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Removing Keloids - Suggestions from body piercing FAQ

The Following comes from a body piercing FAQ, located at:


Keloid scars are raised blister- or pimple-like formations of scar tissue which form in or around a piercing. Keloids may be red, itchy, and inflamed, and may change size over time. Keloids seem to occur most frequently in ear piercings (both lobe and cartilage) and nostril piercings. Labret, nipple, and navel piercings have also been known to be affected. There is no way to predict whether or not a keloid scar will develop in a particular piercing - a first or second lobe piercing may heal perfectly, but the next piercing will flare up into scar tissue. The piercing technique used (piercing gun, hollow piercing needle, or even sewing needle) may or may not make a difference. different 
people have had different and vast experiences.

Irritation of the piercing during healing, such as changing jewelry before the piercing has fully healed or pulling or tearing of the piercing, may increase the likelihood of scar tissue developing. With cartilage piercings, scar tissue is more likely to form if the ring is too small in diameter for the length of the piercing, or if the stud is too short, which is often the case of sleeper studs with butterfly clip backs installed with a piercing gun.

Bacterial infections can also irritate the piercing enough for a small lump of scar tissue to form.


Removing the jewelry at the first signs of keloid formation and allowing the piercing to heal closed will often get rid of the keloid, or minimize its size.

Existing and healed keloid scars can be removed surgically, under local anesthetic, by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Surgical removal of the scar tissue does not guarantee that more scar tissue will not form.

Scar tissue may also be injected with cortisone or other steroids. A large or deep scar may require more than one session. The cortisone acts to shrink and break down the scar tissue. Possible side effects of cortisone injections are unwanted hair growth, yeast infections, and other steroid-related side effects.

Some people have reported diminished keloids with the application of tea tree oil, available in most health food and organic stores.

Vitamin E, applied during healing, may decrease the formation or chance of formation of scar tissue.

Several piercers have recommended the application of a paste of distilled water and aspirin, for 20 minutes twice a day.

One dermatologist I've spoken to about keloids says that once a keloid begins to form, the presence of the jewelry will continue to irritate the area and the scar tissue will continue to grow until the jewelry is removed. He also said that cortisone or steroid injections with the jewelry in place may help shrink the keloid some, but that with jewelry present, the keloid will never completely disappear. Also, the injections tend not to work so well in cartilage layers. His advice is to remove the jewelry. He also said the tendency to form deep scar tissue is hereditary.

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