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The Truth About Keloids

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Jeff Weinzweig, MD

Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who offers advice and information on all aspects of this specialty.

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What exactly are keloids?

Not every ugly scar is a keloid.  Only specific ugly scars are actually keloids.  The term has become much too commonly used and misused.  Alibert coined the term "cheloide" in 1806 from the Greek word meaning "crab claw" to describe the lateral expansion of keloid scarring onto surrounding normal tissue. Hypertrophic scars, in contrast, remain within the confines of the original wound border whereas keloids invade adjacent normal skin.  Hypertrophic scars generally arise after several weeks, are present for many months, and then regress.  Keloids may arise much later after wounding and may enlarge indefinitely. 

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