Keloid

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.

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Author:
Dr Oliver Starr
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Laurence Knott
Document ID:
13624 (v3)
Last Checked:
11 May 2017
Next Review:
29 June 2020

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.