5 doctors weighed in:
What is the difference between hypertrophic scarring and a keloid?
5 doctors weighed in

Dr. Katherine Brown
Dermatology
2 doctors agree
In brief: The area affected
Hypertrophic scars are raised scars that do not spread beyond the boundry of the original scar. A keloid is a scar that continues to grow, extending well outside the boundary of the original scar site.
That is, it spreads into areas of previously normal non-scarred skin.

In brief: The area affected
Hypertrophic scars are raised scars that do not spread beyond the boundry of the original scar. A keloid is a scar that continues to grow, extending well outside the boundary of the original scar site.
That is, it spreads into areas of previously normal non-scarred skin.
Dr. Katherine Brown
Dr. Katherine Brown
Thank
Dr. John Walker
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Local spread
The definition of a keloid is overgrowth of the scar tissue into the surrounding tissue over the boundaries of the scar. Different from a hypertrophic scar which is simply a thickened scar, remaining within the boundaries of the original scar. It can continue to grow, see my answers in how to treat safely and without stimulating further growth.
Mostly do not allow anyone to cut it, without a plan.

In brief: Local spread
The definition of a keloid is overgrowth of the scar tissue into the surrounding tissue over the boundaries of the scar. Different from a hypertrophic scar which is simply a thickened scar, remaining within the boundaries of the original scar. It can continue to grow, see my answers in how to treat safely and without stimulating further growth.
Mostly do not allow anyone to cut it, without a plan.
Dr. John Walker
Dr. John Walker
Thank
Dr. Marguerite Barnett
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Scar types
Many people confuse keloids with hypertrophic scars.
The latter are more common. By definition, a keloid scar will grow past the border of the scar, so if it looks like a cauliflower (top bigger than base), it's a keloid. A hypertrophic scar is simply one that is thick. It can be really thick but if the base isn't smaller, it's hypertrophic. Keloids are way harder to treat than hypertrophics.

In brief: Scar types
Many people confuse keloids with hypertrophic scars.
The latter are more common. By definition, a keloid scar will grow past the border of the scar, so if it looks like a cauliflower (top bigger than base), it's a keloid. A hypertrophic scar is simply one that is thick. It can be really thick but if the base isn't smaller, it's hypertrophic. Keloids are way harder to treat than hypertrophics.
Dr. Marguerite Barnett
Dr. Marguerite Barnett
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Christopher Crosby
Board Certified, Dermatology
12 years in practice
93K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors