What is a keloid?

A keloid is a thick scar resulting from excessive growth of fibrous tissue.
It is an abnormally rapid growth of scar tissue that forms at the site of cutaneous injury (such as on the site of a surgical incision or trauma). Keloid does not regress (go back to the normal skin/scar condition), rather grows beyond the original margins of the scar.

Sometimes, people confuse keloids with hypertrophic scars, hence use the words interchangeably. Unlike keloids, hypertrophic scars do not grow beyond the margin of the original wound, they’re small, and they also reduce, or heal on their own over time.


Keloids are commonly found on the chest, shoulders, earlobes, and cheeks. However, they can affect any part of the body.
They have no harmful health implications but create cosmetic concerns.

You’re more likely to get keloids if you are:

  • of Asian descent
  • of Latino descent
  • pregnant
  • younger than 30 years of age.

If one or both of your parents have keloids, you are more likely to have them too.

Removing keloid is not really a problem, where the problem lies is in what happens afterwards.

Sometimes after the removal, the keloid scar tissue grow back again, and this time around larger than before.

Treatment for Keloids ranges from home remedies (applying moisturizing oils), to surgery (cryosurgery).

Now, having understood keloids, and the risk factors for developing keloids, you may want to avoid getting body piercings, unnecessary surgeries, and tattoos.

6 Thoughts

  1. But if one never experienced such when the ear was pierced at childbirth, is there still a tendency of it happening at a later stage in life if the person decides to pierce a second time?

    1. Yes, there is.

      Keloids are less common in children and the elderly. Although people with darker skin are more likely to develop them. In some cases, the tendency to form keloids seems to run in families, and since doctors do not understand the precise reasons why some people are more prone to developing keloids, it is impossible to predict whether one’s first piercing will lead to keloid formation.

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