The History of Keloids: What Are Keloids?

Keloids are raised scars that can form after a skin injury or wound has healed. Although once considered an abnormal scar, keloids are noncancerous skin tumors. They are often shiny, smooth and have a fibrous texture. Keloids can be painful and itchy, and they may continue to grow over time. They can also cause recurrent infections, especially in areas of the body where there is hair. While keloids are not harmful to your health, they can be bothersome and affect your self-esteem and interfere with daily activities. Keloids can form anywhere on your body, but they are more common on the chest, shoulders, back, face, neck and ears.

History of Keloids

Keloids have been around for thousands of years, and they have been mentioned in ancient medical texts from Egypt, Greece and Rome. In ancient times, keloids were often seen as a punishment from the gods, and they were sometimes used as a form of branding or tattooing. For example, the ancient Egyptians would use keloids to distinguish members of different tribes or to mark slaves. The ancient Greeks and Romans, on the other hand, used keloids as a form of punishment for criminals or prisoners of war.

Keloids were not fully understood until the 19th century, when they were studied more scientifically. In 1829, a French surgeon named Jean Louis Alibert was the first to describe keloids as a distinct type of scar tissue. He noted that they tended to be more common in people with darker skin and could be difficult to treat. Over the next century, other doctors and researchers began to study keloids more closely, and they developed various treatments for them, including surgery, radiation therapy, freezing and steroid injections.

Keloids Today

Despite the advancements in medical knowledge and technology, keloids are still a challenging condition to treat. While surgery and other treatments can sometimes reduce the size and appearance of keloids, they can also cause new keloids to form or make existing ones worse. This is why prevention is often the best approach when it comes to keloids. By taking steps to avoid injuries, elective surgeries and procedures, and properly caring for wounds, you can reduce your risk of developing keloids in the first place.

Today, there are several treatments available for keloids, including surgery, radiation therapy, freezing and steroid injections. Treatment success is improved when they are combined, however, none of these treatments are 100% effective, and keloids can often recur. For this reason, it is important to take steps to prevent keloids from forming in the first place. This may include avoiding piercings, tattoos, elective surgery (cosmetic surgery), taking care of wounds properly, and using sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage. If you do develop a keloid, it is important to seek treatment from a qualified medical professional. They can help you determine the best course of action based on the size and location of the keloid, as well as your individual health and medical history. While keloids can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition, with the right treatment and care, you can manage them and reduce their impact on your life.