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    Hypertrophic scar; Keloid scar; Scar - hypertrophic

    A keloids is a growth of extrascar tissue where the skin has healed after an injury.


    Keloids can form afterskin injuries from:

    • Acne
    • Burns
    • Chickenpox
    • Ear piercing
    • Minor scratches
    • Cuts from surgery or trauma
    • Vaccination sites

    The problemis more common inpeople ages 10 to 20, and in African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. Keloids often run in families.


    Akeloid may be:

    • Flesh-colored, red, or pink
    • Located over the site of a wound or injury
    • Lumpy (nodular) or ridged
    • Tender and itchy
    • Irritated from friction such as rubbing on clothing

    A keloid will tan darker than the skin around it if exposed to sun during the first year after it forms. The darker color may not go away.

    Exams and Tests

    Your doctor will look at your skin to see if you have a keloid.A skin biopsy may be done to rule out other types of skin growths (tumors).


    Keloids often do not need treatment.If the keloid bothers you, the following things can be done toreduce the size:

    • Corticosteroid injections
    • Freezing (cryotherapy)
    • Laser treatments
    • Radiation
    • Surgical removal
    • Silicone gel or patches

    Many of these treatments can cause a larger keloid scar to form.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    Keloids usually are not harmful to your health but they may affect how you look. In some cases, they may become smaller, flatter, and less noticeable over time.

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call your health care provider if:

    • You develop keloids and want to have them removed or reduced
    • You develop new symptoms


    When in the sun, cover a keloid that is forming with a patchor Band-Aid, and by use asunblock. Continue followthese steps for at least 6 months after injury or surgery for an adult, or up to 18 months for a child.

    Imiquimod cream can be used to prevent keloids from forming after surgery, or returning after they are removed.


    Juckett G, Hartman-Adams H. Management of keloids and hypertrophic scars. Am Fam Physician. 2009;80(3):253-260

    Romanelli R, Dini V, Miteva M, et al. Dermal Hypertrophies. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, et al, eds.Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 98.


    • Keloid above the ear


    • Keloid, pigmented


    • Keloid, on the foot


      • Keloid above the ear


      • Keloid, pigmented


      • Keloid, on the foot


      Tests for Keloids

        Review Date: 11/20/2012

        Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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        St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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