How to Reduce a Keloid

A keloid scar is a red, purple or brown raised scar that can result after an injury. While scarring is a biological safety method to protect the skin, a keloid arises when the scar tissue multiplies beyond what is necessary to protect the wound. Keloids can be found on most areas of the body and can occur after injuries, such as piercings, acne, burns or surgery, or even following shaving irritation. Treatments to reduce a keloid range from conservative to surgical.

Keloid scar on knee. (Image: russaquarius/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Apply a silicone gel sheet to the keloid on a daily basis. These gel pads work to soften a keloid's scar tissue as well as reduce its size. They can be purchased at most pharmacies.

Step 2

Use a pressure device, such as a compression bandage or earring in order to reduce the keloid's size. Compression helps break up the scar tissue and restore circulation to the area, which reduces the overall appearance. If the keloid is on the ear, wearing an earring-type device that places pressure directly on the keloid can help to reduce its size.

Step 3

Receive steroid injections to the keloid area from a physician. These injections often are given on a monthly basis and encourage the formation of blood vessels in the keloid area. When blood vessels form, they are able to flatten the keloid, which can reduce its appearance.

Step 4

Incorporate more foods that contain vitamin C, such as oranges and lime or lemon juice. Vitamin C stimulates collagen function and encourages tissue growth in the body.

Step 5

Ask your physician if more invasive means of treating your keloid are necessary. Undergo an invasive treatment option, such as removal surgery, laser therapy, radiation (to reduce size) or cryotherapy to freeze and destroy skin cells. It's important to carefully discuss any invasive options, as there is always a chance for keloid recurrence.

Tip

Because keloids have a tendency to become darker than the surrounding skin, it's a good idea to keep a forming keloid away from the sun, as this can reduce the keloid's dark appearance.

If you have utilized conservative treatments on a six-month basis yet have seen no improvement, ask your physician to evaluate the keloid for other possible treatment options.

Warning

Keloids often are the result of family history. If you have a history of developing keloids or have a close family member with keloids, you may wish to refrain from keloid-causing activities, such as piercings.

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