Keloids: The paradigm of skin fibrosis - Pathomechanisms and treatment

Matrix Biol. 2016 Apr:51:37-46. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2016.01.013. Epub 2016 Feb 2.


Keloids, fibroproliferative dermal tumors with effusive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) components, particularly collagen, result from excessive expression of growth factors and cytokines. The etiology of keloids is unknown but they occur after dermal injury in genetically susceptible individuals, and they cause both physical and psychological distress for the affected individuals. Several treatment methods for keloids exist, including the combination therapy of surgical excision followed by intralesional steroid therapy, however, they have high recurrence rate regardless of the current treatment method. Improved understanding of the pathomechanisms leading to keloid formation will hopefully identify pathways that serve as specific targets to improve therapy for this devastating, currently intractable, disorder.

Keywords: Collagen; Fibrotic disease; Inflammation; Keloid; TGF-β; Wound healing.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Fibrosis / surgery
  • Humans
  • Keloid / drug therapy*
  • Keloid / pathology
  • Keloid / surgery
  • Skin / injuries
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Steroids / therapeutic use*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Steroids
  • Collagen