Patient question:

What is a keloid scar? Are some people more prone to keloids than others? Are keloid scars treatable? Is it possible to develop a keloid scar from a piercing?

Dr. Solomon’s Answer:

This should not be construed as medical advice. I am a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon and Otolaryngologist Head and Neck Surgeon
Keloid scars are defined as an abnormal scar that grows beyond the boundary of the original site of a skin injury. It is a raised and ill defined growth of skin in the area of damaged skin. Some ethnic groups are at more risk of developing keloids, but they can happen to anyone. Keloid scars are seen 15 times more in darker skin ethnic groups than in Caucasians.
Some areas of the body do seem more susceptible: the deltoid region of the upper arm, the upper back, and the sternum. The earlobes and the back of the neck are common sites. Earlobe piercing can cause a keloid in a susceptible person.
Keloids can be treated by surgical excision and injection with steroids; silicone sheeting can also possibly reduce the risk of keloids recurring. There are a number of medications that may have a role in the treatment of keloids. It is better to show a keloid to your surgeon or dermatologist to assess if it is in fact a keloid and to review treatment options.