They can develop after surgery, after major skin trauma, or even after very minor skin damage like acne scars.
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Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer for The Private Clinic of Harley Street, London.
Last Reviewed June 15th 2023
Keloids are highly visible, exaggerated scars that are particularly common in darker skin. They can develop after surgery, after major skin trauma, or even after very minor skin damage like acne scars. Strangely, they may also develop even if there’s no obvious damage to the skin at all.
Keloids have a shiny and hairless appearance with a hard or rubbery feel. They usually occur on the upper chest and shoulders – particularly over the breastbone – and on the earlobes. In people with dark skin they often occur in the beard area and on the scalp.
We are still not quite sure what causes this type of scarring, but we do know the following:
- Dark skinned people are more susceptible to keloids than those with paler skin
- Wounds that are under pressure or get infected while healing are especially likely to develop into keloids as are burn and acne scars
- Keloids are most likely to develop between the ages of 10 and 30
- They are not caught from anyone else
- They carry no risk of cancer
- The tendency to scar in this way can run in families
- They can be caused by chickenpox, acne, minor scratches, surgical incisions, traumatic wounds, vaccination sites or burns
Although keloid scars are not dangerous, they can be itchy and tender or even painful to touch. The emotional impact of these scars, however, is often greater than the physical one as they can cause great distress, particularly in younger patients, and can seriously undermine self-confidence.
What to Expect
The Private Clinic has been treating patients for over 40 years with thousands of people placing their trust in us each year. We pride ourselves on being able to offer a personalised service. We have a team of friendly nurses and expert surgeons who understand the importance of this decision and will support you throughout your journey with us.
Keloid Scar Removal Treatment
We offer two types of treatment for Keloids, depending on the size of the scar. Smaller Keloids are removed quickly and simply with a series of steroid injections. As seen on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, this procedure will usually remove the scar within 4 to 6 sessions. Bigger Keloids will be removed surgically by one of our highly qualified surgeons.
After Your Keloid Scar Removal Treatment
In both cases the scar will flatten out and should match the colour of the surrounding skin, making it much less noticeable.
You can get back to normal activities pretty much straight away.
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