Keloids are skin abnormalities that resemble scars but are larger in size. Ear keloids, in particular, are quite common and often develop as a result of piercings or earrings. They are characterised by excessive swelling of the ear. To understand more about keloids, it is important to explore why they form, the underlying causes, and how to effectively treat and manage them.
Keloids are fibrotic lesions that occur on the skin as a result of an abnormal healing response to various types of injuries, such as
These lesions form due to a disruption in the control mechanisms that regulate the balance between tissue repair and regeneration. Unlike regular scars, keloids grow excessively from the initial wound site, extending well beyond its boundaries, and they do not regress naturally over time. They can develop within a year of the injury, particularly in cases of second-intention wounds (where the wound edges cannot be closed together due to the risk of infection or significant tissue loss), especially if they take more than 3 weeks to heal. Factors such as
can also contribute to keloid formation.
To gain insight into the appearance of keloids, it is worth exploring the origin of their name, which is derived from their distinctive shape. The term "keloid" was coined in 1806 by dermatologist Jean Louis Alibert due to the resemblance of certain keloids to crab claws. Keloids manifest as excessive swelling of the earlobe, which becomes shiny and devoid of hair. While keloids do not typically cause pain or result in hearing loss, they can have a significant impact on one's self-esteem and social interactions.