What Are Keloids?

When skin is injured, fibrous tissue called scar tissue forms over the wound to repair and protect the injury.

In some cases, extra scar tissue grows, forming smooth, rubbery, firm growths called keloids.

They can appear anywhere, but are most common on the chest, neck, shoulders, back and earlobes. They can also be large and noticeable, and can have a negative impact on a person’s self-confidence.

Signs and Symptoms of Keloids

Keloids grow in thick, irregular clusters around wounds or areas where the skin has been pierced, cut, burnt or irritated. They usually extend far beyond the original wound as they are overgrowth of your scar tissue.

Typical symptoms include:

  • A defined area that feels raised, lumpy and rigid
  • An area that continues to grow larger than your scar over time
  • An itching and burning sensation
  • An area that looks shiny, flesh-colored, pink or red

Causes of Keloids

Almost any type of skin injury can contribute to keloid scarring. These include:

  • Acne scarring
  • Burns
  • Chickenpox scarring
  • Ear and other body piercings
  • Cuts and puncture wounds
  • Surgical incisions

While researchers still don’t know what causes certain people to produce excess collagen and develop keloids, we do know that you are at a higher risk for developing keloids if you:

  • Are of African, Asian or Hispanic heritage
  • Are under 30 years old
  • Have a family history of keloids

Keloids Treatments

Treatment for keloids usually depend on their size, location on the body and overall appearance.
Treatment can be for cosmetic reasons or to eliminate the itching and burning associated with keloids.

Our options include:

  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Cryotherapy
  • Laser surgery – to reduce the size and coloration of a keloid
  • Open surgery
  • Ligature – to cut off the blood supply until the keloid falls off