A Wisconsin man is fighting to clear a life-altering skin condition he contracted after a routine visit to the barber.

Keith Crowell, of Milwaukee, developed keloids, or a keloid scar, on his skin about 12 years ago after he was cut on both sides of the neck during a hot shave.

Keloids are tough, heaped-up scar tissue that rises quite abruptly above the rest of the skin.

After being nicked by the barber, instead of healing, the cuts continued to grow more and more skin, which now resembles tumours around his neck.


Crowell's insurance company refused to cover the removal surgery.

"I had a bad reaction when I went to a barber and he gave me shave and nicked me on both sides," Crowell told KFSM.

Keith Crowell has had two previous surgeries but they made the condition worse. Photo / Supplied
Keith Crowell has had two previous surgeries but they made the condition worse. Photo / Supplied

Crowell has been forced to live with the condition for more a decade, after two operations to have the keloids removed - 18kg of skin was taken off - tragically resulted in even more forming.

"It can be devastating. Sometimes I feel real bad," Crowell said.

"I want to be like, a normal person."Crowell has started a crowd-funding campaign in an attempt to raise enough money to travel to New York and see a surgeon he is sure can help him.

"There's a doctor in New York that can solve my solution. He has a 96 per cent rate that he can resolve my issue and I love those odds," Crowell said.

Crowell's insurance rejected his claim to visit the surgeon after categorising the surgery as cosmetic. But Crowell said they were wrong.

"I feel it's not cosmetic. This is my livelihood. This is my life right here,'' Crowell said.

Crowell added that he often has difficulty sleeping because of the discomfort, which he tries to comfort by applying baby oil. Anything stronger irritates the skin.

He also has difficulty swallowing, as well as difficulty hearing, as the keloids now cover his ears.

Crowell has not named the barber he visited 12 years ago or his insurance provider.

What are keloids?

• Keloids are smooth, hard, benign growths that form when scar tissue grows excessively instead of healing.

• Risk factors include being of African, Asian, or Latino heritage, being pregnant, and being younger than 30 years old.

• Treatments for keloid scarring are not always effective because of the toughness of the skin.

Source : Healthline