Keloid and Hypertrophic Scars

Also known as: hypertrophic scarring, keloids.

What are keloid and hypertrophic scars?

A hypertrophic scar may develop as part of the skin's response to injury and is a reddish, itchy, firm, normally raised, thicker-than-usual form of scar that’s similar in color and texture to normal skin. They do not get bigger over time and may get better in 12-24 months without treatment.

A keloid scar is also the skin's response to injury (or the presence of foreign material), but the keloid scar is a firmer, flat or stalked exaggerated overgrowth of dense scar tissue that develops after the skin heals and is larger than the injured area. It tends to get bigger over time.

What causes keloid and hypertrophic scars?

Both forms of skin response seem to be genetically determined.

What are the symptoms of keloid and hypertrophic scars?

Aside from the physical appearance of the scars, they usually present with no symptoms, however can sometimes be itchy and painful.

What are the treatments for keloid and hypertrophic scars?

In most cases, no treatment is needed for hypertrophic scars.

For a problematic keloid scar, treatment depends on its location, size, and depth, as well as the age of the child. Treatments include occlusive dressings, compression therapy, injection of corticosteroids into the scar, cryosurgery, radiation, and a wide range of medications and over the counter drugs. Many new therapies are becoming available.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: May 08, 2024 05:08 PM

Children's Dermatology

The Division of Dermatology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital focuses on the latest medications and technology available for the specialized treatment of all skin diseases and disorders affecting children of all ages.

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