Keloids Infection

As keloids grow in size, they can develop secondary complications such as bleeding and infections. A sudden onset appearance of pain in a keloid is most often due to an infection. An infected keloid will need to be attended to urgently. Such infections cause pain, discomfort as well as risk of causing a systemic and rarely blood stream infections. An infected keloid is tender, painful and warmer than the surrounding normal skin. A course of oral antibiotics can usually resolve this complication.

Once a keloid becomes infected, it runs the risk of re-infection. Quite often, in patients who have multiple keloids, it is a particular keloid that gets infected all the time. The image below depicts a keloid that is acutely infected with purulent material oozing from the edges. Antibiotics alone are not enough for such a keloid. The necrotic and infectious material has to be drained to allow antibiotics to work.

Keloids Infection

Infected chest keloid with visible purulent drainage

Keloids Infection

Severe infection of a massive neck keloid. This patient had an abscess in her neck, under her keloid and required to be admitted to hospital for surgical drainage of the abscess and intravenous antibiotics.