Some people develop large scars whenever they cut themselves or have surgery. These scars are called keloids and they can be disfiguring and even hurt when you touch them.

The standard treatment for keloids is to inject them with cortisone-type drugs, which are very effective in reducing their size, but they often cause a white patch of skin to appear at the injection site and this can look just awful on people who have darker pigmented skin.

An exciting report from Italy shows that injections of a very safe blood pressure medication called verapamil can get rid of keloids. Verapamil belongs to a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers that are prescribed to treat high blood pressure. When injected, they dissolve scars. At last doctors have a safe treatment for scars in people who have dark pigmentation in their skin.

Prevention and treatment of keloids with intralesional verapamil. Dermatology, 2002, Vol 204, Iss 1, pp 60-62. F DAndrea, S Brongo, G Ferraro, A Baroni. D'Andrea F, Via Campiglione 18, I-80122 Naples, ITALY

Checked 8/9/05

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