Periauricular Keloids on Face-Lift Scars in a Patient with Facial Nerve Paralysis

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Keloids are caused by excessive scar formation that leads to scar growth beyond the initial scar boundaries. Keloid formation and progression is promoted by mechanical stress such as skin stretch force. Consequently, keloids rarely occur in paralyzed areas and areas with little skin tension, such as the periauricular region. Therefore, periauricular incision is commonly performed for face lifts. We report a rare case of keloids that arose from face-lift scars in a patient with bilateral facial nerve paralysis. A 51-year-old Japanese man presented with abnormal proliferative skin masses in bilateral periauricular scars. Seventeen years before, he had a cerebral infarction that resulted in permanent bilateral facial nerve paralysis. Three years before presentation, the patient underwent face-lift surgery with periauricular incisions. We diagnosed multiple keloids. We removed the masses surgically, closed the wounds with sutures in the superficial musculoaponeurotic system layer to reduce tension on the wound edges, reconstructed the earlobes with local skin flaps, and provided 2 consecutive days of radiotherapy. The wounds/scars were managed with steroid plasters and injections. Histology confirmed that the lesions were keloids. Ten months after surgery, the lesions did not exhibit marked regrowth. The keloids appeared to be caused by the patient's helmet, worn during his 3-hour daily motorcycle rides, which placed repeated tension on the periauricular area. This rare case illustrates how physical force contributes to auricular and periauricular keloid development and progression. It also shows that when performing surgery with periauricular incisions, care should be taken to eliminate wound/scar stretching.

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