What is a Keloid?

PLEASE NOTE: Advanced Dermatology does not treat keloids at this current time. This article is for education and information purposes only. 

A keloid is a scar tissue growth from a previous injury. They can be found on any part of the body where an injury has occurred. They are very common on the back, shoulders, central chest, and the ear lobes. Keloids result on the body due to the body trying to heal itself. Do take note they can occur on body piercings. They are usually not harmful, but many are self conscious about them. Keloids are common in Asians, African Americans, and Hispanics. While they can develop at any age, it is more common to see them in individuals ages 10 to 20 years. Genetics do play a role in keloids, so if either parent has had a keloid, an individual is more susceptible to them.

Keloid Causes

There are many causes of keloids. These include burns, acne scars, scratches, ear piercings, body piercings, surgical cuts, chickenpox scars, and vaccination sites.

Keloid Symptoms

Symptoms of keloids include a lumpy or ridged area of the skin, an itchy portion of the skin, an area of the skin that is flesh colored, pink or red in color, and an area that grows larger over a course of time with scar tissue. They take time to develop, from weeks or months. They can be very tender, and clothing may irritate them.

Keloids often do not need medical attention. If the growth continues, you will want to contact your dermatologist right away. You may wish to consult your dermatologist if you want them surgically removed or if any other symptoms occur on the body.

Keloid Treatments

There are many types of treatments used for keloids, should you decide the need to treat them.  Treatment includes

  • surgery to remove the keloids
  • freezing the keloid to kill the skin cells
  • radiation that will shrink the keloids
  • moisturiaing the skin to keep the tissue soft
  • corticosteroid injections used to reduce inflammation and flatten the keloids
  • using pressure pads after an injury, or a silicone gel pad
  • laser treatment to diminish the scar tissue, make the area less red and flatten the keloids

We have heard about some home remedies that one can use to relieve keloids. We have not tested these remedies and we do not recommend them as a keloid treatment.  These include:

  • Using baking soda with hydrogen peroxide. This will help to exfoliate the skin. Mix one part baking soda with three parts hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Apply to the keloids, doing this three to four times a day. This will help speed up the healing process and reduce inflammation.
  • Aloe Vera- Aloe Vera can reduce the inflammation on the skin, as well as cleanse the area. Apply Aloe Vera to cleansed skin twice a day to help repair damage.
  • Lemon Juice- Extract the juice out of one lemon, then apply to the keloid. Leave on for half an hour, then wash with water. Do this at least once a day to help the scar see an improvement in texture, colour, appearance, and flexibility.
  • Aspirin- Crush three aspirin finely. Add water to make a paste, then apply to the scar, and allow to dry. Rinse with water, pat dry and apply tea tree oil to the area. Do this once daily until the keloid is gone. Aspirin will help to reduce the size and appearance of the scar.

Keloid Prevention

Prevention of keloids includes avoiding injury at all costs. Avoid surgery unless absolutely necessary, and do not get body piercings. If you do happen to have the ears pierced, wear pressure earrings to help reduce scarring. Should you need surgery, let the doctor know if you have had keloids before or if they run in your family. This might be cause to start treatment right after surgery to prevent them from forming.

PLEASE NOTE: Advanced Dermatology does not treat keloids at this current time. This article is for education and information purposes only. 

6 replies
  1. Mini me
    Mini me says:

    I suffer from having a keloid. At first I had no idea what it was. It really scared me as it just kept getting bigger and bigger. Luckily for me, it was on my stomach so I could easily keep it covered, or else it would have embarrassed me. I was able to do corticosteroid injections to help with the inflammation. This really did help me. The reason I got the keloid in the first place was I had gall bladder surgery. My first surgery ever, and go figure I would end up with something like this. Anyways, I also used vitamin E oil to help heal my skin. I liked using this as it was very moisturizing to my skin and I feel that it did help it heal faster. I never knew that aspirin was good for it. I wish I would have known that sooner. I have a bottle up in my cupboard that I never use as I would rather take something else when I am in pain. If I ever have another keloid, I will be sure to try the aspirin method.

  2. aloe vera
    aloe vera says:

    I have used Aloe Vera gel on my keloid. I love what aloe does for the skin. It is very soothing and heals wonderfully. It is a great way to use an all natural product for the skin, and I like that it will help to prevent any infections. Plus it does double duty when it moisturizes. I think that lemon juice can also be effective as it is all natural, and will help to lighten the skin, or the top skin cell layers.

  3. Keloid on ear
    Keloid on ear says:

    My sister had a huge keloid on her ear lobe after getting her ears pierced. We often do not think of the dangers that ear piercing might cause us. Who would have thought that a huge growth can take place on the ear. I never knew there was such a thing as pressure earrings. Can anyone explain what these are? Are they just tighter fitting earrings that apply pressure so scarring is not taking place?

  4. Lil Amy
    Lil Amy says:

    Has anyone had any success with onion extract for a keloid? I have read that it is known to reduce scar formation. I read that you just dice an onion ( a white onion) then place the diced onion in a cheesecloth. Place in a bowl then press another bowl over this bowl to retrieve the onion extract. Apply with a cotton ball a few times a day. Does it work? Does it make you smell awful? Would you use it again to treat a keloid if you have used onion extract?

  5. Reachel
    Reachel says:

    I would be leery of using surgery as a method for removing a keloid if surgery was the way one obtained a keloid in the first place. Is there a possibility then to gain more keloids from the surgery that was to remove the keloid? If so, one would be in the same boat as they were when they started. Or what would happen if a larger keloid formed in that area? It would be harder to get rid of.

  6. Silicone helped me
    Silicone helped me says:

    I suffered from a keloid a year back and my dermatologist gave me silicone sheets to wear daily. I had to wear them several weeks. They helped to reduce the appearance of the keloid. You do not need to wear the sheet all day long, just as many hours as your doctor recommends. For me this was an extremely effective process.


Leave a Comment/Share your Story

Want to join the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *