Keloids

General Illness Information

Medical Term:
Keloids

Common Name: None Specified

Description: An overgrowth of fibrous tissue (scar) on the skin. Keloids can appear anywhere on the skin, but most commonly appear on the breastbone, upper back and shoulder. They usually arise in an area of injury (such as after a burn or from severe acne), but sometimes arise from a very minor scratch. Keloids are more frequent in people of African origin.

Causes: Keloids occur due to a defective or overactive healing process in which an excess of collagen forms at the site of a healing scar. The underlying cause is unknown.

Prevention:

  • Avoidance of trauma to the skin.
  • Compressive pressure dressings for high-risk patients with burns.
  • For patients with known tendency to keloid formation, elective surgery should be avoided.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Firm, raised, hard scars that are slightly pink. Scar formation is out of proportion to original injury.
  • Scars may itch, cause pain, or are tender to the touch.
  • Scars may continue to grow and develop claw-like projections over a period of time.

Risk Factors

  • Dark skin.
  • Family history of keloids.
  • Any surgical or traumatic wound in a dark-skinned person.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis is by clinical examination. There is no test than can predict whether you are at risk, or whether any scar will become keloid.

General Measures:

The current treatment is with medications injected into the keloid, or removal with lasers, or surgery with intralesional steroids.

Medications:

Injection of corticosteroid drugs directly into the keloid. May be repeated every three to four weeks until desired degree of flattening and softening has been achieved.

Activity:

Activity stated in paragraph/sentence form.

Diet:

No specific diet.

Possible Complications :

Recurrence, despite adequate treatment.

Prognosis

Scars gradually diminish following treatment. Keloids are generally considered harmless and non-cancerous.

Other

‘Nothing Specified’.