Keloids are “scars that don’t know when to stop. A keloid is a tough heaped-up scar that rises quite abruptly above the rest of the skin. It usually has a smooth top and a pink or purple color. Keloids are irregularly shaped and tend to enlarge progressively and do not subside over time.
After skin is injured, the healing process usually leaves a flat scar. Sometimes the scar is hypertrophic, or thickened, but confined to the margin of the wound. Hypertrophic scars tend to be redder and may subside by themselves, a process which can take one year or more.
Keloids, by contrast, may extend beyond the wound site. This tendency to migrate into surrounding areas that weren’t injured originally distinguishes keloids from hypertrophic scars. Keloids typically appear following surgery or injury. Keloids can also develop following minor injuries like body piercing.
A person, who has had a keloid, should not undergo elective or cosmetic skin surgeries or procedures such as piercing. Prevention is crucial, because current treatments are not satisfactory.
Whether to treat a keloid depends on the symptoms and its anatomical location. A chronically itching and irritated keloid can be quite distracting. Keloids in cosmetically sensitive areas that cause disfigurement are obvious candidates for treatment.
The treatment outcomes can be very frustrating. The methods available to treat keloids are: