While the exact cause of keloid scars is unknown, some people are more likely to develop them than others. If someone in your family has keloids, you may be more likely to develop Keloids.

Common questions about keloids

Why do keloids develop?

Trauma to the skin, infection, and increased skin tension seem to trigger the development of keloids in susceptible people. Keloids often develop after a cut, scrape, surgical incision, ear or body piercing, or acne breakouts, but can also appear without obvious trauma to the skin.

Where do most keloids develop?

Keloids are often found on the chest, upper arms, back, neck and earlobes. Keloid scars form raised, firm skin areas that may become itchy, tender, and painful.

What are my treatment options?

Depending on the location of the keloid, treatment may include cortisone injections, pressure dressings, silicone gels, surgery, cryosurgery (freezing), laser treatment or radiation therapy. A combination of treatments may be used, depending on the individual. Sometimes keloids can return after treatment.

How do I know if it is a keloid?

A keloid can look like a lumpy growth.

It can:

  • Itch
  • Hurt when you press on it
  • Cause sharp, shooting pain

What parts of the body are most commonly affected by keloids?

These include:

  • Ears
  • Neck – One type of keloid happens after a pimple heals on the back of the neck
  • Jaw
  • Chest, shoulders, and upper back

Can keloids be prevented?

Yes. You can lower your chances of getting keloids by:

  • Not having surgery or procedures that break the skin, if possible. For example, you can:
    Avoid getting your ears or other body parts pierced
  • Avoid having surgery to take off a mole (unless your doctor or nurse says you need surgery)
  • Treating acne or a cut right away
  • NOT shaving your neck – This can irritate pimples and make them form keloids after they heal

If you have a cut or scar, you can:

  • Keep the cut or wound moist while it heals – You can put a thin layer of petroleum jelly on it. Cover it with a bandage or gauze. Keep the bandage clean and dry.
  • Cover scars when you are in the sun – Do this for 3 months after the scar forms. You can also use sunscreen on the scar.
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