Suppose you’ve recently gotten a piercing and have noticed an abnormal growth of scar tissue around the area. In that case, you might be dealing with a keloid. Keloids are a type of raised scar that can occur after an injury to the skin, including piercings. While they can be an aesthetic concern, keloids are generally harmless. However, knowing how to manage and prevent them is essential to maintain your skin’s health. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the steps to take if you develop a keloid from a piercing.
Before taking any action, it’s crucial to confirm that the growth you’re experiencing is indeed a keloid. Keloids are typical:
- Raised and firm to the touch
- Pink or red, sometimes darkening over time
- Growing beyond the initial wound or piercing site
- Occasionally itchy or painful
If you need clarification on whether you have a keloid or another skin issue, consult a dermatologist or healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.
Treating Keloids from Piercings
Once you’ve identified a keloid, you can explore various treatment options. Here are some of the most effective methods:
- Over-the-counter treatments: Silicone gel sheets and creams can help flatten and reduce keloids by providing constant pressure and hydration. Apply as directed on the product packaging, usually for several months.
- Corticosteroid injections: A healthcare professional can administer these injections directly into the keloid to reduce inflammation and slow its growth. Multiple injections may be required over a while.
- Cryotherapy: This involves freezing the keloid with liquid nitrogen to shrink it. It’s often combined with corticosteroid injections for the best results.
- Laser therapy: A dermatologist can use a targeted laser to flatten the keloid and reduce redness. Multiple sessions may be needed.
- Surgery: In severe cases, a surgeon can remove the keloid. However, this option risks the keloid returning or growing even more prominent.
Preventing Keloid Formation
There are several steps you can take to prevent keloids from forming after a piercing:
- Choose a reputable piercer: A well-trained piercer will follow proper sterilization procedures and use appropriate techniques to minimize the risk of complications.
- Opt for hypoallergenic jewelry: Nickel-free, surgical-grade stainless steel, titanium, or 14k gold are excellent options.
- Follow aftercare instructions: Keep the piercing clean and avoid touching it unnecessarily. Use a saline solution to cleanse the area twice a day.
- Be patient: Allow adequate healing time before changing jewelry or subjecting the piercing to stress.
- Know your risk: Some people are more prone to keloids due to genetics or skin type. Suppose you’ve had keloids before or have a family history. In that case, avoid piercings or discuss preventive measures with a dermatologist.
When to Seek Professional Help
If you cannot manage a keloid alone or are experiencing severe pain, infection, or significant discomfort, consult a healthcare professional. A dermatologist can provide expert advice and recommend the most appropriate treatment for your case.
The Bottom Line
Identifying, treating, and preventing keloids from piercings is crucial to maintaining your skin’s health. By recognizing the signs of a keloid, exploring various treatment options, and implementing prevention measures, you can take control of your skin’s appearance and well-being. Remember to seek professional help and follow proper aftercare guidelines to ensure a smooth and healthy healing process for your piercing. By staying informed and proactive, you can confidently enjoy your piercing and minimize the risk of keloid formation.