Keloids are the excess growth of scar tissue at the site of a healed skin injury.
Hypertrophic scar; Keloid scar; Scar - hypertrophic
Keloids occur from such skin injuries as:
They are more common in people ages 10 to 20, and in African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. Keloids often run in families. Keloidosis is a term used when many or repeated keloids occur.
A skin lesion that is:
The lesion may itch while it is forming and growing.
Diagnosis is based on the appearance of the skin or scar. A skin biopsy may be needed to rule out other skin growths (tumors).
Keloids often do not need treatment. They may be reduced in size by:
Keloids usually are not medically dangerous, but they may affect the appearance. In some cases, they may become smaller, flatter, and less noticeable over a period of several years.
Exposure to the sun during the first year after the keloid forms will cause the keloid to tan darker than the skin around it. This dark color may be permanent.
Removing the keloid may not be permanent. Surgical removal may cause a larger keloid scar.
Call your health care provider if:
You can prevent discoloration from sun exposure by covering the forming keloid with a patch or Band-Aid, and by using sunblock when spending time in the sun. Continue these extra protection measures for at least 6 months after injury or surgery for an adult, or up to 18 months for a child.
Imiquimod cream has recently been used to prevent keloids from forming after surgery, or to prevent keloids from returning after surgery to remove them.
Juckett G, Hartman-Adams H. Management of keloids and hypertrophic scars. Am Fam Physician. 2009;80(3):253-260
Habif TP. Benign skin tumors. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 20.