Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Keloids

Researchers still don’t know what causes certain people to produce excess collagen and develop keloids. You are at a higher risk of developing keloids if you:

  • Are of African, Asian or Hispanic heritage
  • Have a family history of keloids
  • Are under 30 years old

If someone is prone to keloids, nearly any injury to the skin can cause them to grow, including:

  • Surgical incision
  • Burn
  • Cut
  • Ear piercing
  • Tattoo
  • Severe acne
  • Chickenpox
  • Nothing at all, in the case of spontaneous keloids

Diagnosing keloids

A diagnosis of keloid scar usually involves just a physical exam. If it’s a strange shape or unknown origin, your physician may take a biopsy (small sample) of the tissue to study under a microscope.

Diagnostic Tests

Legal Information

By clicking on these websites, you are leaving the Northwestern Medicine website. These websites are independent resources. Northwestern Medicine does not operate or control the content of these websites. By visiting these websites, you agree to this third party’s terms of use for their website.