As keloids grow, they can develop secondary complications such as bleeding and infections. A sudden onset occurrence of pain and swelling in a keloid is often due to an infection. An infected keloid will need to be attended to urgently. Such infections not only cause pain and discomfort, they can also result in systemic / bloodstream 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 becomes prone to repeated infections. Quite often, in patients who have multiple keloids large keloids, it is one particular keloid that becomes infected repeatedly. The images shown below depict two cases of keloid infections.