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.
- With keloids, prevention is better than cure. You have an extra risk of getting a keloid if:
- You have had a keloid before.
- Members of your family have had them.
- You have a dark skin.
If you are at risk, you should avoid, tattoos or body piercing, particularly if these would go through one of the high-risk areas of skin, such as the ear lobes. If you have acne, see your doctor to make sure it is treated vigorously to limit the risk of scarring. You should avoid having skin surgery for cosmetic purposes.