Keloids, Do They Disappear over Time?

I had an operation a few years ago and got keloids. Does this mean every time I have surgery I will get keloids? I would like to have a facelift down the road, but it scares me in case it happens again. Thanks, Neeko

Doctor Answers 11


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Keloids can occur with trauma to the skin such as a surgical incision.  Some individuals are more prone to developing keloids than others and there's really not a way to predict who will keloid.  If you have a past history of keloids, you should communicate this to your surgeon.  Oftentimes, if a keloid is observed early on, your surgeon can inject a steroid into the keloid that will help to improve the appearance of the area.  

Plano Facial Plastic Surgeon

Keloids very rare after facial surgery

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Keloids and hypertrophic scars are not very common after facial surgery, even if you have experienced them in other body areas

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Keloids from facelift is rare

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Keloids are an overgrowth that occurs from over-healing and do not disappear over time. They are more common in dark-skinned individuals and in certain areas of the body. Just because you have a keloid on your shoulder does not necessarily mean you will get one from a facelift. We have seen very limited keloids in dark-skinned individuals after a facelift, because at the time of the surgery we place cortisone injections in the incision areas. Close monitoring and follow-up by both the patient and the surgeon to immediately address keloids if they should start to occur is also important.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

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Keloids which formed after surgery several years ago will not improve without treatment such as cortisone injections or topical silicone sheets. You do not mention where on your body the previous surgery was done, but in 35 years I have never seen a keloid form after a facelift.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


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Keloids have a greater tendency to develop in people of color and area of the central body(chest, shoulders,back,etc.)  They can develop on the ears after piercings. I would have a plastic surgeon examine your scars because some patients confuse keloids with a widened scar.

Dr. ES

Keloids, Do They Disappear over Time

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I will directly answer your questions. No keloids do not disappear over time. they can flatten out but are more than likely to continue to grow by definition: A keloid (also known as a "keloidal scar"[1]:1499) is a type of scar, which depending on its maturity, is composed of mainly either type III (early) or type I (late) collagen. It is a result of an overgrowth of granulation tissue (collagen type 3) at the site of a healed skin injury which is then slowly replaced by collagen type 1. Keloids are firm, rubbery lesions or shiny, fibrous nodules, and can vary from pink to flesh-coloured or red to dark brown in colour. A keloid scar is benign, non-contagious, and sometimes accompanied by severe itchiness and pain[2], and changes in texture. In severe cases, it can affect movement of skin.Keloids should not be confused with hypertrophic scars, which are raised scars that do not grow beyond the boundaries of the original wound.

The chances are yes every time you have surgery you are "prone" for keloid healing. Even in the facelift and yes I have seen a patient with keloids of the face from incision in front of the ear. 


Hope this helps. Regards 

Keloids do not go away with time.

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They do flatten out and become less red. Facelift scars rarely keloid. When it is time for your facelift the surgeon will be able to tell you with a greater degree of certainty. In 35 years of facelifting I have never had a keloid on a facelift patient.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Keloids are a problem

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Without pictures and without examining you, it is hard to give specific advice.  Additionally, patients sometimes think that they have keloids when they actually have hypertrophic scars or some other healing issue.  If you do have true keloids, there is a chance that you will get them again.  There are not great treatments for keloids there are some methods such as steroids and radiation which may help.  Good luck.

Keloids are not predictable.

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Keloids cannot necessarily be predicted. The earlobes are a very common place but not everyone who gets a keloid from a piercing in one ear will necessarily get one in the opposite ear lobule. The same goes for other parts of the body. Keloids have a tendency to grow whereas hypertrophic scars only grow for up to two years and then subside thereafter.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Keloid once doesn't mean keloids again

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Keloids are more prone to occur in certain body areas, although they can occur anywhere (except the palms and soles).  Keloids do not go away over time and typically require aggressive treatment to resolve. 

Many people have scars that they THINK are keloids, but the are not.  This is actually very common.  You might consider having your scars seen by a plastic surgeon for evaluation.  You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that they are just hypertrophic scars, or even just widened scars, and not keloids at all. 

Either way, you can still have your facelift.  Just because you've developed poor scarring in one body area does not mean it will occur in other areas.  Just talk with your plastic surgeon about your concerns--I'm sure she will put together a strong postoperative scar care regimen to help your scars be the best they can be.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.