Keloids

  • Alternative Names

    Hypertrophic scar; Keloid scar; Scar - hypertrophic


    Treatment

    Keloids often do not need treatment. They may be reduced in size by:

    • Corticosteroid injections
    • Freezing (cryotherapy)
    • Laser treatments
    • Radiation
    • Surgical removal

    Support Groups


    Expectations (prognosis)

    Keloids usually are not medically dangerous, but they may affect the appearance. In some cases, they may become smaller, flatter, and less noticeable over a period of several years.

    Exposure to the sun during the first year after the keloid forms will cause the keloid to tan darker than the skin around it. This dark color may be permanent.

    Removing the keloid may not be permanent. Surgical removal may cause a larger keloid scar.


    Complications
    • Cosmetic changes that affect the appearance
    • Discomfort, tenderness of the keloid
    • Irritation from rubbing on clothing or other forms of friction
    • Limited mobility (if the keloids are extensive)
    • Psychological distress if the keloid is large or disfiguring
    • Return of the keloid

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if:

    • You develop keloids and want to have them removed or reduced
    • You develop new symptoms