How to Get Rid of Hypertrophic Scars From Piercings

Side profile of a young man with piercing
A profile shot of a young man with facial piercing. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A hypertrophic scar is a bump of raised scar tissue that forms around a piercing hole. Hypertrophic scars can occur with any piercing, but are particularly frequent with cartilage piercings on the ears or nostrils. According to master piercer Elayne Angel, author of "The Piercing Bible: The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing," there are treatments you can try at home to reduce hypertrophic scars. Severe cases, however, may require a visit to a dermatologist to heal completely.

Step 1

Visit a piercer certified by the Association of Professional Piercers if you still want to wear jewelry in your piercing. APP piercers are trained in proper jewelry selection, and improper jewelry can lead to hypertrophic scarring.

Step 2

Snip off a piece of paper tape with clean scissors. The piece of tape should be big enough to cover the scar plus 1 mm of unaffected tissue on all sides. If you are still wearing jewelry in the piercing, make a small cut in the tape so you can slip it around your jewelry.

Step 3

Wear the tape constantly for two to three months, changing it at least once a day.

Step 4

Soak the piercing daily in the same saline solution mixture piercers recommend for healing. Add 1/8 tsp. of iodine-free sea salt to 1/2 cup of warm distilled or bottled water. Soak the piercing with a medicine cup, shot glass or saturated gauze pad for 10 minutes. Wash the piercing with antibacterial soap immediately after soaking.

Step 5

Add a drop of tea tree oil to 1 tbsp. carrier oil, such as olive or safflower oil. Massage the oil into the scar for several minutes once or twice daily to help break down collagen fibers.

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