Keloid: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 1/4/2021

A keloid refers to a lump or bump that forms as a result of abnormal scar formation. They typically form on the back, shoulders, ears, or chest.

Signs and symptoms of a keloid include a raised pink, red, or purple scar that grows slowly and feels soft and doughy or hard and rubbery. It can be associated with pain, itch, or tenderness, and can become darker in color with time. Keloids do not improve over time like normal scar tissue. If the keloid is removed, it will typically come back in an even larger form.

Cause of keloid

It is not clear exactly what causes keloids to form, but they develop at sites of previous injury, including surgical incisions. People with darker skin have a greater risk of keloid formation than those with lighter skin.

Other keloid symptoms and signs

  • Itching
  • Pain or Tenderness
  • Raised Pink, Red, or Purple Scar
  • Scar That Becomes Darker in Color with Time
  • Scar That Grows Slowly


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.