A keloid is a type of raised scar – a bump or nodule – that forms on the body at the site of skin injury, such as a cut, burn or even a piercing or acne. Keloids are typically red or deep purple in color.

Keloids do not develop on everyone. They present on people with keloid-prone skin, and are more common on darker skin types. A keloid forms in response to a skin trauma – as the body heals, the skin may overproduce new tissue, creating a hypertrophic scar.

Keloids typically develop around 3 months after the skin trauma and may continue to grow in size for up to a year. They are most commonly seen on the chest, shoulder, back, earlobe and cheek. In addition to discoloration, keloids may feel itchy or burn.

Keloids are harmless and don’t usually need treatment, however many patients seek treatment if cosmetically bothersome or if the lesions are painful or itchy. In some cases, treatment can lead to an even larger keloid, so it’s important to discuss the risks with your Dermatologist.

Treatment options include:

  • Corticosteroid injections

  • Laser therapy

  • Cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen)

  • Surgical removal/scar revision

  • Silicone gel or patches

It is important to protect a forming keloid from the sun – sun exposure can worsen the appearance.