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Keloid facts

  • Keloids are firm, pink to red, itchy, irritated bumps that tend to gradually enlarge.
  • Keloids develop as a consequence of abnormal scar formation.
  • People with darker skin are typically more predisposed to develop keloids.
  • Simply cutting out a keloid is likely to result in an even larger keloid developing at the excision site.
  • People who have a tendency to form keloids should avoid cosmetic surgery.
  • Keloids tend to occur on the shoulders, chest, ears, and back.

What is a keloid scar?

Keloids can be considered to be "scars that don't know when to stop." A keloid, sometimes referred to as a keloid scar, is a tough heaped-up scar that rises quite abruptly above the rest of the skin. It usually has a smooth top and a pink or purple color. Keloids are irregularly shaped and tend to enlarge progressively. Unlike scars, keloids do not regress over time.

What is the cause of keloids?

Doctors do not understand exactly why keloids form. Alterations in the cellular signals that control proliferation and inflammation may be related to the process of keloid formation, but these changes have not yet been characterized sufficiently to explain this defect in wound healing.

What are keloid risk factors?

Individuals with darkly pigmented skin are 15 times more likely to develop keloids, with those of African, Hispanic, and Asian ethnicity are at greatest risk. Keloids are equally common in women and men. Keloids are less common in children and the elderly. Although people with darker skin are more likely to develop them, keloids can occur in people of all skin types. In some cases, the tendency to form keloids seems to run in families. Studies have not as yet delineated the exact genes responsible for this predisposition.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/2/2017


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