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Keloid from piercings

Whenever we get a piercing, we don’t think of it as a severe injury, but if you experience keloid scarring, that is just how your body may perceive it. As wounds that are inflicted on the skin heal, fibrous scar tissue replaces old skin tissue, and in cases of keloid scarring, the body produces way too much scar tissue. This, in turn, starts to spread from the original wound, causing bumps and large tissue masses, far bigger than the initial piercing itself. On the ears, keloids may begin as small, round bumps around the piercing site and this can happen several months after you have had your ears pierced and can continue to grow and worsen, over time.

A keloid scar can form wherever the skin is injured – such as surgical scars, chickenpox, insect bites, tattoos, acne and of course, piercings. Whilst anyone can develop keloids at any time, certain people have shown to be at a higher risk of experiencing the condition:-

  • Those with darker skins are 15 to 20 times more likely to experience keloids.
  • Those who have a genetic predisposition to keloid scarring are more likely to experience them (if your close family have had keloids, you may have them too).
  • Those who are under the age of 30 are more likely to develop keloid scarring.

The London Keloid Scar Clinic, part of The London Cosmetic Clinic, is led by Medical Director and keloid expert, Dr Salinda Johnson. We offer specialised and targeted treatments for a range of scar issues, using the very latest in clinically-proven treatments so that you can rid yourself of your keloid scarring once and for all, with planned and precise treatment and careful, ongoing management.

How are keloids from piercings removed?

At The London Keloid Scar Clinic we have two options when it comes to ear keloid scar removal following a piercing:-

The London Keloid Scar Clinic triple treatment approach (surgery, steroid injections and pressure earrings) – Surgical treatment includes the physical ‘shaving’ of the keloid using an electrosurgery that burn cut and stop bleeding in the same time. If surgical removal of the keloid scar is advised, this will be followed up by a course of steroid and chemotherapy injections and the use of pressure earrings. As you can imagine, a surgical removal employs the use of a electrosurgery and trauma to the skin, which, if left untreated, can mean a new keloid could form. For many years, doctors have used a steroid called Triamcinolone Acetonide (TA) to treat keloid scarring and to prevent new keloids from forming, after surgical removal. This substance is the most effective steroid for stopping the growth and flattening keloid and hypertrophic scarring. TA comes in various concentrations and range from 10 to 40mg per ml. Your keloid specialist will select which strength of TA they feel will be most suitable for your individual requirements. From multiple research studies, the combination of TA and chemotherapy medication, 5-F, provide even more effective result. Therefore, we use this combination medications to inject the keloid.

Pressure earrings place a uniform pressure on the part of your ear, which can help prevent further keloids from occurring. These are usually worn for 16 hours a day and several months and sometimes up to a year, following the initial surgical keloid removal treatment.

Steroid (Kenalog) injections only – if you wish to take a fully non-surgical approach, your doctor can treat your keloids using a course of steroid injections. This method may take several sessions and will not be as instant as an initial surgical removal, but maybe more appropriate for those patients where the risk of reoccurring keloid after a keloid shaving treatment, is far greater.

When we agree to treat your keloid scarring here at The London Cosmetic Clinic, we will always give you realistic goals, so you are fully aware of what to expect, by means of results, how long it will take to achieve them and how permanent your keloid removal will be. Keloid removal may be an ongoing journey for you, so it’s important to be aware, that in some cases, the keloid may try and return. However, with regular contact with us and regular check-ups, we will help you to prevent new keloids emerging to the extent that they once were. Together we will make your keloids a thing of the past!

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