Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Keloid facts
- What is a keloid scar?
- What is the cause of keloids?
- What are keloid risk factors?
- In which area of the body are keloids most likely to appear?
- What is the difference between a keloid, hypertrophic scar, and a dermatofibroma?
- Keloids and piercing
- Is it possible to remove a keloid?
- What are keloid symptoms and signs?
- What types of doctors diagnose and treat keloids?
- Are there home remedies for keloids?
- What are treatment options for keloids?
- Is keloid prevention possible?
- What is the prognosis for keloids?
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
In which area of the body are keloids most likely to appear?
Keloids develop most often on the chest, back, shoulders, and earlobes. They seldom develop on the face (with the exception of the jawline).
What is the difference between a keloid, hypertrophic scar, and a dermatofibroma?
After the skin is injured, the healing process usually leaves a flat scar. Sometimes the scar is hypertrophic, or thickened, but confined to the margin of the original wound. Hypertrophic scars tend to be redder and often regress spontaneously (a process which can take one year or more). Treatment, such as injections of cortisone (steroids), can speed this process.
A dermatofibroma is a small, benign, pigmented, very firm bump in the skin that does not cause other symptoms. It is most often found on the legs. Dermatofibromas are almost never larger than ½ to ¾ of an inch and remain unchanged over many years.
Keloids, by contrast, may start sometime after a cutaneous injury and extend beyond the wound site. This tendency to migrate into surrounding areas that weren't injured originally distinguishes keloids from hypertrophic scars. Keloids typically appear following surgery or injury, but they can also as a result of some minor inflammation, such as an acne pimple on the chest (even one that wasn't scratched or otherwise irritated). Other minor injuries that can trigger keloids are burns and cosmetic piercings.
A keloid has a characteristic microscopic appearance and may be distinguished from a hypertrophic scar and a dermatofibroma.
Next: Keloids and piercing
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