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Keloid Scarring on Earlobes

What are keloids of the earlobes? Keloids of the earlobes are raised scars on the earlobe that occur in response to trauma to the skin, such as ear piercing.  As the piercing heals, extra scar tissue forms, which grows beyond the initial insult to the skin and does not spontaneously resolve. What do keloids on the earlobes look like? Keloids of the earlobes can look similar to keloids on other areas of the body.  They are raised lesions that may be very dense and thick or very soft and small.  Typically, keloids on the earlobes are pedunculated.  This means that the base is smaller than the distal parts of the keloid and that the keloid has a stalk-like growth attaching it to the skin. What causes keloids of the earlobes? The primary cause of keloids is trauma to the skin.  The specific mechanism causing keloid formation is unknown, but it appears that there is a genetic link to the formation of keloid scars.  Keloids are more common in African American and Asian populations, but they occur in all racial groups.  Earlobes are the most common area for development of a keloid scar across all races. How are keloids of the earlobes treated? The treatment of earlobe keloids depends on the exact location, size and duration of the keloid scar.  There is no ideal therapeutic modality for all earlobe keloids.  Larger, pedunculated lesions may respond very well to surgical removal with intralesional corticosteroid and pressure applied post-operatively.  Other keloid scars respond well to intralesional corticosteroid injections alone or laser resurfacing.  It is important that patients with a history of keloid formation avoid ear piercing or elective surgical procedures.  However, keloid formation on the earlobes does not necessarily mean that keloids will develop on other areas of the body. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Schweiger, NYC dermatologist, click here.

Schweiger Dermatology

110 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022

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