Keloid Scars

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Keloid scars can be very distressing in appearance.  They are generally very large, red in colour and start to invade the skin around your wound, growing into the healthy skin.  Keloids have been compared to tumours in appearance, looking quite large and angry in appearance.  They can be distinguished from hypertrophic scars because they continue to grow beyond where the wound is, spreading to the skin surrounding the wound.  A keloid scar is generally not diagnosed for about a year after the wound has healed, they might take a while to form and can look like a hypertrophic scar at first.  Also alike to a hypertrophic scar, they can cause you some discomfort or pain.  Keloid scars only occur among humans, no such form of scarring has been noted among animals.

When Keloid scars are most likely to form

Keloid scars are not very common, but there are certain times when they are more likely to form.  The development of  keloid scars can be seen to be hereditary, you are at a much higher risk of this form of scarring if your direct family has experienced it.  People with dark skin tones are more likely to experience keloid scarring, as well are young people.

Why Keloid scars occur

Keloid scars occur when your body continues to produce collagen to heal the wound after the scar has formed.  This means that the scar tissue continues to grow, eventually leading it to invade the surrounding skin.  The reddened colour is due to the increased amount of blood being taken to the area in order for it to continue to heal, even after the wound has already been closed and the scar formed over the wound.

Where these scars occur

Ears are a very common place to see keloid scarring, the arms after vaccinations, and the chest, neck or upper-back following acne, chicken pox or accidents or surgery.  Keloid scars can, however, appear anywhere.  

How best to reduce Keloid scars

Keloids are incredibly difficult to reduce in appearance, unfortunate that they are also the most severe form of scarring.  All sorts of treatments have been tried, steroid injections can improve the colour of a keloid scar, although may not reduce the size of it.  Surgery can prove effective, but there is a risk of you developing another keloid scar if a skin graft has been used.  There is no guarantee that your keloid scar won’t simply grow back after you have treatment. 

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