Newly Diagnosed Patients


Keloid Disorder (KD) is a genetic illness of wound healing process with a highly variable clinical presentation that spans from individuals with one or very few small keloidal lesions to those with numerous and very large lesions involving large portions of their skin.

Genetics of KD remains poorly understood, however, clinical observation suggests that the genetic predisposition to KD has a wide spectrum, from individuals who suffer from mild form of the disorder who in their lifetime only develop one or few slow-growing keloidal lesions, to those with very severe form of the disorder who develop numerous large and fast growing keloids; and of course, there are many others who fall somewhere in between these two extremes. Similar to most other genetic illnesses, there also exist many individuals who are simply carriers of the gene, who may never become symptomatic.

In addition to the genetics, several other factors play critical roles in clinical presentation of KD. Most importantly, there must exist an injury to the skin that would trigger abnormal wound healing response which leads to formation of keloidal lesions. Obviously, there is a wide spectrum to the severity and extent of skin injuries, ranging from very minor insults to the skin from acne, or piercing, or vaccination; to more severe forms of skin injury from surgery or burns. Besides genetics and skin injury, other important factors are age, race, gender, chronicity, therapeutic interventions as well as location of the keloidal lesions. The wide spectrum of all these factors contributes to highly variable phenotypes of KD.

By far, the most important factor in development of a primary keloidal lesion is the injury to skin that leads to triggering of pathological wound healing response. Piercing of the ears is a well-recognized triggering factor for development of primary ear keloids. Knowing that KD is a genetic disorder of wound healing processes, it is counter-intuitive to resort to surgery as the mainstay of treatment. Surgical removal of keloids is a commonly practiced intervention, not only by ear-nose-throat specialists, but also by plastic surgeons as well as general dermatologists. Surgical intervention however, defies the very basic principal in keloid formation. The injury and insult from surgery to the skin that surrounds a keloidal lesion, on its own, will undoubtedly trigger a keloidal wound healing response that often leads to formation of a new keloid.

Additional treatments in form of post-operative steroid injections, or even radiation therapy are commonly incorporated in management of every KD patient who undergoes surgery, simply to counter the fully expected recurrence after surgery. Yet despite diligent use of all available additional methods, a significant number of keloid patients will have a recurrence, which is often worse than the original keloid they had, and they undergo second, third or fourth surgery. In many unfortunate instances, keloids keep relapsing and at some point, either the surgeon, or the patient, or both, give up and the unfortunate patient ends up accepting the truth about inability of surgery to treat their keloids and see no other choice but to surrender to living with huge tumoral keloids on their ears. Almost all very bad cases of keloid that you may see, those with the most horrible keloids, are among this unfortunate group of patients.

Successful treatment of keloids requires patience and perseverance, and utilization of non-surgical methods. As keloids are chronic skin conditions, their treatment also takes time. Each keloid may require more than one method of treatment to achieve a desirable result. Choice of treatment for a given keloid will depend on its location, size and thickness and also, all prior treatments.


    Notice of 501 (C)(3) Status:

    (February 1, 2017) Keloid Research Foundation has been determined by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(C)(3). Donors can deduct contributions they make to KRF under IRC Section 170. Click here to view the 501(C)(3) Exemption Document.

    Journal of Keloid Research:

    (December 3, 2016)KRF is proud to announce establishment of Keloid Research, an open access scientific publication of the Keloid Research Foundation. Until now, keloid manuscripts have been published in a variety of journals. Our goal is to create a centralized publishing platform for all researchers who are passionate about this disorder, so that relevant clinical and laboratory research can be published in one place and under one umbrella. The journal is aiming to provide an international forum for the publication of original work, describing basic science, translational and clinical investigations in keloid disorder.

    Keloid Staging System:

    (August 19, 2016) In his most recent publication, "Neck Keloids: evaluation of risk factors and recommendation for keloid staging system" Dr. Tirgan has designed a staging system that allows for proper categorization and grouping of keloid patients into various stages.

    To assess each keloid patient properly, to better understand the natural history of this disorder, and to be able to compare future keloid study results among various patients groups, we clearly need a staging system that can allow us to describe the severity keloid disorder based on the size, location and/or extent of the keloidal lesions; as well as history of surgery or radiation therapy, and perhaps other factors that are currently unknown to us. Please click HERE to read more.

    International Keloid Symposium:

    (March 11, 2016) KRF is proudly announcing that the 1st ever will be held on September 8 - 9, 2016 at Rockefeller University in New York. KRF Extends its gratitude to Rockefeller University for hosting this meeting and its support for keloid research. Click on the image below to be directed to the symposium website.

  • March 11, 2016
  • Dr. Patricia Danielsen has joined the board of Directors of KRF:

    KRF is pleased to announce that Dr. Patricia Danielsen has joined the board of directors of KRF. Dr. Danielsen is a dermatologist at the Department of Dermatology and Copenhagen Wound Healing Center, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark. She has a PhD in wound healing and scar treatment science and a continuing academic career with a special focus on keloid scar disease. We welcome Dr. Danielsen and look forward to working with her in strengthening KRF.

  • November 1, 2015
  • KRF presentations at ETRS 2015 meeting:
  • Dr. Michael H. Tirgan was invited and gave two talks on Keloid Disorder at the Keloid Satellite Symposium during the 7th Joint Meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society & the Wound Healing Society that was held 21-23 October 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • August 15, 2015
  • Atlas of Ear Keloids:
  • KRF is pleased to announce publication of it first sponsored book, Atlas of Ear Keloids. This full color atlas, authored by Dr. Michael Tirgan, provides an insight into natural history of ear keloids. With over 130 full color images of ear keloids, Dr. Tirgan provides a solid proof that surgery is not a treatment for keloid disorder.

    Atlas of Ear Keloids by Dr. Michael H. Tirgan

  • August 1, 2015
  • KRF presenting at ETRS 2015 meeting:
  • KRF was able to arrange for a scientific session dedicated to keloid research the 7th Joint Meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society & the Wound Healing Society that will be held 21-23 October 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark. This will be the very first dedicated scientific session that KRF has been able to organize.

  • November 11, 2011
  • KRF Formally Registered in New York State
  • KRF is pleased to announce that its Certificate of Incorporation was accepted and filled by the State of New York. KRF is now able to conduct fund raising activities to support conduct of much needed research in the field of Keloid.
  • October 18, 2011
  • Grant Approval from Rockefeller University
  • KRF is pleased to announce that Dr. Tirgan's proposal to study "Pathogenesis of Keloid" was approved by the Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences. (RUCCTS Grant # 2UL1RR024143 from the National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health). We thank Rockefeller University for extending support to our fight against keloid disorder. is the official website of the main study.
  • October 14, 2011
  • Dr. James N. Musyoka, joins KRF
  • KRF is pleased to announce that Dr. Musyoka has joined KRF. Dr. Musyoka has just completed his PhD with focus on would healing and keloid research and has previously conducted laboratory research in this area. We welcome Dr. Musyoka as a new member of KRF.
  • August 4, 2011
  • Dr. Djoned Sananto joins KRF
  • KRF is pleased to announce that Dr. Sananto, Head of Plastic Surgery Department at Haji General Hospital in Indonesia, has joined KRF. Dr. Sananto has strong interest in keloid disorder, actively treats patients with keloids, has previously conducted laboratory research in keloid and published the study results. We welcome Dr. Sananto as a new member of KRF.
  • July 28, 2011
  • Advanced Pathology Laboratory Partners with KRF
  • KRF is pleased to announce that the Director of Advanced Pathology Laboratory, Dr. Ali Daneshvar, has made a long term commitment to serve as the Tissue Bank arm of KRF. Advanced Pathology Laboratory is a CLIA certified full service pathology laboratory, located in Northfiled, New Jersey.
  • July 21, 2011
  • KRF Appoints General Counsel
  • KRF is pleased to announce appointment of its General Counsel. Attorney Ronald R. Benjamin of Binghamton, New York has been appointed General Counsel for Keloid Research Foundation. He will oversee all legal matters that concern operations of KRF. Mr. Benjamin has been practicing public interest law since 1979.
  • July 18, 2011
  • Certificate of Incorporation for KRF
  • The Certificate of Incorporation for KRF was completed by three initial board members, Michael Tirgan, MD acting as the Medical Officer, Nadereh Nouhi acting as the Business Manager and Alexander Duggan acting as the Patient Advocate and Liaison.