What Is Keloid: 6 Important Points That You Must Know

What is Keloid? It is a major skin disease. We all played a lot in our childhood, and sometimes we got injured during playing. At that time, we observed that when our skin got injured.

Some scar tissue covers the wound and starts protecting the skin and repairing the skin injury but grows in the surrounding skin of the injury. This covering of scar tissues is Keloid, also known as Keloid disorder.

But in some cases, we can observe that the scar tissue grows even without the injury. It forms some smooth and hard growth covering the skin. These are also considered keloids. These are not harmful to your body. It is observed that people having dark skin are more likely to develop keloid scars.

Keloid is also known as keloid scars. Unlike keloids1, there is one other type of scar: hypertrophic scars2. The hypertrophic scars are thick and raised scar tissue formed only within the original wound area. It is observed only on the top layer of the skin. The hypertrophic scars are painful in starting, but they go away with time. Their symptoms subside as the skin heals.

What Is Keloid

The formation of scars is the natural healing process for the injury, but after some time, those scars will get smaller and fade. But if the scar lasts long and is not fading, it can be a keloid scar.

Keloid has raised scars that can be seen in every part of the body. It can be an overgrown scar or an overly healing response seen after an injury. These scars are thick and irregular, but these keloid scars are not contagious in nature.

26941812 closeup keloid scar on elbow of asian man skin after motorcycle accident on white background with copy space
By Fahroni On Unlim

People develop keloids if they have a family history of keloids. Sometimes these keloid scars can cause severe pain and itching on the skin.

According to a dermatology 3association study, 10% of people face keloid scarring. This disease will affect equally to men and women, but this disease is more prone to people having dark skin.

1. Types Of Keloid Scars

There are so many types of keloid scars. These keloid scars were medically reviewed and differentiated based on their size and structure. The names of those keloid scars are. 

  1. Two linear keloids

  2. Flat keloids

  3. Butterfly type keloids

  4. Guttate keloids

  5. Superficially spreading keloids

  6. Large keloids

  7. Bulky keloids

  8. Ear lobe keloids

2. Symptoms Of Keloids

There are many symptoms of keloid scars; let’s discuss each and every one among them in detail.

26941778 closeup keloid scar on ankle of asian man skin after motorcycle accident on white background with copy space
By Fahroni On Unlim

2.01. Keloid Scars Appear Gradually

The keloid scars will develop very slowly sometimes. It will take 3 to 12 months or a longer time period to get noticed. Mostly keloids tend to appear within a year of skin damage or injury.

2.02. Keloid Scars May Grow Quickly

Some keloid scar tissue spreads very fast on the skin. They increase their size so fast if we take an example, then they triple their size in just a few months.

2.03. Keloid Scars Gradually Develop Darker Skin Tones

In starting, the keloid is of pink or red color, or we can say that the keloid scar is of flesh color starting, but as time passes, it gets darkened.

2.04. Pain And Irritation On The Skin

The patient will feel pain, irritation, and inflammation while developing keloids. As the keloid scar is fully developed, the patient will not feel any pain or inflammation. But if you are feeling redness, inflammation, pain, or irritation, then contact a dermatologist.

2.05. Occurrence Of Keloid Scars

The keloid scars or marks usually formed on the skin due to body piercing and many other reasons. It can be observed on the upper chest, stomach, hands, shoulders, and especially the earlobes. According to AAD, the keloids are less likely to develop on the eyelids, soles of feet, genitals, and palms of hands.

3. Causes Of Keloid

The keloid is extra scar tissue. The cause of keloid formation is skin injury. Most types of skin injuries will lead to developing a keloid. In starting, they will be small keloids, and later they will increase their size and become larger than the original scar. Some of these injuries are.

4. Diagnoses Of Keloid Scars

Keloids are skin conditions, so dermatologists diagnose them. The doctor will observe the scar and examine it based on shape, size, and growth patterns. Then the doctor asks for the family history of the disease.

After that, the doctor will do a skin biopsy to learn more about the scar because the keloids are diagnosed by skin biopsy4.

The scar can be due to fungal infection, nodular scleroderma, lobomycosis, and connective tissue. According to reports, the doctor will start the treatment, and you must follow the doctor’s advice.

5. Treatment Of Keloid

There are many surgical techniques to treat keloids. Patients facing the problem of developing keloids can use home treatment, laser therapy, reconstructive surgery, plastic surgery, and many more techniques.

These treatments can reduce inflammation and pain. Sometimes the keloid scar is well-treated, but spontaneous keloids are formed after the treatment.

5.01. Home Treatment For Keloid

Home treatments can treat keloid scarring. Moisturizing oils are available, which keep the skin tissue soft and reduce the size of the scar. Initially, the doctor will recommend less invasive techniques of treatments.

5.02. Medications

The doctor advised using silicone gel sheeting, corticosteroid injections, fluorouracil, pressure therapy, and steroid injections. By using these methods, the keloid scar will shrink.

The corticosteroid and steroid injections help to reduce inflammation and limit the blood flow to the scar so that swelling is reduced. Silicone gel sheeting5 is a process which is used to reduce the size of the scar.

5.03. Surgical Removal Of Keloid

The doctor goes for surgery if the scar is not treated with home remedies or medications. After surgery, the patient is more likely to develop a keloid. So, this is used as the last option of the treatment.

Cryosurgery 6is done for the large keloids. Cryosurgery is the other name for cryotherapy. Liquid nitrogen which has a temperature of -196 degrees is usually used to freeze keloids.

5.04. Laser Treatment For Keloid

Another method to treat keloid scarring is laser treatment. In this treatment, a high beam of light is emitted on the keloid scar and surrounding skin. It makes the skin smoother and treats the scar.

But after some time, the person’s skin develops more keloids, larger than the original scar.

6. Preventions Of Keloid Scars

We can prevent keloid scars. To prevent keloids, you have to follow these tips.

  • You have to avoid body piercings, elective surgery, and tattoos.

  • Treat the skin injuries as soon as possible and ensure the wound heals.

  • If you observe any raised scar on your skin, contact the dermatologist as soon as possible and seek treatment for that scarring.

  • Avoid pressure earrings.

  • If you have a scar, keep it away from sun exposure because it will cause itching or inflammation.

Some Periodically Asked Questions

This article includes all the possible details and information regarding the keloids, but some questions generally came to people’s minds. I will discuss some of these questions in detail.

1. Can Keloids Be Inherited

Generally, keloids are not inherited from the family, but according to a study in the US, 1% of cases are inherited. The way of inheritance is not yet clear, but researchers are going on to find out the reason for inheritance.

2. Are Keloid Scars Contagious

No, the keloid scars are not contagious. They are benign. They will not take the form of cancerous cells. But if you are facing some issues, contact the doctor for several tests and treatments.

47332078 closeup of young woman with large scar after surgery on abdomen
By Khosro1 On Unlim

3. States The Major Differences Between Keloid Scars And Hypertrophic Scars

Hypertrophic scars are thick and raised scars that are observed in the area of the original wound. They will shrink and disappear after the injury is healed. It is an abnormal skin response seen due to excess collagen production.

Keloid scars are grown at the site of injury, and they will increase their size to nearby skin. It will cause pain, redness, and itching. Various methods can treat it. The main difference between hypertrophic scars and keloid scars is keloids will continue to grow beyond the original site, whereas hypertrophic scars grow only on the original injury site.

Final Note

What is Keloid? The keloids form like a raised scar. A person with having darker skin tone has more risk of developing keloids. This develops during an initial injury time, but then it increases its size and causes itching and inflammation.

This disease has many risk factors like injury, cuts, piercing, and tattoos. This can only be diagnosed by skin biopsy. There are many treatment methods to treat this disease. The last option of treatment is surgery.

People’s skin scars will increase after laser treatment or surgery. This is the disadvantage of surgery and laser therapy. There are some prevention techniques which you have to take care of yourself. You have to follow the proper medication if you are suffering from keloids.

We hope the information provided in this article is useful for you. If you are experiencing itching, inflammation, and redness, contact your doctor as soon as possible and get proper treatment.

  1. Betarbet, Udayan, and Travis W. Blalock. “Keloids: a review of etiology, prevention, and treatment.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology 13.2 (2020): 33. ↩︎
  2. Ogawa, Rei. “The most current algorithms for the treatment and prevention of hypertrophic scars and keloids: a 2020 update of the algorithms published 10 years ago.” Plastic and reconstructive surgery 149.1 (2022): 79. ↩︎
  3. Chan, Stephanie, et al. “Machine learning in dermatology: current applications, opportunities, and limitations.” Dermatology and therapy 10 (2020): 365-386. ↩︎
  4. Fernandez‐Nieto, D., et al. “Comment on: Cutaneous manifestations in COVID‐19: a first perspective. Safety concerns of clinical images and skin biopsies.” Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 34.6 (2020): e252. ↩︎
  5. Jiang, Qingling, et al. “Silicone gel sheeting for treating hypertrophic scars.” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2021.9 (2021). ↩︎
  6. Baust, John G., et al. “Mechanisms of tissue injury in cryosurgery.” The Application of Heat in Oncology: Principles and Practice (2023): 45-71. ↩︎

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