Causes & Getting Rid of Keloids from Piercings


No one expects to develop a keloid following nose or ear piercing. However, bumps following these have become very common today. Even where care and hygiene are observed during piercing, sometimes these bumps are inevitable.

What is a keloid then? If you have recently had an ear or nose piercing, then you might know what they are. Some people call them piercing bumps. These bumps are common in ears and noses following piercing.

Keloids from ear piercings

On the ear cartilage

Keloids on piercing should not be confused with redness and swelling that comes along with this process. In most cases, the skin around any pierced site may become red and bruised. However, these skin complications may disappear within a few days or weeks. What would you do if the swelling becomes a bump that ceases to disappear?

This would get you worried as it might be an indication of a keloid. They may also come as a result of vaccinations, trauma or even surgery. It is characterized by a raised overgrowth that looks more like a scar.

Why do keloids occur after piercing?

You may have been a victim of keloid on nose or keloid earlobe. This is a scar on these two body parts come as a result of piercing. Why do ears and noses develop these bumps following a properly done piercing?

You very well know that your ears and nose are made of cartilages. When you undergo a nose or ear piercing, the needle causes injury and trauma to the cartilage. According to, there is little blood flow in body parts that are made of cartilage.

What does this tell you? There is slowed healing on this part due to the limited blood circulation. As a result, ear and nose piercing are more prone to bumps. This may not be the case in lip or tongue where blood flow is enhanced by numerous blood capillaries.

Is what you are seeing a keloid?

You should not confuse a keloid with other pimple-like bumps and lesion-related skin complications. Sometimes, the bump you are seeing following a piercing may not be a keloid.

When you undergo any form of piercing, there is a subsequent injury. The skin around the site becomes irritated. As a result, there is an overgrowth of tissues around it. They start as scars before turning into bumps.

Basically, keloids may take after your skin’s color. In other instances, they might appear dark. According to, the bumps you see on the earlobe or nose can be either one of the following:

  • A keloid– A thick raised scar witnessed on the pierced nose or earlobe
  • A pustule– A pimple-like bump that is pus-filled.
  • A granuloma– A common lesion that may appear on a pierced skin. However, it disappears after some days or weeks.

How do you differentiate between the three forms of bumps? According to, a true keloid  will manifest in the form of the following symptoms:

  • They are raised above the normal skin level.
  • They are smooth and round.
  • In some cases, they appear shiny
  • In terms of color, they are brown, purple or pink.
  • In severe cases, there are extremely itchy.
  • They are generally tender and uncomfortable to touch.

Why do they develop?

What causes keloids? This is a common question among many people. These scars you are noting on your skin is attributed to various factors. They are commonly attributed to the either of the following factors:

  1. Trauma caused by wearing jewelry on the pierced region.
  2. The site part might have an allergic reaction to the jewelry you are wearing.
  3. You might have used the wrong piercing method.
  4. It might get contaminated, either by exposing it to dust or over touching it with dirty hands.
  5. Poor hygiene, either by not cleaning it or using the wrong products during cleaning.
  6. Crushing any a pimple noted on the piercing thus causing it to be infected.

When do you see a physician?

Many people are bothered by how to get rid of or how to remove keloids. Are they serious? The answer is no. In some cases, you don’t need to see a doctor, especially if it is not infected.

According to, an infection on the piercing is signified by extreme swelling and redness on the pierced area. However, a normal bump shouldn’t get you worried.

You should, in this case, seek medical help in case of the following symptoms:

  1. When this bump is filled with bad smelling pus, or if it oozes yellow pus
  2. If the bump becomes unusually tender and oversensitive to touch.
  3. If you note persistent pain or burning sensation on the bump

For many people with the above symptoms, their first move is to remove the jewelry. However, doing this only encourages further infections. Pus means that the area is already infected. Removing the jewelry creates more room for disease-causing microbial agents. Just visit a physician within the shortest time possible.

Keloid from piercing treatment

You don’t need to worry if your pierced nose or ear develops a keloid. This is, in fact, a minor skin condition that can be managed at home. Yes, there are many options for keloid removal at home. Alongside other treatment options, keloid treatment at home provides relief to piercing bumps, no matter how infected they may seem.

If you are confused on how to remove them, below are treatment options that you can try:

  1. Surgery- Use of conventional surgery only applies to severe cases, especially when they are infected or very big. However, it is not recommended to use this removal method as they are known to reemerge after the surgery. In this case, surgery is combined with other natural methods, to completely heal keloids.
  2. Change the Jewelry – Research has shown that most keloids on piercing develop after one has worn jewelry. This is mainly attributed to allergic reactions. You can, therefore, remove the jewelry and see if the bumps will disappear. If this works, then you may be required to completely wear new jewelry.
  3. Hygiene does it all- A large number develop due to poor hygiene. In this case, the best keloid removal option involves hygiene. Cleaning the piercing a few times in a day may work better than medicines. However, avoid using soaps that may cause further irritation.
  4. Avoid Touching and Picking the Bumps- The temptation to touch or pick the bumps is usually high. Firstly, your hands may contain germs that might irritate the already infected keloid. Furthermore, picking on the bumps only worsens them.
  5. Compression- Apply a lot of pressure on the bump to see if it will shrink. This can be done by use of a bandage. However, this method requires a lot of patience. It may take months for a keloid to shrink following the pressure applied to it.
  6. Radiotherapy- This may not be the best option due to the risks that are associated with radiation. However, extreme cases may require you to undergo radiation therapy.
  7. Laser therapy- This is known to be one of the best treatment options for keloids on the piercing. A laser beam is used to burn the scars. Laser therapy is commonly used where keloids have re-emerged following a surgery.
  8. Use some home remedies- keloid treatment at home is possible. You can use tee tree oil. Medically, tea tree oil is one of the best antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic agents ever known. Apart from killing bacteria, this natural oil facilitates fast healing. Furthermore, you can consider sea salt soak. This soaking is known to provide fast relief


  1. What Is This Nose Piercing Bump and How Can I Get Rid of It?
  2. Keloids
  3. Keloids and nose piercings: What you need to know
  4. Natural Remedies To Remove Keloids
  5. How to Heal Piercing Bumps

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