What is a keloid?

A keloid is a type of raised scar. Unlike other raised scars, keloids grow much larger than the wound that caused the scar.


What causes keloids?

Most people get these scars after they injure their skin, such as from a cut or puncture wound. Getting a tattoo or piercing can also cause a keloid.

Sometimes, a surgical scar turns into a keloid. Some women who have had a cesarean section (C-section) or hysterectomy get keloids after the surgery.

Some people get keloids when serious acne clears or chickenpox fade. It’s also possible to get a keloid after getting an insect bite or shot for a vaccine.

Wearing tightly braided hair causes keloids in a few people.

Some men who shave their face develop keloids in their beard area.

It’s also possible for keloids to form on uninjured skin. These keloids are called “spontaneous keloids.” They usually appear on the chest and develop in people who have a family history of developing keloids. When keloids develop spontaneously, it’s more likely that several keloids will appear.

It’s still not clear why some people’s skin scars this way.

To discover why some people develop keloids, dermatologists continue to study these scars. Finding the cause could lead to better treatment and more-effective ways to prevent keloids.

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