Synonyms: Keloidal scarring

Medical Specialties: Dermatology, Plastic Surgery

Clinical Definition

Keloids are raised, reddish (or purple) areas that form at the site of injury. In normal wound healing, fibroblasts begin multiplying to heal the wound, but in keloids, they over-multiply and continue to form irregular mounds of scar tissue.

In Our Own Words

Keloids are scars that form when certain cells overproduce to heal a wound. They may occur at surgery sites, after body piercings, during severe acne breakouts or other types of injuries that cause scarring of the skin. Susceptibility to keloids is genetic, and keloids are particularly common in people of African descent and those with darker complexions.


Keloids can itch and restrict mobility. They can be treated with shots of corticosteroids, by freezing them or via laser removal; occasionally surgery is needed. 

Relevant Conditions
  • Piercings on the body or face
  • Post-surgical scarring
  • Acne
Common Types
  • Nodular keloid
  • Flat keloid
  • Bulky keloid
Share this article
  • American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Keloids. Accessed July 2013.
  • American Academy of Family Physicians. Diseases and conditions, Keloids. Accessed Sept. 2013 .
  • Cleveland Clinic. Conditions and Diseases. Skin disorders and scars. Accessed July 2013.
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