Detroit — A Henry Ford Hospital study suggests that African-Americans are seven times more likely than Caucasians to develop keloids following head and neck surgery.
According to a Henry Ford Hospital news release, however, the finding is lower than that previously reported in medical literature, where rates of keloid development have been shown to be up to 16 percent higher in African-Americans.
Unlike regular scars, keloids do not subside over time, often extend outside the wound site and may be itchy and painful to the touch.
Of the nearly 6,700 patients involved in the Henry Ford study, 20 were found to have a keloid within the head and neck area following surgery. Of these, the keloids rate for African-Americans was 0.8 percent; the rate for Caucasians was 0.1 percent.
“Many African-American patients are afraid to have head and neck surgery or any facial cosmetic procedures for fear of developing keloids at the incision sites,” said lead author Lamont R. Jones, M.D., vice chairman of the department of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Henry Ford. “We hope our study helps to eliminate that fear by showing that keloid development on the head and neck following surgery is actually much smaller than other reports.”
The research team is preparing another study to find a new way to identify the genes that may be responsible for keloid development. By identifying the genetic cause, it may be possible to develop better treatments for keloids in the near future.
The study was funded by Henry Ford Hospital.
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