Isaiah Griffin: Scarred But Never Scared

(Photo credit: Great Big Story)

When you first notice Isaiah Griffin from Wichita, Kansas, you would probably guess that with his broad shoulders, his massive arms and slim waist that he’s a bodybuilder and you’d be right. But you’d never guess what caused this handsome young man to depressed until he takes off his shirt and see his “web-like” keloid scars.

Griffin first noticed his keloid, a benign growth caused when the body over heals itself, on his leg during his teen years.

“When I was 17, 18, I developed this condition called keloids,” explains Griffin to Great Big Story. “Basically, when your body over-heals itself.”

The condition gave Isaiah extremely low self-esteem, to the point where he didn’t even want to look at his own reflection in the mirror.

“There was a point where I had to turn off the lights because every time I looked at myself in the mirror I wouldn’t like what I saw,” Griffin tells

But bodybuilding actually helped him regain his confidence again and taught him a valuable lesson that he shares with others every day.

(Photo credit: Great Big Story)

Isaiah continued, “It started as bumps that would burst open and look like regular acne, but then they started to connect and look like a web on my chest.”

“I thought it was just a cyst and I was okay with it. I didn’t think too much of it until they started to connect around my chest.

“It hit me to a point where I kind of stopped being myself. I was really scared about what people would say and what people would think. So I would hide in like a shell.”

A keloid (key-loid) is a type of raised scar. Unlike other raised scars, keloids grow much larger than the wound that caused the scar.

Not everyone who gets a scar will develop a keloid. If you have keloid-prone skin, however, anything that can cause a scar may lead to a keloid. This includes a cut, burn, or severe acne. Some people see a keloid after they pierce their ears or get a tattoo. A keloid can also form as chickenpox clear. Sometimes, a surgical scar becomes a keloid.

In very rare cases, keloids form when people do not injure their skin. These are called “spontaneous keloids” like in Isaiah’s case.

The size and shape of keloids vary. On an earlobe, you’ll likely see a round, solid mass. When a keloid forms on a shoulder or the chest, the raised scar tends to spread out across the skin. It often looks like a liquid spilled on the skin and then hardened.

As these raised scars grow, they may feel painful or itchy. A keloid that covers a joint or large area can decrease a person’s ability to move that part of the body.

(Photo credit: @big_i03 instagram)

While his keloids continued to grow, Isaiah’s passion for lifting weights grew as well and pushed him to show off his muscular physique by competing in bodybuilding competitions. He won third place in his very first one.

Isaiah said: “At my first show I don’t think I was nervous. I was just ready. I was really just ready to get on stage and get it done. When I achieved it, it was overwhelming.

“Bodybuilding changed my life to where I can feel good about myself, increase my…