A keloid is a type of raised scar. Unlike other raised scars, keloids grow much larger than the wound that caused the scar. People who are prone to keloids can develop them after any form of trauma to the skin including piercings, tattoos, burns, surgery, etc. The most common areas of keloids are ears, neck, chest, back, and shoulders.
Did you know…
it can take up to a year to see the first sign of a keloid? Keloids typically develop slowly over time and sometimes become hard and firm. Keloids can be very noticeable and pose a significant cosmetic issue and affect a person’s self-esteem. Additionally, they can become itchy or even painful without treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have a keloid?
If you develop a keloid, you’ll likely notice one or more of the following signs and symptoms. Following trauma, your scar may begin to grow and spread to cover an area larger than the original scar. When you touch the scar, it may feel different in texture than the rest of your skin. It tends to be darker than the normal color of your skin, and can even by itchy or painful. If you are uncertain, a dermatologist can usually diagnose a keloid by looking at it.
Am I a candidate for treatment for my keloid?
If you answer yes to any of the following questions you may be a candidate for keloid treatment:
- Do you want to ease the pain or itch associated with your keloid?
- Will flattening or softening the keloid help you feel better?
- If you have a keloid on your ear, is your primary goal to wear earrings again?
Knowing what you expect will help your dermatologist provide you with realistic information about what treatment can do. It will also help your dermatologist create your treatment plan.
What can I expect during the treatment?
The dermatologist will work with you to determine the right treatment plan for you. Treatment may involve injections of corticosteroids or other medications, surgical removal, laser therapy, cryotherapy, radiation, or a combination of treatments. It is important to note that surgical removal is not a permanent solution and nearly 100% of keloids that are surgically removed will recur. Thus, consultation with the dermatologist is very important to determine the appropriate therapy and set expectations for treatment.