Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What is Keloid?

Keloids result from wound healing gone awry. Formation is commonly seen after invasive medical procedures; elective cosmesis (tattoos and piercings); and mundane events, such as insect bites and trauma from scratching. Symptoms can extend beyond cosmesis. One survey reported pruritus in 27% of patients and pain in 19%. Rarely, keloids have also been shown to ulcerate and develop draining sinus tracts. The most common anatomical sites for keloids include the chest, shoulders, earlobes, upper arms, and cheeks. Although keloid formation has been traditionally understood to result from indefinite collagen production, no single accepted hypothesis has been accepted to fully explain the pathological mechanism.
Keloids are more common in dark-skinned persons. Incidence is estimated to be between 4.5% to 16% among blacks and Hispanics. Keloids occur with equal frequency in men and women. Younger patients are affected more often, with an age range of 10 to 30 years. A genetic predisposition to keloids has been described, and it is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion.