Keloid after earlobe piercing

A keloid or a keloidal scar is an abnormal tissue reaction that occurs in some patients.  Keloid after earlobe piercing is unwanted reaction of excessive scar formation. It can form on different parts of the body.

Keloid after earlobe piercing
Keloid after earlobe piercing

It occurs after earlobe piercing or trauma to the ear in some unlucky patients. The main problem with these round or oval shaped firm growths is the unacceptable appearance and cosmesis they cause. They may be itchy, tender and sometimes even painful. The surface is smooth and the colour can vary from pinkish red to brown.

Keloid is an abnormal scar, a scar that does not know when to stop growing. The exact reason why some patients react by forming keloid after earlobe piercing or in response to other skin trauma is not known. It has even been described to occur in response to an infected pimple. Sometimes it would occur on one ear lobe in a patient but not the other. It is found more frequently in Africans. The reason for this is not known.

The importance of keloid is that it should always be kept in mind when skin trauma or injury is induced in a patient with other keloids on the body. Children of parents with keloids are at risk to develop keloid after earlobe piercing.

Another very important aspect of keloid is the increased risk of recurrence after surgical removal. Surgical removal may seem obvious but in 70 -100% of cases the keloid will just return, in some cases even becoming larger.

Recurrent injections of steroids may be beneficial by suppressing the cellular response and scar formation and may be effective to reduce the size. It is often done before and in conjunction with surgical removal.

Other treatment methods include laser, freezing, elastic bands, pressure therapy, radiation and cytostatic medication to inhibit growth. There are no known house hold remedies that are effective.