Your Trusted Partner in Keloid

Keloids are an overgrowth of scar tissue that can occur at the site of a wound or injury. While they are not harmful, they can cause discomfort and affect confidence. Our team is dedicated to offering exceptional care and support to help you manage and address keloid concerns effectively.

Understanding Keloid

What is Keloid?

A keloid is a type of raised scar that forms due to an overgrowth of collagen at the site of a healed wound. Unlike regular scars, which may gradually fade over time, keloids can grow larger than the original wound and extend beyond its borders. They often appear shiny, smooth, and can vary in color from pink to red or dark brown. Keloids are typically not harmful but can be itchy, tender, or painful, and may cause cosmetic concerns or discomfort depending on their size and location. They can develop after any injury to the skin, such as surgical incisions, acne scars, burns, piercings, or even minor scratches. Treatment options for keloids include corticosteroid injections, silicone gel or sheets, cryotherapy, laser therapy, or surgical removal, although recurrence is possible even after treatment.

What are the types of Keloid?

  1. Hypertrophic Keloids: These are raised, thickened scars that develop at the site of a wound. They may initially appear similar to hypertrophic scars but tend to grow beyond the boundaries of the original injury.

  2. Keloid Nodules: Some keloids may present as nodules or lumps beneath the skin’s surface, which can be palpable but not necessarily visible.

  3. Linear Keloids: These keloids form in a linear or elongated shape, often following the lines of a surgical incision, injury, or piercing.

  4. Pigmented Keloids: Keloids can vary in color, and pigmented keloids are those that exhibit darker pigmentation compared to the surrounding skin. This pigmentation can range from pink to red, purple, or dark brown.

  5. Ear Keloids: Keloids that develop specifically on the earlobes or around ear piercings are referred to as ear keloids. They are a common complication of ear piercing, especially in individuals with a genetic predisposition to keloid formation.

  6. Facial Keloids: Keloids that occur on the face, including the cheeks, chin, forehead, or nose, are categorized as facial keloids. These can be particularly distressing due to their prominent location.

  7. Steroid-Resistant Keloids: Some keloids may not respond well to standard treatments such as corticosteroid injections. These are referred to as steroid-resistant keloids and may require alternative or combination therapies for management.

What are the symptoms of Keloid?

  1. Raised, Overgrown Scar Tissue: Keloids are characterized by the formation of raised, thickened scar tissue that extends beyond the boundaries of the original wound.

  2. Excessive Scar Growth: Unlike normal scars, keloids may continue to grow over time, becoming larger and more prominent.

  3. Shiny, Smooth Appearance: Keloids often have a shiny, smooth surface and can vary in color from pink to red or dark brown.

  4. Itching (Pruritus): Keloids may be accompanied by itching or a sensation of discomfort, which can range from mild to severe.

  5. Tenderness or Pain: Some keloids may cause tenderness or pain, especially if they are located in areas where they are easily irritated or subjected to pressure.

  6. Restricted Movement: Large keloids, particularly those located over joints or areas of frequent movement, may restrict movement and flexibility.

  7. Cosmetic Concerns: Keloids on visible areas of the body, such as the face or neck, can cause cosmetic concerns and affect self-esteem.

  8. Association with Previous Injuries: Keloids typically develop at the site of a previous injury or trauma to the skin, such as surgical incisions, burns, acne scars, or piercings.

  9. Slow Formation: Keloids may take weeks or months to develop fully after the initial injury has healed.

  10. Recurrence: Keloids have a tendency to recur even after treatment, making long-term management challenging.

What causes Keloid?

  1. Genetic Predisposition: Genetic factors play a significant role in keloid formation. Individuals with a family history of keloids are more likely to develop them themselves.

  2. Skin Trauma or Injury: Keloids typically develop at the site of a previous injury or trauma to the skin, such as surgical incisions, burns, acne scars, cuts, or piercings.

  3. Abnormal Wound Healing Process: Keloids result from an abnormal response to skin injury, where the body produces excess collagen during the wound healing process.

  4. Inflammation: Inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne or folliculitis, can increase the risk of keloid formation, especially if there is repeated trauma or irritation to the affected area.

  5. Ethnicity: Certain ethnic groups, particularly individuals of African, Asian, or Hispanic descent, are more prone to keloid formation compared to others.

  6. Hormonal Factors: Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can influence keloid development and growth.

  7. Age: Keloids are more common in young adults, with peak incidence occurring between the ages of 10 and 30.

  8. Skin Tension: Keloids are more likely to form in areas of high skin tension, such as the chest, shoulders, upper back, and earlobes.

  9. Infection: Infections at the site of a wound or injury can increase the risk of keloid formation, as they can trigger an exaggerated healing response.

  10. Foreign Bodies: Presence of foreign bodies, such as sutures or piercing jewelry, can contribute to keloid formation by continuously irritating the surrounding tissue.

How is it diagnosed?

Keloids are typically diagnosed based on a combination of clinical examination and medical history. During the examination, a healthcare provider will assess the appearance of the scar tissue, noting its raised, overgrown nature and any associated symptoms such as itching or tenderness. They will also inquire about the individual’s history of skin trauma, previous surgeries, burns, or other injuries that may have preceded the keloid formation. In some cases, additional tests such as a skin biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other skin conditions with similar characteristics. A biopsy involves taking a small sample of the scar tissue for examination under a microscope to assess its cellular composition and confirm the presence of keloid features. This comprehensive evaluation helps healthcare providers make an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to the individual’s needs.

How do you treat Keloid?

  1. Corticosteroid Injections: Injections of corticosteroids directly into the keloid can help reduce inflammation and shrink the scar tissue.
  2. Silicone Gel or Sheets: Application of silicone gel or sheets over the keloid can help flatten and soften the scar.
  3. Cryotherapy: Freezing the keloid with liquid nitrogen can reduce its size and alleviate symptoms.
  4. Laser Therapy: Various laser treatments can help reduce the size and appearance of keloids.
  5. Surgical Excision: Surgical removal of the keloid followed by adjuvant therapies to prevent recurrence.
  6. Pressure Therapy: Application of pressure dressings or garments can help flatten keloids over time.
  7. Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy may be used post-surgery to prevent keloid recurrence.
  8. Interferon Therapy: Injection of interferon-alpha directly into the keloid can help reduce its size.
  9. Topical Treatments: Various topical treatments, such as retinoids or imiquimod cream, may be used to reduce keloid size and symptoms.
  10. Combination Therapies: Combining multiple treatment modalities, such as surgery followed by corticosteroid injections or silicone sheeting, may yield better results.
Frequently Asked Question on Keloid
Who is at risk of developing keloids?

Individuals with a family history of keloids, darker skin tones, and those who have experienced skin trauma or surgery are at an increased risk of developing keloids.

Are keloids harmful?

Keloids are generally not harmful but can cause symptoms such as itching, tenderness, pain, or cosmetic concerns. In some cases, they may restrict movement or lead to psychological distress.

Can keloids be prevented?

While keloids cannot always be prevented, minimizing skin trauma, avoiding unnecessary surgeries, using proper wound care techniques, and addressing skin infections promptly can help reduce the risk of keloid formation.

Can keloids be completely removed?

While keloids can be surgically removed, there is a risk of recurrence. Adjuvant therapies following surgical excision are often used to prevent keloid recurrence and improve treatment outcomes.

What should I do if I have a keloid?

If you have a keloid, it’s essential to seek medical evaluation and treatment from a healthcare professional experienced in managing keloid scars. They can assess your condition, discuss treatment options, and develop a personalized treatment plan based on your needs and preferences.