Keloids: a review of therapeutic management

Samuel F. Ekstein, Saranya P. Wyles, Steven L. Moran, Alexander Meves

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Keloid scar formation arises from a disorganized fibroproliferative collagen response that extends beyond the original wound margins because of excessive production of extracellular matrix (ECM). Despite treatment options for keloid scars including medical and surgical therapies, such as intralesional steroid injection and surgical excision, the recurrence rate remains high. Herein we consolidate recently published narrative reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses to provide an overview of updated treatment recommendations for keloidal scar formation. PubMed search engine was used to access the MEDLINE database to investigate updates regarding keloid incidence and treatment. More than 100 articles were reviewed. Keloid management remains a multimodal approach. There continues to be no gold standard of treatment that provides a consistently low recurrence rate; however, the increasing number of available treatments and synergistic combinations of these treatments (i.e., laser-based devices in combination with intralesional steroids, or 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in combination with steroid therapy) is showing favorable results. Future studies could target the efficacy of novel treatment modalities (i.e., autologous fat grafting or stem cell-based therapies) for keloid management. This review article provides updated treatment guidelines for keloids and discusses insight into management to assist patient-focused, evidence-based clinical decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-671
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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