Keloids are usually not dangerous, but they are really ugly, and they are outright disgusting if they are large. If you have one on your face or neck, you obviously can’t hide it. It’s even worse in summer because exposure to the sun discolors it, making it darker and hence more noticeable. Surgery and medication may exacerbate the problem. Have you tried any home remedies for keloids?
Causes of keloids
Skin injuries such as burns, scratches, vaccinations, surgical incision sites, acne scars, chickenpox scars and piercings can all contribute to keloid scarring. Every tenth person in the United States has keloids according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, and women are as likely to suffer from this skin condition as men.
People with darker skin, such as Latinos, African-Americans and Asians, are more likely to have keloids. Even being part-Latino, part-African American or part-Asian can increase your likelihood of being afflicted with this aesthetically undesirable issue.
Other risk factors associated with keloid formation include pregnancy and being under 25.
Signs and symptoms
Keloids and hypertrophic scars
Keloids are light or dark red thickened skin cell tissue. look like hypertrophic scars, but they are not the same thing. After your skin is injured, you are usually left with a flat scar. If it is thickened, but does not extend beyond the area of the wound, then it is a hypertrophic scar. These often diminish by themselves and are reddish in color.
Left to regress naturally, they take over a year to do so depending on the extent of the injury.
Unlike them, keloids begin to develop after some time and grow beyond the original location of the wound. This is what sets them apart. They can be a result of surgery or injury, but also minor inflammation like after getting piercing or a tattoo done or an acne pimple on the chest, even if you didn’t consciously scratched it.
When do keloids require medical attention?
Keloids normally don’t require medical attention, but if they keep growing or you experience other symptoms, you may want to contact your doctor.
Uncontrolled growth may be a sign of skin cancer. Or what you think are keloids may actually be something else. The doctor will establish keloid scarring visually or perform a biopsy just to make sure. This is a medical procedure that involves taking a sample from the scar tissue to check it for cancerous cells.
Some people resort to surgical removal of a keloid. This may not always be the best decision, because it may grow back again, and sometimes it grows back bigger than it was before.
Another keloid treatment is corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation. This is done because the immune system forms keloids as part of a response to the skin injury. Corticosteroids work by reducing the immune response. Consequently, the keloid comes back when you stop the injections.
Doctors recommend moisturizing oils to keep the tissue soft, freezing the tissue to destroy the skin cells, applying silicone gel pads, laser treatments to reduce scar tissue and radiation to reduce their size. All these treatments are effective only if applied very frequently and carefully.
Home remedies have proven incredibly effective for reducing and eliminating keloids. They have the extra advantage of being absolutely free!
1. Raw Organic Honey is Enemy No. 1
One of the oldest natural remedies in the world for keloids, this humectant is not only delicious, but extremely beneficial. Its ethereal oils and alcohol in honey help reduce keloids by strengthening the immune system.
Honey kills bad bacteria and treats inflammations. This guarantees quick and fast relief from the displeasing symptom. Raw organic honey is best for fastest relief.
One teaspoon of honey
A glass of warm water
- Take a gulp of warm water and lay a big layer of organic raw honey on the keloid.
- Repeat this several times a day. It is particularly important to do this before going to bed, and make sure there are no clothes or anything else on the scar, because the treatment will not be as effective.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar Will Kill the Inflammation
Apple cider vinegar can also help treat keloids. This remedy will calm the skin, ensuring instant relief. Vinegar has been used for household purposes for ages - if you can’t get apple cider vinegar, regular vinegar will work just as well.
- Two teaspoons of apple cider / regular vinegar
- One glass of water
- Add the vinegar to a glass of warm water, let it cool to room temperature, and rub some on the scar with a cotton swab.
- Do this once a day in the morning.
Note: Apple cider vinegar also aids weight loss, reduces blood sugar levels and improves symptoms of diabetes.
3. Garlic works not only against vampires
Garlic works not only against vampires, but also keloids. It has a host of medicinal properties. The strong heating quality of garlic reduces inflammation.
- Grind the cloves and boil them in water for a few minutes, adding the seeds and a little bit of pepper.
- Strain the solution and let it cool to room temperature.
- Dab some on the keloid twice a day – it will start working very soon.
Note: It also has a very low calorie content. Its health benefits are derived from its amazing nutrients, such as fiber, manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, selenium, copper, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus among others.
4. Baking Soda and/or lemon
Both baking soda and lemon are great natural remedies for keloids, and you can try a combination of them for a remedy that is twice as effective. Baking soda and lemon juice are both antacids. They facilitate a compensatory response of the body where the pH increases, going from more acidic (low) to more alkaline (high). As a result, bacteria causing inflammation are less likely to thrive in your body.
The juice of one fresh lemon
Two pinches of baking soda
One glass of water
- Add a pinch of baking soda to the juice of one fresh lemon until it begins to fizz.
- Now add the water and another pinch of baking soda and stir until the baking soda is fully dissolved.
- Dab on the keloid a few times a week.
Notes: You can dissolve some baking soda in water and drink it as well for a faster effect, but do not drink on an empty stomach if you have stomach problems.
5. Olive oil is great for lubricating the scar
Instead of buying the expensive moisturizing oils prescribed by your doctor, why not try olive oil? Most of these oils contain it anyway. Extra virgin olive oil’s impressive consistency is the reason why it is so effective for all types of skin problems. Its oleocanthal content inhibits inflammatory enzymes COX-1 and COX-2, just like over-the-counter anti-inflammatory meds do.
You have to use cold-pressed olive oil because heat destroys oleocanthal. Its effect will also depend on how ripe the olives were when they were pressed. The stronger the taste, the riper they were, and thus the higher the level of oleocanthal.
- 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Massage a bit of olive oil into the scar tissue gently several times a day.
- You can also eat 2-3 tablespoons daily, but make sure you cut down on others fats because there are plenty of calories in olive oil (read more about olive oil calorie content and other interesting facts here.)
- You can also use it in cooking instead of butter or sunflower oil for a faster effect.
6. Fuller’s Earth gets rid of all kinds of scars
Fuller’s earth can also be used to treat a variety of scar tissue, including keloids.
- One teaspoon of lemon juice
- One tablespoon of Fuller’s earth
- One teaspoon of rose water
- Mix the ingredients to make a smooth paste, apply on the keloid and massage it gently in to make it softer.
- Let it dry, then apply a second layer of the remedy, and repeat.
- Leave it on for twelve minutes, then clean the area well with cool water.
- Do this as often as needed until the keloid disappears.
7. Aloe Vera does wonders
Aloe vera’s medicinal properties go way above and beyond skin care. However, that is what the plant is best known for. It’s best to use real aloe vera gel, not the type sold in stores. You can get frozen aloe vera for this, warm it up and mix it with water or buy a plant and cut a few leaves. You can also use aloe juice – again, it should be as concentrated as possible for the best effect.
One cup of aloe vera juice or half a cup of gel
- Mix the gel with water and rub gently into the scar.
- Wait ten minutes, then wash the area thoroughly.
- Supplement the remedy by drinking aloe vera juice once a day.
- Repeat as often as needed until the scar vanishes.
Note: Studies have shown that aloe gel might also be effective in treating burns and abrasions, psoriasis, skin injuries caused by radiation, and even dandruff, which is actually a skin and not a hair problem. Aloe gel also aids in treatment of genital herpes, making the sores go away faster.
8. Sandalwood and Rose Water have a host of regenerating properties
Rose water is a natural skin cleanser, and sandalwood has a myriad of skin regenerating effects. You should combine them to help reduce and lighten or prevent keloids. Both of these products are sold in pharmacies and their price is reasonable.
- 100 g of sandalwood powder
- 150 ml of rose water
- Mix the powder with the water to make a thick, homogenous paste.
- Wash the keloid well with water before applying the treatment.
- Cover the scar with the paste before going to bed and wash off with warm water in the morning.
- Do this daily for two months or until the effect becomes noticeable.
Note: You can add black gram to this remedy – it has a surprisingly high number of health benefits. It is sold in most Asian food stores.
9. Aspirin – It really is that simple
A simple combination of aspirin and water will go a long way. Yes, aspirin’s astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, which are what makes it so effective against headaches and colds, ensure that the size of the keloid will keep getting smaller and smaller, and its appearance – less and less repulsive.
Three aspirin tablets
- Crush the tablets and mix with a little bit of water to make a thick, homogenous paste.
- Apply on the keloid and let dry. When it has dried fully, rinse off with warm water, rubbing the area gently.
- Apply some coconut or olive oil after patting dry.
- Do this every day until the scar disappears.
How to prevent keloids
You are more likely to have keloids if your parents have them, so if this is the case, don’t get tattoos and body piercings, as well as surgery (unless it is a matter of life and death). Cover your body with moisturizing lotions made with natural products like coconut and eucalyptus oil. Avoid sun exposure.
Our nine home remedies for keloids also serve preventive purposes, so make sure you consume the products on our list to avoid getting keloids to begin with.
We hope our list of home remedies has been useful. Remember, keloids are not dangerous unless a symptom of an underlying condition.
Keep in mind that newer keloids are easier to treat than older ones. It could take up to nine months of frequently applying our home remedies to reduce the size of one that has been there for years!
Please tell us what you think in the comments and share this article so you can help other people out there who are suffering from keloids.