Keloids - Introduction

Introduction Causes Symptoms Treatments

Keloids look like exaggerated scars. They are raised above the skin around them and sometimes they are domed. They can extend beyond the limits of the skin damage that caused the scar to come up in the first place. They are shiny and hairless; usually they feel hard and rubbery; and new ones are often red or purple, becoming browner and sometimes paler as they age. Most people with keloids have only one or two. However some people have many, especially if they have come up after acne or chickenpox scars.


When a wound heals, it leaves a scar. A keloid is a special type of scar: one that grows too much and can even become larger than the original wound. It is not uncommon for surgical or injury scars to become a little lumpy (hypertrophic). A keloid differs from these in several ways:
  • A keloid can come up after very minor skin damage, such as an acne spot, or even if there has been no obvious damage to the skin at all.
  • It can spread outside the original area of skin damage.
  • It may last for many years.
  • They can be - a tendency to get keloids certainly runs in some families.