585-nm pulsed dye laser targets the scar tissue without disturbing the surrounding area.
Due to the large number of variables, the estimate for this treatment can only be given by a physician after consultation.
Earlobes are one of the most common regions for keloids to occur and can be minimized with pressure earrings after surgery. These earrings exert uniform pressure on both sides of the keloid and need to be worn 24-hours a day.
The price of pressure earrings vary, but Delasco, the most famous brand, offers its acrylic earrings at $25 a pair.
Many insurance companies do not cover the cost for keloid removal which can run into several thousand dollars. Physicians also charge a consultation fee in the range of $100-$150 besides the treatment cost. Because of the high recurrence rate, probability of a bigger scar appearing, and variable results, experts strongly advise against keloid removal.
This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice.