Keloid Scar


A keloid scar is a thick, elevated scar that remains on the skin after a wound has healed. It typically develops a few weeks to years following skin damage or injury, such as acne, burns, or cuts. One’s physical health will not be harmed by a keloid scar, but it may cause mental distress. The key is early detection and treatment.

Although it can appear anywhere there is skin damage, it typically manifests on the chest, shoulders, cheeks, or earlobes. If one is prone to getting keloids, there may be multiple sites where they form. A keloid scar typically enlarges over the course of months or years, surpassing the size of the initial wound.

Keloid scar could hurt or itch while it is growing. If it is on or close to a joint, it may cause discomfort or make movement in the joint problematic. Treatment may include flattening or removal of the keloid scar. However, it can recur or last for years even after treatment.


A keloid scar can develop anywhere from a few months to several years after the initial injury or trauma occurs. Signs and symptoms of a keloid scar include:

  • Lumpy, shiny, hairless, and raised skin
  • Varying in size, based upon the extent of the initial damage and the point at which the keloid ceases to grow
  • Texture may vary from soft to firm and rubbery
  • Depending on the skin tone, color can range from a reddish hue to brown or purplish
  • Thick, uneven scarring, usually on the middle chest, shoulders, cheeks, and earlobes
  • Itchiness

If one suspects or is bothered by a keloid scar, it is recommended to consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment. The healthcare provider can give suggestions for improving its appearance, and early intervention could potentially halt the continued growth of the keloid scar.


Keloid scars have no definite cause. It may develop without an apparent reason. However, it is important to note that keloids are neither contagious nor cancerous.

A keloid differs from a hypertrophic scar in that a hypertrophic scar remains confined to the area of the initial wound and may naturally diminish over time without the need for treatment.

Researchers believed that various skin injuries, such as insect bites, acne, injections, body piercings, burns, hair removal, and even minor scratches and bumps, can potentially trigger keloid growth. Most concur that it is probably a dysfunction in the wound-healing process. It can also occur due to excessive collagen production. Collagen is the protein present throughout the body and essential for wound healing.

Risk factors

Several factors may contribute to one’s risk of developing keloid scars, such as:

  • Age:People ages 20 to 30 have an elevated risk of keloid scars.
  • Personal or family history of keloids:If one has developed one keloid, there is an increased risk of developing additional ones. Keloids may have a genetic component as they can be hereditary, suggesting a potential inherited tendency.
  • Having brown or Black skin:Although the cause for this is unknown, individuals with brown or Black skin are more prone to keloids.
  • Ethnicity: Individuals with a higher likelihood of developing keloid scars include those of South Asian, Chinese, African Caribbean, or Black African descent.