Keloids are an overgrowth of scar tissue at the site of a healed skin injury. (Hypertrophic scar; Keloid scar; Scar – hypertrophic)
Keloids are raised, reddish nodules that develop at the site of an injury. After a wound has occurred to the skin both skin cells and connective tissue cells (fibroblasts) begin multiplying to repair the damage.
A scar is made up of ‘connective tissue’, gristle-like fibers deposited in the skin by the fibroblasts to hold the wound closed.
With keloids, the fibroblasts continue to multiply even after the wound is filled in. Thus keloids project above the surface of the skin and form large mounds of scar tissue.
Keloids may form on any part of the body, although the upper chest, shoulders and upper back are especially prone to keloid formation. Symptoms include pigmentation of the skin, itchiness, redness, unusual sensations and pain.
It is estimated that keloids occur in about 10% of people. While most people never form keloids, others develop them after minor injuries, even insect bites or pimples. Darkly pigmented people seem to be more prone to forming keloids.
Men and women are equally affected.
A hypertrophic scar looks similar to a keloid.
Hypertrophic scars are more common. They don’t get a big as keloids, and may fade with time.
They occur in all racial groups. Keloids are considered a benign tumor, but they are mainly a cosmetic nuisance and never become malignant.
Operating on a keloid usually stimulates more scar tissue to form, so people with keloids may have been told that there is nothing that can be done to get rid of them.