Treatment Options

Keloid Disorder is a chronic skin conditions that requires a comprehensive treatment plan and approach. Most keloid lesions need more than one modality of treatment. Approach to treatment of keloid should be a step by step non-surgical treatment plan for every patient. This plan should take into consideration the location, size and thickness of the keloid as well as the associated symptoms and all prior treatments. Some keloids can be treated with cryotherapy alone, others need to be injected with steroids first and, if they do not respond to this treatment, cryotherapy is used in the second stage. If all these fail, one may need to even incorporate chemotherapy, as a step to gain control over the process. Although keloids are difficult conditions to treat, the good news is that everyone with keloids can be helped in one form or the other. Treatment process takes time. Each cycle of treatment results in some improvement in the appearance and size of the treated keloid. In most patients, treatment needs to be repeated several times to achieve best results.


An easy and common method of treating keloidal lesions is to inject them with steroids. Steroid injections work for a minority of patients, specially those with very few and thin keloid lesions. Steroid injections are often repeated every few weeks. There is no clinical evidence that higher doses of steroids are better, therefore, the dose of injected steroids should be kept the lowest possible. There is, however, strong evidence that higher doses of steroid do cause side effects, both locally at the site of injection causing skin atrophy and fat necrosis, and systemic side effects, such as rise in blood sugar (among diabetics) specially when repeated every few weeks.


The fundamental approach to treatment of keloids is to destroy the keloid tissue with a method that results in the least chance of recurrence. Cryotherapy is one such treatment that can destroy the keloid tissue. It is also the safest method, as it does not involve any medications. Cryotherapy works best on bulky keloids such as ear and large keloidal tumors. Success of cryotherapy is for the most part "operator dependent". Incorrect application of cryotherapy often does not lead into any results. As such, patients should ask their physicians about their past experience with cryotherapy. Simple spraying of liquid nitrogen from a spray can, a commonly practiced technique is simply not going to work.


Certain chemotherapy drugs have shown various degree of efficacy in treatment of keloidal lesions. Choice of drugs, the dosage as well as side effects have all to be taken into consideration before initiating such treatments. Very painful chest wall keloids respond best to intra-lesional chemotherapy.


Surgery and removal of the keloid from the skin does result in immediate improvement in the appearance of the skin, however, the risk of recurrence after surgery is near 100%, making the situation often worse by re-growth of an even bigger keloid at the site of surgery.


Radiation therapy as an adjunct to surgery can cause regression of some, but not all keloids. Radiation, however, can cause fibrosis and very dense skin reaction at the site of treatment. Chronic infections and skin abscess formation are among other long term complications of recurrent keloids after radiation therapy. Long term carcinogenic and other risks of radiation therapy may not justify using radiation in the treatment of keloids that by nature, are benign skin conditions.


    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.