Every time the skin is injured, the body forms scar tissue to protect and repair the wound. This is fibrous tissue, and for some individuals, it can grow more than usual. This extra scar tissue forms smooth hard growths called keloids which cover the wound and sometimes extend beyond it. Keloids do not affect your health; however, they can affect your appearance. Here are a few facts about these annoying skin growths.
Keloids Develop Slowly
A scab can form over a wound in a few days. Keloids develop over weeks and sometimes months or years before they stop growing. Even minor skin damage can cause a keloid to form. They have been known to develop over acne spots, burns, vaccination sites, scratches and piercings. In many situations, the keloid will grow beyond the boundaries of the original wound.
Anyone Can Get Them
Approximately 10% of the population will likely develop keloids. Both men and women get them. There appears to be a genetic factor associated with them, so if you have parents who are prone to keloids, you may have inherited the trait.
This type of scarring is more common in people with darker skin. People of African, Asian or Latino descent are more likely to have keloids. Other risk factors include pregnancy and being younger than 30.
Some Keloids Can Restrict Movement
Although highly unlikely for most people who are prone to them, occasionally a keloid will form covering a large part of the body. When this happens, depending on where it is, it could limit the range of motion. This is due to the hard, fibrous tissues of the scar.
They Affect the Upper Body
Even though keloids can affect any part of the body, most of them are found on the upper part. Keloids often form on wounds to the chest, back, shoulders, earlobes, cheeks and neck.
Tattoos Should Be Avoided
If you know you develop keloids, you should avoid getting tattoos. If you are unsure, before getting a tattoo, find out if your parents have had keloids. Any kind of unnecessary skin trauma should be avoided, especially on the upper body.
Keloids are not harmful, yet they can be disfiguring. Dr. Khosh is an expert in managing keloid scars and he works closely with a team of professionals to provide effective treatment. Contact our office to schedule a consultation appointment with him for more information.