Keloid

A keloid is a raised scar that gets abnormally bigger and can be pink, red, darker, or the same color as the skin around it.

Last Updated: February 24, 2024

Keloid growth is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Predisposed individuals may develop a keloid after surgery, piercings, acne, tattooing, bug bites, burns, lacerations, abrasions, vaccinations, and any other process causing epidermal inflammation. Increased wound tension can also cause keloids.

In comparison to Caucasians, Africans and Asians are more likely to acquire keloids. Incidence rates among people of color vary between 4.5% and 16%. Pregnancy and adolescence are peak times for the occurrence.

  • Scarring that is thick and uneven, especially around the earlobes, shoulders, cheeks, and middle chest
  • Skin that is smooth, hairless, bumpy, and elevated
  • Size varies depending on the severity of the initial injury and the point at which the keloid stops growing
  • Soft, hard, and rubbery textures all in one thing
  • Depending on your natural skin tone, they may seem red, brown, or purple
  • Itchiness
  • Discomfort

In most cases, a doctor will be able to diagnose a keloid just by looking at the damaged area of skin and through proper history taking (recent injury, surgery, etc.). A skin biopsy can help determine if the scar is cancerous.

Treatment

Getting treatment might be challenging and isn't always successful. Some treatments for keloids have shown some promise in reducing the prominence of scar tissue.

  • Silicone gel sheeting for several months
  • Daily 12-hour steroid-impregnated tape applications
  • Occasional injections of corticosteroids 

Alternatives could be,

  • Liquid nitrogen freezing to prevent the development of keloid scars 
  • Laser treatment to lessen redness
  • Scar removal procedures can include surgery and even radiation therapy (although it can grow back and may be larger than before)

Avoid getting any kind of tattoo or piercing, especially in the earlobes, because this can increase your risk of getting a keloid scar. When acne is treated, scarring is less likely to occur.

Avoid having any sort of skin surgery done on your chest, back, or upper arms because these areas are more likely to develop keloid scars.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Take care of your wound as instructed. Care for a wound can take a lot of time, and compression dressings can be painful. Try to do what your doctor tells you to do, as these steps are important for preventing keloids.

Consider over the counter corticosteroid creams and silicone gels as these do not need prescription and can help stop itching around the wounded area.

 

Protect the wounded area by keeping things that can irritate and rub against it away. 

Don't let the sun burn your skin. If you go out in the sun, your keloid might change color, making it stand out more. This could be a long-term change so it would be best to cover the keloid or put on sunscreen before going outside to protect your skin.

References

McGinty S, Siddiqui WJ. Keloid. [Updated 2022 Jul 19]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507899/

National Health Service (2022). Keloid Scars. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/keloid-scars/#:~:text=A%20keloid%20scar%20is%20an,original%20area%20of%20skin%20damage.

Mayo Clinic (2022). Keloid Scars. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/keloid-scar/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20520902

Last Updated: February 24, 2024