Keloids are smooth, shiny, flesh-colored, raised growths of scar-like tissue that form over areas of injury or surgical wounds.
Keloids are an extreme overgrowth of scar tissue. They may form in the months after an injury. They may be raised as much as ¼ inch (about 0.5 centimeters) or more above the surface of the skin. Keloids may form in any injury, even those resulting from acne. They are more common in blacks than in whites and typically develop on the chest, shoulders, back, and, sometimes, face and earlobes. Keloids do not hurt, but they may itch or be sensitive to touch.
Keloids respond poorly to therapy, but monthly injections of corticosteroids may flatten them somewhat. A doctor may try surgical or laser removal, but new, larger keloids often form in the scar resulting from the treatment; corticosteroid injections before and after surgery may reduce this risk. Silicone patches or pressure garments applied to keloids are helpful in flattening them.
Last full review/revision September 2008 by Daniel W. Collison, MD