When you have a piercing added to your body, you will want everything to go well and for your piercing site to heal quickly and well. For the most part, things run smoothly; however, there is always a chance that you can develop issues and one example of this is with keloid scarring.
What are keloids?
A keloid is scar tissue that has been overgrown. They are found at the injury site and are usually seen with piercings. Not everyone will develop a keloid. However, it has been found that some people are more likely to than others.
They are harmless, but they can hurt and are annoying to have. The most common type of piercing that will cause a keloid is ear-piercing. However, they can happen with other types of piercings, including belly buttons.
How do I know I have one?
If you have a keloid, then the skin that area will feel hard and rubbery. It will be shiny and smooth to look at, and for the most part, the skin will be either pink, purple or brownish, depending on your skin colour.
You can often confuse a keloid with an infection or abscess at the piercing site; however, they are different and should be treated differently.
How do Keloid happen?
There is not much known about why keloids happen; however, experts seem to think that they are caused by the excess production of collagen, which then leads to fibrous tissue growing. Whilst anyone can develop keloids when a skin injury, some are more at risk than others.
This includes those who have dark skin, those aged between ten and thirty years old, and those who have a close family member who develops keloids.
Can I prevent them?
The bad news is that if you are prone to keloids, you will be recommended not to have any piercings that could result in them developing. However, this is not always a solution that people want to take.
Suppose you are keen on having a belly piercing. In that case, you must follow any aftercare instructions that you are given and that you treat it carefully whilst it heals—paying particular attention to ensuring that your clothes do not rub against the site.
A belly button piercing will take a while to heal (often as long as a year), so you will need to protect it as long as you can. This may be by thinking about the clothes you wear, the sports you do, and ensuring that you do not have an increase in bacteria that can happen in this part of your body.
If you do notice that a keloid is developing, you will need to speak to your doctor. That said, you can try things such as silicone dressings or find a way to compress the area. If these things don’t work, you may need to consider freezing the scar or speaking to a doctor about having surgery to remove it.