What are Keloid Scars?

Keloid Scars occur when a protein called collagen gathers around damaged skin and builds up to help a wound seal over. However, instead of fading and becoming smooth like normal scar tissue, Keloid Scarring doesn’t stop growing and invades healthy skin making the area bigger than the original wound. According to the NHS, 10-15% of all wounds turn into Keloid Scars and they can occur anywhere on the body but they are more common on the chest, shoulders, neck and head.

Keloid scars are often shiny, hairless, hard or rubbery, raised above the skin, red, purple, brown or pale. They are usually painless but some can cause pain, a burning sensation, itchiness, tenderness and limited movement particularly if located on a joint. Many Keloid Scars can last for years and sometimes do not form straight away. Instead, they form months or years after the initial injury has occurred.

The reason why Keloid scarring occurs isn’t known but what is known is that the scarring is not cancerous nor is it contagious. Keloid Scars also sometimes occur when the skin suffers minor damage. For example, if the skin is burnt or even if you’ve got scarring from chicken pox or Acne. Because of the appearance of Keloid Scarring, some people may feel embarrassed or upset by the appearance of the scarring. However, GPs offer support and advice surrounding the topic so don’t be afraid to seek help.

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