A keloid (also called a keloid scar) is an overgrowth of a scar, after the skin has been damaged. It is an abnormal type of wound healing, which results in a large, soft growth where the skin has been damaged. It is particularly common in people with dark skin.
What is keloid?
Keloid is an overgrowth of the scar tissue that develops around a wound, usually after the wound has healed. It expands far beyond the original scar. Rather than stay in a straight line, for example, after a surgical incision, it spreads outwards.
When first coined in 1806, the original term was 'chéloïde', taken from the Greek word 'chele' which means crab's claw. This refers to the way the keloid grows sideways into the normal skin.
Who gets keloid scars?
Keloid scars are more common in people with darker skins, especially African-American races. The peak age is 10-30 years and keloids are less common in the elderly or babies. Studies of African people have shown that 6-16 out of a hundred develop keloids. Half of people with keloids will have other members of the family who have also developed keloids.
Further reading and references
Shamsi Meymandi S, Rezazadeh A, Ekhlasi A; Studying intense pulsed light method along with corticosteroid injection in treating keloid scars. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2014 Feb16(2):e12464. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.12464. Epub 2014 Feb 5.
Gauglitz GG, Korting HC, Pavicic T, et al; Hypertrophic Scarring and Keloids: Pathomechanisms, Current and Emerging Treatment Strategies. Mol Med. 2010 Oct 5.
Davidson S, Aziz N, Rashid RM, et al; A primary care perspective on keloids. Medscape J Med. 200911(1):18. Epub 2009 Jan 20.
Viera MH, Amini S, Valins W, et al; Innovative therapies in the treatment of keloids and hypertrophic scars. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010 May3(5):20-6.
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