Keloid Scars
SKIN REPUBLIC (The Freeman) - April 1, 2019 - 12:00am

Dear Dr. Jen,

I want to ask about keloid treatment.  Since I was young I have had a lot of keloid scars on my legs.  I get embarrassed wearing shorts.  What kind of treatment would you recommend and how much do they usually cost?


Dear Melanie,

Keloids are scars that are bigger than the original wound.  They are usually raised and bumpy.  They can become itchy, sensitive, painful and annoying. While silicone sheets and scar gels will work for brand-new scars, older keloids are quite unresponsive.  Injecting the medicine directly into the scar (usually a steroid) will shrink it and relieve you of the symptoms.

Treatment takes more than one session.  The cost depends on how big the keloids are, the number of keloids and the amount of medicine administered (from P500 to P5000).

There are also irregular and depressed scars, often mislabeled as keloid, but in reality are atrophic scars.  These atrophic irregular scars are easier treated with lasers, creams and gels.

Dear Dr. Jen,

Is it possible to be allergic to hair dye?  I just started dyeing my hair and my scalp becomes super itchy.  My white hair is starting to come out and it makes me look really old. Is there a hair dye that is not so irritating to the scalp?


Dear Lisa,

Yes, it is very possible to be allergic to hair dye. The usual culprit is the chemical paraphenylenediamine (PPD).  Most people who are allergic to henna tattoo, tattoos and hair dye react to this ingredient as well.  Treatment involves applying anti-inflammatory scalp solutions or shampoo to control the allergic reaction.  More often than not, the allergies can spread to the hairline, forehead, nape and even the back.  These areas need to be treated too.  Antihistamines can help.  If there is swelling around the eyes, steroids may be necessary.

Hair dyes that are PPD-free can be found in most health stores.  They may not stay as long but will serve the purpose of covering gray hair. Good luck!

Dr. Tan is a diplomate of Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) and is affiliated with the Perpetual Succour Hospital (PSH). Information on PDS is at Questions or concerns regarding the skin may be sent by text to 0932 857 7070 or emailed to; or coursed thru The Freeman – (032) 2531276, or thru PSH – (032) 2338620 and 2325929. Inquiries will be forwarded to Dr. Tan.

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