Imagine that you finally got a cool piercing after years of contemplation and procrastination. On the second day, you find a giant keloid sitting on the piercing! Yes, keloids and piercing bumps are extremely unpleasant to look at.
In this article, we are going to talk about piercing bump vs. keloid and also the effective ways to get rid of these annoying guests who overstay their welcome.
1. Piercing Bump Vs. Keloid
A piercing bump, also known as a hypertrophic scar, is a raised bump that is formed on the surrounding skin. It appears during the healing process. It can be of different colors such as red, skin-colored, or even light pink. This bump appears to be harmless but it can be painful and often unappealing at times.
These annoying piercing bumps take a pretty long time to vanish as they won’t easily spare your soul. The healing process differs from person to person and so is piercing bump. It normally disappears in a couple of weeks or months depending on your aftercare procedure, eliminating irritants, and using suitable jewelry material.
A keloid is a raised scar that appears on the top of a piercing, bruise, or incision. They are often painful, itchy, and unpleasant to look at. These keloid scars can potentially grow in size due to constant touching. It’s best to seek advice from a dermatologist if you have an ever-growing keloid. Please remember that keloids don’t go away naturally.
2. Causes of Piercing Bump and Keloid
A) Here are a few causes of piercing bumps:
Bacterial infection caused by poor aftercare procedure, and unsanitary piercing equipment is the number one cause of piercing bumps. Kindly make sure to properly follow all the aftercare routines and not touch the piercing frequently to never encounter a piercing bump.
Continuous touching and twisting lead to irritation which can further lead to the formation of a bump.
2.3. Allergic Reaction
Jewelry material that doesn’t suit your skin type can cause an allergic reaction. The allergic reaction may appear as a bump near the piercing site.
2.4. Excessive Cleaning
Over-cleaning causes the stripping of the natural oil present in the skin which leads to irritation. It may further cause a piercing bump.
A bump may be caused by accidental trauma like hair becoming snagged on the piercing. These bumps may be painful and pretty hard to manage. Hence, it is crucial to exercise extreme caution while the piercing is still at its healing stage.
B) Here are a few causes of keloid scar:
Piercing can often lead to a build-up of keloid. These raised hypertrophic scars are sometimes painful, dark red, and don’t easily go away. The piercing demands extreme care and hygiene in order to get rid of keloids.
Genetics may be a reason for keloids. If you have keloid running in the family, then you are bound to get a keloid. It happens between the ages of 10 to 30.
Hormonal change is one of the most common reasons for the formation of keloids. Changes in hormones mostly occur at the time of adolescence and pregnancy.
Keloid can be the result of burns, injury, surgery, or even acne. Keloid can most likely form after a minor injury as well.
2.5. Skin Type
It has been discovered that people with darker skin tones such as people with African, Asian, and Hispanic ethnicity are most likely to develop keloid.
Inflammation causes redness which can further lead to the formation of keloid.
3. How to Get Rid of a Piercing Bump?
Here is a list of a few things to keep in mind before getting a piercing in order to eliminate piercing bumps:
3.1. Proper Hygiene
Always make sure to properly clean the piercing immediately after piercing. Otherwise, you will most probably be welcomed by a keloid the next day! In order to avoid this situation, gently clean the newly pierced area with a saline solution. It is crucial to avoid strong disinfectants with harsh chemicals to clean the piercing as they may irritate the skin.
Nowadays there are pre-made saline solutions available in the market which save you from the hassle of making saline solution at home. These saline solutions are specifically designed for piercing aftercare and will also help in calming the irritating skin.
3.2. Professional Piercer
It is so crucial to go for an experienced piercer. The licensed piercing studio can only take care of hygiene and safety. They will also assist you with the aftercare tips so that your piercing heals faster.
3.3. Piercing Location
Some areas of the body heal quickly while others take a pretty long time to heal. Nowadays there are more unique and creative options available for body piercing. Some of them are earlobe piercing, septum piercing, nose piercing, tongue piercing, lip piercing, and belly button piercing, among others. Cartilage piercings are more painful than regular piercings and they produce a much more problematic keloid.
Note: Nose piercings generally take 6 months to fully heal. The chances of getting an infection are much higher as the veins of the nostril are directly linked to the sinus cavity. Poor aftercare procedures will lead to sudden bleeding, scarring, loose jewelry, and even infection. Hence, it becomes extremely crucial to follow the instructions of your piercer to avoid any infection.
3.4. Jewelry Material
Sometimes jewelry material induces an allergic reaction making your body piercings suffer for a longer time. Hence, it is important to go for hypoallergenic jewelry made from surgical stainless steel, niobium, and titanium to eliminate the risk of infection.
Note: It becomes highly necessary to choose the right jewelry material according to your body type. Materials that are suitable for some people may elicit allergic reactions in others. Kindly consult your piercer to choose the right jewelry material for your piercing.
3.5. Avoid Irritants
It is advisable to not use any cosmetic or skincare products on pierced areas for some time as it can lead to serious skin infections.
3.6. No Touching
Kindly don’t unnecessarily touch the wound as it may transfer the bacteria from the hand to the piercing location. Always wash your hands properly before touching the pierced skin. Treat piercing bumps as “do not disturb” zones and don’t unnecessarily touch the piercing.
3.7. No Twisting
Some people twist and turn the jewelry when they are bored and let me tell you, it’s the worst thing you can do to your piercing! Twisting and turning can potentially disrupt the healing process and it will keep introducing new keloids. Please leave your piercing alone if you want it to heal quickly.
3.8. Sleeping Mindfully
Your sleeping position will affect your piercing, especially facial piercing. You will wake up to a painful keloid and piercing bump if you don’t sleep mindfully.
3.9. No Swimming
Avoid going to the swimming pool, hot tubs, and sauna with swollen piercings as it can increase the infection.
3.10. Gentle Hair Brushing
It becomes highly crucial to brush the hair gently if you have an ear or facial piercing as aggressive brushing may hurt the pierced skin.
3.11. Allergic Reaction
Consult your piercer before choosing jewelry material if you have a history of allergic reactions. They will guide you in choosing the material that suits your skin type.
3.12. Check for Infection
Closely monitor your pierced skin to look for infection symptoms such as swelling, redness, and constant pain. They are the early signs of infection.
3.13. Healthy Lifestyle
Kindly maintain a healthy lifestyle and regular hydration to speed up the healing process. Restrict the sugar intake to support healing.
4. How to Get Rid of Keloids?
Keloids can be removed by following methods:
4.1. Corticosteroid Injections
Corticosteroid injections are extremely effective in reducing Keloids. You’ll need constant injections for up to 6 months to finally witness the results.
In cryotherapy, keloids are frozen with the help of liquid nitrogen which minimizes keloids. This treatment calls for repeated procedures.
4.3. Laser Therapy
Laser therapy works on redness, minimizing keloids, and even calming irritated skin. Laser treatment requires 4-8 weeks of sessions. However, keloids might grow back even after successful keloid removal.
4.4. Surgical Removal
Surgical removal might be prescribed by the doctor if other methods are unsuccessful. Surgery is highly successful in the removal of large or highly visible scars as well. Surgical removal may not suit everyone and can often result in skin pigmentation.
5. What if the Piercing Bump and Keloid Aren’t Healing After Several months?
If the piercing bump or keloid isn’t healing and the wound is still swollen even after several months have passed, it becomes necessary to consult a certified dermatologist. The dermatologist will assess the wound, identify the complications, and put you on the necessary medication or treatment. The professional will also give you the necessary guidance to eliminate any further infection.