Keloid in Children
Although keloids can occur at any age, they tend to develop more rapidly during and after puberty. Our own recent IRB approved keloid survey was launched in November 2011 with the goal of capturing detailed information about this disorder directly from patients [www.KeloidSurvey.com] . As of June 1, 2013, we have data on 770 patients that could recall the age when they developed their very first keloid. 62% reported that they developed their first keloid at age of 17 oe younger, making keloid a true pediatric illness. Distribution of age of onset of keloid from this survey is shown in the graph below.
I recently reported a case of the youngest person with keloid known to medical literature. This child had her ears pierced at age of 3 months and developed earlobe keloids on the back of both here earlobes by age of nine months. She had surgery for her keloids at age of 3 years, which simply worsened the appearance of her earlobes, causing formation of new keloids in front of her earlobes.
Treating keloids is a challenge, more so in children. We were lucky to be able to manage this particular child's keloids. Treating her keloids took almost a year and several rounds of cryotherapy, which is naturally painful for a very young child.Almost a year later, her earlobes are free of keloids. We continue with applying pressure magnetic discs to her earlobes, to keep them flat and prevent another recurrence.
I urge parents who have any history of keloid disorder themselves, or in their relatives, not to pierce their child's ears. African Americans have to be even more careful when choosing to have their daughter's ears pierced.