What are Keloids?
Per the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology), a keloid is basically a type of raised scar. Like most other scars, a keloid typically starts out due to some kind of injury or trauma to the skin, such a piercing, a surgery, a burn, any kind of cut, chicken pox or even acne. (In some rare instances, keloids can even form even without any clear trauma to the skin). What is particular to a keloid is that it spreads much further than the site of the original injury. In fact this is one of the distinguishing features of a keloid that makes it different from a hypertrophic scar.
The term is pronounced key-loid.
Keloids often occur on the ears and on the chest. Depending on their location, they can present quite differently. On the chest for example, they often appear like a hardened spilled liquid. On the other hand, on the ear, they may appear like a solid, roundish mass. Keloids are typically not cancerous.
In general, darker skinned ethnic groups, such as African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians, are more prone to keloids. There also seems to be some genetic connection, since this skin issue tends to run in families.
Like with many other skin conditions, it is very important to consult your doctor to get a proper diagnosis of exactly what skin condition you have. Both the seriousness of the condition and the treatments are dependent on the specific diagnosis as well as the specific patient. Your doctor is clearly the best person to advice you on how to proceed.
So how do you get rid of keloids from piercings, and from other causes? There are various home remedies for keloids, as well as several which require a doctor to perform them. You may have more success with one of these that with another, and you may have to go through several of these before you find out what is best for you. We have mentioned several alternatives below, and you can click on many of the home remedies to see additional details about each option. These include the procedure to be followed, the frequency of the treatment, and possible side effects.
Silcone gel sheets applied over the affected area is often effective. The bad news is that these are expensive, but the good news is that they are easy to use. Some possible side-effects include contact dermatitis and pruritus.
This is freezing off of the keloid.
Injections of steroids are sometimes helpful. In particular, Kenalog (triamcinolone acetonide) is often used for this purpose. This can be combined with cryotherapy in some instances.
This is when the keloid is removed surgically in layers rather than in a single surgery.
Sometimes surgical removal of the keloid may be recommended by your doctor.