Pediatric earlobe keloids: Outcomes and patterns of recurrence

Faraz A. Khan, Natalie A. Drucker, Shawn D. Larson, Janice A. Taylor, Saleem Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Keloids occur as a result of abnormal wound healing and as many as 70% of keloids and hypertrophic scars affect the pediatric population. Earlobe keloids, similar to lesions elsewhere in the body, remain a challenging problem given the high rates of recurrence and lack of consensus regarding treatment strategy. This study aims to evaluate the outcomes and patterns of recurrences following treatment of earlobe keloids in a large cohort of pediatric patients to facilitate identification of the optimal treatment strategy. Methods: All pediatric patients who underwent surgical therapy for earlobe keloids over a 10-year period (2004–2015) were identified and demographic, clinical and outcomes data were collected. A follow-up phone survey was administered to assess rates of long-term recurrence and overall satisfaction with the treatment strategy. Data analysis was performed using Student's t-test and Fisher's exact as appropriate. Results: A total of 94 patients with 135 keloids were identified. Mean age was 14 years with slight preponderance of females (52%) and a majority (75%) of the patients were African American (AA). Mean keloid size was 2.4 cm (0.25–11 cm) with ear piercing being the most common inciting etiology. Excision with steroid injection (59%) was the most frequent treatment approach followed by excision alone (25%). During a median follow up of 2 years, keloid recurrence occurred in 27 (28.7%) patients, 19 (70.4%) underwent additional therapy with 10 (52.6%) re-recurrences noted. Median time to recurrence was 23 months, with a slightly higher recurrence rate in AA patients (32%; p = 0.26) and in those age < 10 years (50%; p = 0.11). Conclusion: This represents the largest series of earlobe keloids treatment in children. Our data suggest that recurrence rates are unaffected by the age at excision and race of the patient. Moreover, adjuncts to excisional therapy such as steroid injection, compression therapy and radiation also did not appear to influence recurrence. Given the pattern of recurrences studies with longer term follow-up are needed to assess the efficacy of treatment strategies. Type of study: Case series.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-464
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Earlobe
  • Keloids
  • Pediatric
  • Recurrence


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