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A very common misconception is that keloids occur almost exclusively in blacks. Though the incidence and genetic predisposition is far greater in that population, they don’t have a monopoly on this disorder. Virtually all ethnic groups can develop keloids though the risk is higher in those who are darker complected. This includes, for example, Native Americans, those of Asian, Hispanic and Middle Eastern descent and even Italians, Pakistanis and Indians. However, I have treated keloids in numerous fair skinned patients such as those of Irish and British heritage.

Though keloids can develop in many areas of the body, the ear and earlobe are at or near the top as the most common area of involvement. This is not so much that the area is intrinsically a high risk one especially when other variables are factored in but rather that it is much more commonly subjected to trauma, irritation and infections – typically from ear piercings.

Indeed, in the overwhelming majority patients who seek treatment from me for keloids of their ears and earlobes, the precipitating causes are issues associated with pierced ears. Often there is an added history of chronic irritation, infection or an allergic type reaction to the earrings, particularly those made of steel or silver.

A representative example of this is the following teenage patient of mine who experienced some inflammation of her right ear following its piercing. Subsequently, a keloid developed and continued enlarging in size (photos A and C). During her consultation, various options were discussed and she elected to proceed with surgical excision and steroid injection.

A. Keloid of the right ear

A. Keloid of the right ear

B. After removal of keloid

B. After keloid removal

C. Keloid before surgery

C. Keloid before surgery

D. After keloid removal

D. After keloid removal

Surgical removal of the keloid of the ear with reconstruction was performed and a small amount of steroid was injected into the area. At only two months her scar is already inconspicuous and there is no noticeable deformity in the area (photos B and D).

If you would like more information on keloids and their treatment or for any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a consultation with me, please call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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A Message Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19

In light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to let you know of some of the major precautions we are taking in our office to maximize cleanliness and keep the environment as sanitary and safe as possible. Our highest priority is always to ensure the safety of every individual who sees us and we are taking extreme infection-control measures to maintain cleanliness and “sterility” of surfaces and the overall environment.

We will be limiting dates and times for office appointments and consultations due to safety and other issues. Consequently, if you have already made an office appointment or consultation prior to March 18, 2020 to occur at a later time, this may need to be changed.

For anyone considering plastic surgery, we are now offering Virtual Consultations and Telemedicine through Skype. A great number of aesthetic or insurance-related issues can be evaluated via pictures and online video conferencing, making this an excellent way to find out more about particular procedures, determine candidacy for treatment, receive answers to questions and facilitate being able to move forward with care once the government lifts all restrictions.

In an abundance of caution, we are asking all current patients who are experiencing a fever, cough, chills, fatigue or any type of respiratory illness to please delay any upcoming appointments at our practice. We can talk with you by phone or email to establish a new date and time for the appointment.

We are all in this together. Our team urges everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by local health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include frequent handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds, social distancing, staying home if you are feeling sick, and contacting your healthcare provider if you feel you are experiencing symptoms.

For more information, please read our blog – Coronavirus and You: Important Information

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