A Primary Care Perspective on Keloids

Steven Davidson, MD, DDS; Nasir Aziz, MD, MA, PGY-1; Rashid M. Rashid, MD, PhD, PGY-2; Amor Khachemoune, MD, CWS


Medscape J Med. 2009;11(1):18 

In This Article


Keloids have been recognized since antiquity. The term keloid was chosen based on the Greek word for crab claw ("cheloid")[1] Keloids result from wound healing gone awry. Formation is commonly seen after invasive medical procedures; elective cosmesis (tattoos and piercings); and mundane events, such as insect bites and trauma from scratching. Symptoms can extend beyond cosmesis. One survey reported pruritus in 27% of patients and pain in 19%.[2] Rarely, keloids have also been shown to ulcerate and develop draining sinus tracts. The most common anatomical sites for keloids include the chest, shoulders, earlobes, upper arms, and cheeks.[3] Although keloid formation has been traditionally understood to result from indefinite collagen production, no single accepted hypothesis has been accepted to fully explain the pathological mechanism.[4]


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