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Researchers Discover New Genes That May Unlock Mystery Of Keloid Development

Update Date: May 30, 2014 10:04 AM EDT

Researchers have identified new genes that may by responsible for keloid scarring, according to a new study. The discovery is likely to unlock the mystery of keloid development and provide insight for more effective treatment.

"Much of the uncertainty surrounding keloids is rooted in there being no known cause for their development," said study lead author Lamont R. Jones, M.D., vice chair, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford, in a press release.

"But it is believed that keloids have a genetic component given the correlation with family history, prevalence in twins, and its predisposition in darker skin."

The occurrence of keloids is more common on the chest, shoulders, earlobes, upper arms and cheeks. They are less likely to occur in albinos but are highest seen in dark skinned individuals, especially in the African-American population. 

For treating keloids doctors use cortisone injections, pressure dressings, silicone gels, surgery, cryosurgery (freezing), laser treatment, or radiation therapy. On some individuals a combination of treatments may be also used.

The press release added that in some cases it returns after treatment for up to 50 to 100 percent of the time.

Dr. Jones notes the importance of this new information and how it can be used to "further refine the screening process for biological significance in hopes of better understanding the pathogenesis and molecular targeted therapy for keloid disease."

"By identifying the genetic cause, it may be possible to develop better treatments for keloids in the near future," he says.

Findings of the study were presented this week at the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery's 11th International Symposium in New York City.

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