Keloids are a vexing problem. The surgeon finds them a multiheaded hydra, ready to spring up again after being cut down, and the dermatologist is frustrated often when radiotherapy fails. The patient finds his healing— scars—unesthetic and frequently painful and itchy. In many cases, the cure is worse than the disease, and nothing is done. In early cases, radiotherapy is useful, and sometimes freezing methods, as with liquid nitrogen, may help. For older lesions, surgical removal, followed by radiotherapy to prevent recurrence, is necessary. Many times, however, these procedures fail to achieve their purpose.
The keloid represents an abnormal growth of connective tissue, and it seemed that the application of some of the newer knowledge of connective tissue and connective tissue diseases might point the way to their more effective treatment or prevention, or both. An attempt along these lines was made by Conway and Stark,1 who described their