December 2021

Keloid scar survey results 

You may recall our previous post in March this year, where we asked for responses to a survey about keloid scar sensations, with a particular focus on pain. We are extremely pleased with the number of responses we received - over 95!

Thank you to everyone who took part! You have truly helped shape our new research programme to ensure it is of value to those living with keloids.

Keloid scar pain and itch

We have attached the full results as a pdf presentation here, however, we would like to highlight a few interesting findings:

  • Keloid pain and itch is common, with both sensations prevalent amongst most respondents (Figure 1).

    Figure 1

  • Both pain and itch were rated as at least moderate in intensity (Figures 2 & 3). However, in contrast to our initial thoughts, itch was cited as being more intense than pain (Figure 3).

    Figure 2

    Figure 3

  • From further interviews with some respondents, it is clear that pain and itch occur at different areas within keloids: pain is usually felt in the centre of scars, whereas itch is felt around the border.

  • Steroid injection, a common treatment option for keloids, was surprisingly rated as highly painful, with most people reporting no change or making sensations worse (Figure 4).

    Figure 4

  • Overall, the responses we received highlighted the need for further research and public information on keloid pain and itch.

We would like to emphasise that we are still at the beginning of our research journey. However, one exciting outcome of this preliminary research is that our previous Master’s student, Amy, will be undertaking a PhD project for the next three years working on elucidating the cellular mechanisms underlying keloid pain and itch.

We are again grateful for everyone who has shared their experience and continue to be committed to patient-led research in this area.

The team

Dr Tanya Shaw, King’s College London

Dr Franziska Denk, King’s College London

Miss Amy Lock, PhD Candidate, King’s College London

If you have any questions regarding this post, please email Amy Lock at [email protected]

Miss Amy Lock, Dr Franziska Denk & Dr Tanya Shaw, Kings College London

Donate to research   Keloids

Help scientists to better understand keloid scars with another short survey.

By donating to skin disease research you are helping us to find treatments and cures for common conditions like eczema, acne and psoriasis through to potential killers like melanoma skin cancer. Thank you.

Banner image credit
Htirgan, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons.