If you are reading this article, you’ve probably been dealing with keloid scars. They are bothersome as they look unattractive and people usually don’t know how to get rid of them. Before you decide to medical treatments, try some home remedies, which might turn out to be very effective.
What are Keloid Scars
Keloid scar appears as a consequence of various skin injuries or irritations such as acne, vaccinations, chicken pox, burns and cuts, piercings, or insects bites. However, the exact cause of this type of scars hasn’t been identified yet.
According to the most probable theory a keloid scar forms as a result of the excessive growth of collagen at some places on the skin. It happens because once the top layer of our skin is damaged, collagen develops in this area as part of the recovery process. Sometimes a keloid scar develops slowly for many years and sometimes they occur quite suddenly.
It’s rather easy to recognize keloid scars as they are round, touchable, in a pink or red color. Sometimes the area is more sensitive to touch or it’s itchy. People who have a dark complexion get keloid scars more easily and sometimes genetics is also to blame.
The Best Ways to Get Rid of Keloid Scars
Of course, there are some medical treatments available like laser or injections, but they are quite costly so it’s probably wiser to start with some simple, home solutions first.
Remember, though, that reducing keloid scars with home remedies requires time and persistence. You need to follow the methods on a daily basis, sometimes even a few times a day.
If you do so, the first positive results are usually visible after a few months. However, it is still worth trying as home remedies are always a safer and more natural option than medical treatments.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda boosts the formation of a healthy skin layer and therefore it can successfully reduce keloid scars. Baking soda is also a natural peeling as it can clean your skin from dead cells and dirt.
You need to prepare a mixture from one teaspoon of baking soda and three teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide. Place it on your keloid scars with a cotton ball and leave it for about 15 minutes. After that time wash it off with warm water.
Remember that keloid scars are not so easy to eliminate so apply the mixture four times every day for a month to see the first positive results.
2. Lemon Juice
If your keloid scars are mild, lemon juice might be just enough to get rid of them. The presence of vitamin C makes it a wonderful antioxidant that reduces various types of scars. Lemon juice has also bleaching properties and that can also make keloid scars less visible.
Squeeze one medium-size lemon to get some fresh juice. Gently rub it into your scars and leave it for about 30 minutes. Then wash the affected area of your skin with warm water. If you follow this method twice a day for a month, you should see the difference.
You should also include vitamin C in your daily diet as it boosts the formation of collagen and it promotes the growth of tissue.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a well-known remedy to many skin problems. It has wonderful moisturizing properties and it promotes skin regeneration. Thus, it may turn out to be a very effective solution to keloid scars. Be aware, though, that Aloe Vera works when you apply it on fresh scars, if they are older than a year, it might not be so effective.
Using Aloe Vera is very simple as you just need to cut one Aloe Vera leaf and obtain some gel from it. Massage the gel into your keloid scars and you can also leave a thick layer on the skin. You don’t have to wash it off as your skin will fully absorb the gel. Use it a few times a day and you should see the difference after a few days already.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is believed to be one of the best solutions to keloid scars as it has the ability to reduce their size and redness. You skin will also be much softer after a regular application of apple cider vinegar.
Just take a small amount of apple cider vinegar and gently rub it into your scar. Leave it for a while so that it will dry and your skin will absorb it. When you feel that your skin is dry, apply another layer. Do it a few times. If you follow the process every day, you will notice the first results after about a month.
5. Lavender Oil
Lavender essential oil is also the most effective when used on fresh scars. It has regenerating qualities, which may be useful in getting rid of keloid scars. Even after the first use, you should be able to feel that your scar is softer.
To use the oil, dip a cotton ball in it and gently massage your scars for about 15 minutes. Repeat the process in the morning and in the evening.
Another option is to mix lavender essential oil with calendula essential oil and coconut oil. Warm the coconut oil a little bit so it becomes more liquid and add it to the essential oils. Gently rub the mixture into the affected area of your skin and massage it for about 10 minutes. After another 20 minutes wash it off with warm water.
It is quite a time-consuming method, but you only need to do it once a day. You can prepare a larger amount of the mixture and store in it a dark place for up to a month.
There is a scientific study which has proved that garlic may prevent fibroplast proliferation, which is believed to be one of the main causes of keloids. Garlic is also a natural antibiotic as well as it has anti-inflammatory properties, which may reduce the redness and itching connected with keloid scars.
Peel three to four fresh garlic cloves and crush them. Apply the garlic on your scars and leave it for around 15 minutes. Wash your skin with warm water and rub some lotion into your skin.
Remember, though, that garlic has quite an intensive smell so use it when you stay at home. Sometimes garlic may cause some discomfort and in such a case wash it off immediately.
Use garlic once a day and after one month you will see that your keloid scar is smaller and lighter.
Another smelly remedy to keloid scar that can be found in your kitchen is an onion. This popular vegetable has the ability to control the formation of collagen and that’s why it is one of the main ingredients in lotions and creams for scars, which you can get at the drugstore.
However, you don’t need to buy creams as you can easily extract the onion juice on your own. Peel and cut the onions in thick pieces. Tie the pieces in a cheesecloth and put it in a bowl. Now take another bowl and press it over the cheesecloth. This will let you obtain the juice from the onion.
Apply the juice on the affected area of your skin using a cotton ball or a cotton pad. Once it dries, wash it off with warm water. It’s recommended to follow this procedure a few times a day.
8. Olive Oil
Due to a high level of acidity, olive oil can act as a natural peeling for the outer layer of our skin. Additionally, it’s rich in vitamin E and K, which have wonderful moisturizing and softening properties as well as they have the ability to break up scar tissue.
There are two methods of using olive oil to your skin. The first one is only about massaging a keloid scar with olive oil until the skin fully absorbs it. However, for spectacular results you need to remember to do it a few times a day.
You can also prepare a peeling with olive oil. Just mix it with baking soda to prepare a thick paste. Apply it on your scar and massage your skin for around 10 minutes. Then wash it off with warm water. Repeat the process once a day and you should be satisfied with the results.
Honey is a natural humectant and it moisturizes your skin perfectly. Thus, this sweet substance might be very helpful in reducing keloid scars. Honey can also boost the circulation of your blood and it prevents the overgrowth of collagen and accumulation of dead skin.
Make sure that your honey is organic and 100% ecological. Just apply the honey directly on your scars and gently massage the skin for about 10 minutes. After an hour wash it off with warm water. If you are persistent and you follow the procedure for at least few weeks, your keloid scars should be less visible.
Sandalwood is a great way of reducing keloid scars as it can soothe and regenerate our skin as well as it can act as a natural skin cleanser.
Sandalwood is the most beneficial when you add it to rose water. Just mix such amounts of these two ingredients to get a thick paste.
Thoroughly apply the mixture on the scar and leave it to dry. Then wash it off with warm water. If you do this every day, you should see the first results after a few months.
You will probably find aspirin in your drawer as it’s a popular remedy to headaches or flu. However, when applied on skin, aspirin might be useful in getting rid of keloid scars.
Just crush three or four tablets of aspirin to get powder. Mix it with a little amount of water to obtain a paste.
Before you apply the mixture on your skin, moisturize the scar with some oil, for example coconut or tea tree oil. Now place the aspirin paste on the affected skin area and leave it to dry. Wash it off with warm water. Follow the procedure once a day until you get a satisfactory effect.
Keloid scars often appear as a result of poor blood circulation. Therefore, sometimes it’s just enough to massage the skin area where a keloid scar is developing. Additionally, massaging helps to remove dead skin cells and that prevents forming further keloid scars.
To make it easier, use some essential oil for the massage. Perform the massage on your own or if the location of the scar is difficult to access, go to a specialist. Massage the scar as often as you can and you should be able to halt the scar development.
Compression is a similar method to massaging as it helps to reduce keloid scars by breaking up the scar tissue and by improving blood circulation. Just purchase a compression bandage or earring, apply it on your scar according to the instruction and observe how your scar reduces its size.
Medical Treatments of Keloid Scars
If home remedies don’t work or you aren’t satisfied with the results, you can always consult your doctor about surgical or nonsurgical treatments available.
One of the options are steroid injections, which are given directly into your scar tissue. They may make the scars less visible, however, they are mainly used to reduce the feeling of discomfort, itching, or redness of the scar.
Some specialists recommend cryotherapy as a way of reducing keloid scars. The tissue is frozen during the procedure and that lessens the thickness of the scar as well as it prevents further development of keloids. However, cryotherapy works best for fresh and thin scars.
There is also a risk that when cryotherapy is performed improperly, for example by an inexperienced professional, burns may appear and healthy tissue may also get damaged and the scar might be more visible.
Radiation therapy is also one of the ways that may improve the appearance of your skin. Enemies of this method say that radiation may lead to tumors, but various studies haven’t proved that theory providing that surrounding, healthy tissues are well-protected during the procedure.
You can remove your keloid scar surgically too. You need to be aware, though, that a surgery may also cause the formation of scars. Therefore, surgical operation of eliminating keloid scars is usually combined with other treatments such as silicone sheeting.
After the operation your doctor should prescribe you a cream known as Imiquimod. It shortens the healing process and it prevents further scars development. You will probably have to use it for about eight weeks after the operation.
Some less invasive methods of treating keloid scars include using silicone dioxide. The cream may be applied on the scar in the form of gel or a pad. There are also silicone sheets available in the market. After a regular use of silicone dioxide, your scar will be softer and its redness will be reduced.
Use scar-reducing creams with the presence of allium cepa, which is known to be one of the most effective substances when it comes to reducing keloid scars. Use such a cream twice a day after you wash and dry the affected area of your skin. Massage it thoroughly into your scars so that your skin can fully absorb it.
There are also scar-reducing dressings available, which look like cloth coverings that when applied on the scar, they speed up the healing process and protect your scars from further development. You can buy a scar-reducing dressing in almost every drugstore. At the beginning you may feel some itching, though.
Your dermatologist may prescribe you a tretinoin medication, which is mainly used to treat acne. However, it has been proved that it can be also effective in eliminating keloid scars. If you apply it twice a day and combine it with steroids, you should quickly see some positive results.
There is also a medical device known as a silicone sheeting. You apply it on the skin to reduce the existing scars as well as to prevent the development of chronic scarring.
The silicone sheets will make your scars less thick or rough. Additionally, they will moisturize the affected area of your skin, they will also reduce itching and the growth of bacteria.
Ask your doctor about them and he will decide if it’s the right therapy for you. It is recommended to use silicone sheets only if the wounds or irritations of skin are fully closed. Otherwise, the silicone sheets will promote the development of bacteria and your scar may get even bigger.
How to Reduce Itching
Keloid scars are problematic not only because they look unattractive, but because they tend to cause itching too. They are usually itchy when they form or when they cure, however, there are some simple methods which will bring you some relief.
The easiest solution is to put some wrapped ice on the scar for no longer than 20 minutes at time. You can use the ice therapy maximum eight times a day.
Moreover, keep the irritated skin hydrated and moisturized. Use lotions or essential oils on a daily basis to prevent your skin from drying.
Use mild, non-perfumed soaps for your skin and avoid taking baths or showers in hot water. Use warm or even cool water instead.
Obviously, keloid scar is not an allergy, but when it’s itchy, it’s worth trying oral over-the-counter antihistamine medicines.
Keloid Scars From Piercing
It has already been mentioned that keloid scars often appear as a result of some skin conditions, such as acne or chicken pox. However, if you’ve had a piercing done recently and despite the fact that the hole has been healed, you can still see that the skin inside or around it has turned red or pink, it might be a keloid scar.
If you see that there’s something wrong with your piercing, go back to your body piercer who will examine your skin. If he decides that you’ve been dealing with a keloid scar, you must go to a dermatologist immediately.
Before the appointment at a dermatologist’s remove the jewelry from the piercing and prepare all the information about it, such as the date when you had your piercing done.
Think of such matters as when your keloid started to develop or if its size has significantly changed. Try to recall if you had experienced any side effects right after the piercing, such as itching, redness, swelling, or bleeding.
The doctor will examine your scar, review all the information you provide him with and for sure he will recommend you the best possible therapy to eliminate your keloid scar.
How to Prevent Keloid Scars
Everyone can get a keloid scar at some point of their life, however, there are some people who are more likely to develop them. Asian, Hispanic, and in general, people with a darker complexion are more at risk of getting a keloid scar.
Keloid scar usually appears among young people under thirty, pregnant women are also at higher risk of getting them and sometimes it’s the matter of genetics so if your mum or dad have dealt with keloid scars, you are also more likely to get them.
Some parts of our body are more susceptible to keloids as they usually appear on the cheeks, earlobes, shoulders, and on the chest.
If you know that you are in a risk group of developing a keloid scar, avoid piercings, surgical operations and other skin injuries. Before any operation inform your doctor that it is likely that you will get a scar.
Therefore, he could start an appropriate treatment just after the operation was performed. For example, he can recommend you corticosteroid injections or pressure dressings. After ears piercing always wear pressure earrings, a device which will help you prevent scarring.
Keloid scars are usually darker than your natural skin tone, therefore, you should keep them away from the sun as the contrast might get even bigger.