Keloid Treatments and Home Remedies

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List of selected comments and questions/answers

  1. When a keloid might not be a keloid
  2. Keloids that spread / recurring infections
  3. Surgery-related scarring and internal keloids
  4. Can tattoos lead to keloids?
  5. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can lead to irritation
  6. Special precautions when using garlic
  7. Keloid formation is linked to iodine deficiency in diet
  8. Iodine — applying it topically on keloids and ingesting it
  9. Why are most home remedies not sold commercially by pharmaceutical companies?
  10. Itching and pain associated with keloids
  11. How to remove remaining scar tissue after successful keloid treatment

Other keloid remedies and assorted advice/observations

–  Cutting off blood circulation to the keloid by tying it off with a string or rubber band
–  Contractubex gel
–  Healthier diet (more fruits and vegetables)
–  Foods that affect keloids
–  Silicea
–  Kenalog injections and silicone gel sheets
–  Castor oil
–  Tea tree oil
–  Silver nitrate
–  Tips for preventing keloids in the first place
–  Tip for those considering surgery to remove their keloids

Poll (closed) — which keloid treatment method has worked best for you?

What are keloids?

Keloid formation is a topic that desperately requires more medical research and attention. Keloids are scars that have continued to grow past the size of the original wound. Some keloids occur on parts of the body that restrict movement. Some cause pain and itching.

They can afflict people of all races, but tend to occur most frequently across races with darker skin tones like Asians, Hispanics, Italians, and Blacks. The Japanese tend to not have keloid scarring, probably as keloids  are linked to iodine deficiency and the traditional Japanese diet is rich in iodine (seaweed). Keloids may also be hereditary.

Why are keloids so difficult to treat?

Often, keloids grow larger with further injury. Treatments like surgical excisions and lasers can cause keloids to grow even larger.

Keloid treatment is also tricky because results tend to vary across treatments. Treatments like corticosteroid injections have worked well for some people, but made some cases worse, and others to work initially, then rebound.

Some traditional chinese medicine (TCM) have also worked well for some, but not all.

Newly-formed keloids also respond better to treatments than old ones.

Because of these, I can’t recommend anything as being the “definitive treatment”. Instead, I have compiled a list of treatments that have been known to produce results for some. Thus, a combination of treatments may be the best answer.

If you have had success in treating your keloid, please help others with this quick poll on which method worked best for you. 

Commercial treatments that may work

  • Silicone dressing
  • Steroid injections
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Hei Ba Gao paste (TCM/traditional Chinese medicine)
  • Tea tree oil

A lot has already been written online about the above commercial treatments, so I won’t go into further detail here.

Home remedies that may work

  • Make a paste by mixing one part baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and one part 3% hydrogen peroxide. Apply directly on keloid, and reapply as necessary.
  • Apply apple cider vinegar (ACV) on the keloid and let dry. Re-apply every half hour and do this for at least several hours. If ACV is too irritating, you can safely dilute it with water. (Rebecca kindly shared her method of applying ACV here and described her progress here. Her keloid is 2 years old and on her chest. )
  • Make a thick paste by crushing aspirin and mixing it with water. Apply directly on keloid, and reapply as necessary. (Sarah shared her method here, “First crush about 3 aspirin tablets into a powder. Then add only a few drops of water, until the mixture becomes a paste.Apply it on the keloid with a Q-tip and let the mixture dry (about 15-20 minutes) and then wash it off rubbing gently with water. This can be repeated once everyday until the keloid goes away. I only did this twice along with the tea tree oil and it worked. Also, for anyone who just got a piercing, I would highly recommend H2Ocean antiseptic.”
  • Garlic oil or crushed garlic (use with utmost caution and wash off should you feel too much burning!)
  • Potassium Iodide/Iodine is another simple remedy that may work well on keloids. Apply it over the keloid several times a day until you see some flattening. Look for SSKI (Saturated Solution Potassium Iodide) at health food stores and pharmacies. If you cannot obtain SSKI or have difficulty doing so, a weaker substitute can be found in Lugol’s Solution. Lugol’s Solution is a simple mixture of potassium iodide, iodine, and water and can be bought at most aquarium/pet fish stores.

More about iodine

Painting iodine over keloids & iodine supplementation to prevent keloids

There are also claims that topical iodine application (usually used as an antiseptic on cuts and wounds) can minimize scar formation. Iodine has the ability to trigger natural cell death (or apoptosis). Thus, repeat applications of iodine on a lesion causes it to be replaced by new skin.

For more about this, I recommend reading Dr. David Derry’s article. In it, he says, “From my own clinical experience, repeated application of iodine to the skin appears to cause regeneration of the skin from the bottom up (stem cell) — eventually sloughing the old version of the skin off like a snake molting. If there was a pre-cancerous lesion on the old skin, it is replaced with new skin minus the lesion. There does not seem to be any skin lesions which are not helped or cured by this procedure.”

Here is a case study of a housewife (opens a pdf) who was treated with Iodex (an iodine salve). She had an 8cm-long scar which restricted the movement of her toe. After 6 months of using Iodex, she regained a normal range of motion.

As keloid formation is linked to iodine deficiency, ingesting an iodine supplement (e.g. Iodoral) may also help reduce keloid scars from the inside out or prevent them from occuring in the first place. However, if you want to supplement with iodine, I give you this friendly warning: prepare yourself sufficiently first by reading about iodine supplementation and bromism. This is because iodine supplements such as Iodoral will cause some very undesirable detox symptoms including acne and body aches.

Iodine supplementation displaces poisons from your cells such as bromide and heavy metals, leading to a heavy load on your kidneys and liver. Therefore, tread lightly and read up for your own health before starting. Here is an excellent place to start: Iodine and Orthoiodosupplementation

How home remedies help keloids: by treating the infection underneath

The home remedies above are based on the belief that keloids form because there was an infection (viral, bacterial or fungal) left behind when the wound was first created.

Because the infection remained, the body creates excess scar tissue in response to the irritant. This effectively “encases” the problem infection by blocking it off from the rest of the body.

With the thickened scar tissue in place, blood circulation in the keloid becomes much more hindered. This makes it even harder for the body to slowly dissolve the scar on its own – so the keloid remains indefinitely.

And since the root of the infection remains buried underneath, the keloid remains volatile and will continue to produce more tissue should it encounter further damage or injury along the way.

Thus, treating the infection is the crux of the matter when it comes to the home remedy methods.

To jumpstart the breaking down of your keloids, consider fasting. Fasting has numerous health benefits, and can help reduce keloids because without food, your body will scavenge for dead and diseased cells, burning them up for energy. These includes excess collagen and abnormal cells in keloids and hypertrophic scars. Larisa kindly shared about how fasting helped reduce one of her newer keloid scars here (thanks Larisa!).


List of Selected Comments and Questions/Answers

Over time, this page has gotten a long list of comments. Some of these comments had valuable information in them, but I feared that they might be overlooked by most visitors. So I decided to create this list of more significant comments by topic.

  • I update this list periodically as more comments come in.
  • This section includes extracts of the selected comments for easy reading.
  • Thank You to all the commenters for sharing!

// ]]>

1. When a keloid might not be a keloid

  • Piercing-related bump

Many people have reported that they developed bumps shortly after getting piercings. Most of the time, these are not keloids but are simply infected bumps. If the bump resembles a blister, is soft to the touch and appear to contain some liquid, then it’s probably not a keloid. These piercing-related bumps can still be treated with the remedies though, and several have reported good results using ACV and sea salt soaks.

Chris said, “I just got a double eye brow piercing 2 months ago, within the last 2 days i noticed something that might be a keloid. He also said it “seems to be fairly soft to the touch, it has a bit of give when pressed lightly, it seems possible that it does contain fluids.”

Karen said, “It has been about a month that I’ve have a keloid on my tragus from a piercing I believe I did not clean well. Another keloid started to grow on the other side of the original keloid, so it was in my ear. Two days ago, the inside keloid “popped” blood…”.

Within a week Karen reported back to say that her bump had shrunk after her sea salt soaks, “My bump shrunk to half its size with the soaking! However, the bump on the inside of my ear is slowly growing back.”

Paulina commented with, “I just got my tongue re-pierced about 5 days ago and i have a small bump next to my piercing. i went back to the place where i got it done and they said it could be a keloid”

Mel said, “I’ve had my ear pierced for over 8 years now. I have a keloid on my right ear which is quite large. I am going to see a plastic surgeon next month to have it removed. That keloid developed soon after I first got the piercing. I have not worn an earing in either ear in close to 7 years. However I’ve noticed yesterday that the other ear, which has been fine all these years, has a small bump that is a bit painful. I am terrified that a keliod might be forming there as well.” She later reported that ACV successfully removed the growing bump on her other ear.

sam said, “i had piercing 4 yrs. ago, then my ear got infected because the piercing created a wound when i was about to put my earrings in, then after that i didn’t wore my earrings anymore but after a few weeks a bump in the back of my ear started to grow then after a few months it became larger and larger and and up to this time its about 6x the size of what wasst back then, is the bump in the back of my ear a keloid or something else”

Kirsty said, “I had my nose pierced approx 5 weeks ago and it has healed pretty well up until the last week or so where now it has raised skin up around half of the edge of the stud and bleeds a little now and then when I clean it. Its seems soft to the touch and similarly resembles that of a blood blister.” She later gave an update to say that it was an infected bump and not a keloid and that she successfully treated it with Betadine (Betadine is an over-the-counter iodine-based antiseptic). She said, “Every night since then I have applied it and it scabbed bit by bit and the lump has completely healed up apart from some slight redness which I put down to it being a fairly new piercing still. I now believe it was a small infection and Betadine is developed to heal that type of thing.”

  • Hypertrophic/raised scars

Faye said “I have a scar that formed on my nostril after a scratch and the scar itself wont heal. It’s not a scab that forms, but it seems like overgrowth of flesh colored skin that can be picked off like a scab. On the occasions that it is picked off, there’s a small area that looks like an unhealed cut. The skin under the “scab” forms a small bump and it’s the same color as the rest of the skin.”

2. Keloids that spread / recurring infections

Marie first shared about her keloids that would get better then “return with a vengence”. Her steroid injections were not helpful and antibiotics didn’t work. Marie later kindly commented again to report that her recurring infections has stopped after using ACV twice a day. The keloid remains but there has been a “slight flattening” to it. It is also less red and itchy.

Marie reported back her results after using the ACV method for about 6-7 months. The keloids on her chest are now lighter in colour and the recurring infections have ceased. Althought her keloids are not getting smaller, they are also not getting bigger. She also advised other users of the ACV method not to rub in the ACV but just pat it on and around the keloid.

She later came back with her long-term results and experience from using ACV, in that ACV has stopped working as her keloid has grown immune to it.

Marie wrote, “ACV helps during the initial weeks but the keloid has since turned immune to ACV. Every now and then the keloid on my chest ooze pus and it can get extremely painful. Seen G.P. and was given antibiotic on many occasions. I have also developed an immunity to antibiotics. Eventually I was referred to consult a skin specialist at the renowned National Skin Centre.

The Specialist told me there are two sinus tracks that where the pus is oozing from. Two cultures were taken with no bacteria found. The last option is to laser the keloid and try and clean out the tracks and hopefully keloid would grow and cover the tracks.

So with no other option, I went through a very painful laser procedure just yesterday. The laser itself was alright, its the first 3 injections and pressing the keloid to rid the sec of pus that really hurts. I will probably have to go for follow-up kenacort injections in the coming months which I dread. The Prof. who did the laser said he is not sure if this will help. So I can only look towards God for a miracle.”

Laura wrote, “I have had keloids on my chest for several decades. Originally they were both sebaceous cysts that were removed by a dermatologist, that had become keloids. Following that I had them reincised by a plastic surgeon, which only served to create two larger keloids. They tried giving me an androgen block creme, and later, cortisone injections (in the chest which I do NOT recommend); it was EXTREMELY painful!

Eventually, one of them flattened out a bit, but the hole of the injection site is still visible. I can’t say that It really helped, and now I will not do anything that is not a natural treatment. Over the years, I can say that I have had the redness of these scars seem to have MIGRATED across my chest/breast area. One previously whole scar, had now split into two smaller, red scars, with “normal” skin in between. It is very strange. As the scar tissue is quite dense, I try to massage the scars, though it is uncomfortable, but am hoping to help break up the dense tissue.

I should say that originally these mostly came about from “picking”. Though some of the migrated ones just came up out of what appears to be nowhere.”

3. Surgery-related scarring and internal keloids

Merlin developed internal keloids from surgery to remove uterine fibroids. She writes, “I did surgery to remove fibroids and a year after my surgery, I started to develop this swelling which became very painful especially during my menstrual cycle. Over the past years, it has become very hard and it’s only on one side of the cut that I have it.”

Amy’s keloids came from a mastoidectomy, or surgery behind the ear. She said “I have a round “growth” or “swelling” behind my earlobe – in the part that connects the head to the ear. It is soft, not hard like a sebaceous cyst (which I suffer from on other parts of my body). This feels like a water blister at first touch, but if you press more is a bit harder than softer. I am diabetic.

1) My derm said it was a cyst.

2) My ENT said it was a “skin infection”. He said there was nothing to drain. Put me on antibiotics 2x a day 300 mg. ”

Ruth developed keloids accompanied with pain following several knee surgeries. She said “I have had several operations on my knee (years ago) and as a result I had developed a lot of scar tissue (keloids?) in there. I also have Chondromalacia. I have had pain in my knee since the operations.”

Joanna had keloids following a skin graft. Her keloids formed both on the donor site (her calf) and the recipient site (her thigh). She said “I had a skin graft done about six months ago on my calf and the donor skin was from the side of my thigh. Now I have Keloids on both of the wounds and the donor skin on the side of my thigh is 3×4 inches big and it is all Keloids. Before I had problems with the donor side I used Mederma and a had a bad reaction to it. So, afterwords my doner side was very itchy, red and had a bumpy texture.”

Mark’s keloids formed internally following spinal fusion surgery and are threatening to choke his nerve root sheaths. He said “Four months ago, I had Spinal Fusion Surgery. Now I am told that there is Keloid Scarring building up inside my back. Eventually it will choke off the nerve root sheaths. An MRI shows that the scar tissue is already to dense to differentiate between the scar or nerve tissue. Subsequently… no surgery possible.”

If anyone has any information that can help Mark, pls share it with us through the comments.

Wayne developed keloids following an otoplasty, or surgery to pin back the ears. He writes, “I had me ears pinned back when I was 11 (28 now) and have had about 8 ops to remove the keloids surgically, they reform every time and continue growing…”

4. Can tattoos lead to keloids?

Merlin asked, “could Keloids develop with Tattoos, as I am contemplating of getting one done.”

My answer: Yes, tattoos can cause keloids if you’re prone to getting them. If you do decide to get a tattoo, be sure to take extra precautions to avoid infection during the critical healing period. Keloid formation is also tied to iodine deficiency, so it’s a good idea to take iodine supplements prior to getting the tattoo and for some time after.

Alek mentioned his own experience post-tattoo, “i have got something like keloid after having my tattoo done, the flowers with red ink got swollen, n kinda hard, ,black ink doesn’t, its been like this for 3 months, please tell me what should i do?”

If anyone has experience with tattoo scarring and healing, please share any insights you have.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar can lead to irritation

(solution: dilute the ACV with water)

Apple Cider Vinegar applied on the skin can sting and lead to redness as it is quite acidic. To minimize any discomfort and the risk of further injury, it might be necessary to dilute your ACV with some water and/or reducing the number of daily applications. Sometimes a break may also be necessary to give the skin time to rest and heal.

Ian writes, “I tried using ACV and following your advise to another person applied it overnight to the affected area soaked into cotton wool. Unfortunately this resulted in a slight “burning” of the surrounding skin, leaving it very inflamed and dry.”

filly wrote “i have tried both apple cider vinegar and baking soda/hydrogen peroxide and it has some effect on my keloid. I found that after using acv it started to dry out my keloid, but also got my keloid very irritated to the point that it has grew a bit bigger. the acv is very harsh on the skin and it gives u a stinging sensation.”

filly’s 2nd comment: “after 3 days of ACV application on my keloid i can see something happening i have noticed that the color of my keloid has changed from darker red to lighter red and also it has gone softer. now im hoping that it will flatten my keloid after a month. i got to admit that it actually burns and sting when you use ACV. my theory is that when you use ACV its actually burning or cooking the keloid. its like applying a vinegar to a raw meat it will eventually will cook the meat.”

Amir used ACV pretty aggressively. He wrote, “I have been reapplying the ACV on the keyloid around 5-6 times per day, After the 1st day, every time I reapply the ACV, the keyloid stings for a while and gets kind of an intense sting at times, although I am bearing it. Occasionally, the keyloid bleeds as soon as I apply ACV on it. Also, the keyloid sometimes has some clear liquid forming on it. I just wipe it off and reapply the ACV again. I’ve noticed that some scabs have formed on the keyloid. I think it has flattened some, and narrowed as well, although it is hard to tell. It does appear to be breaking down however, as some parts of the keyloid are scabbed and some skin has “burned” off as the keyloid isn’t smooth anymore. Some places on the keyloid, it seems like more skin has “burned” off. Another thing is that the keyloid is more sensitive to pain. It slightly hurts when I touch the keyloid. And putting normal t-shirts on irritates the keyloid as the shirt is rubbing on it. It itches more often, and is more volatile, by giving those sudden twinging pains that those who have keyloids KNOW what I’m talking about. I just hope and pray that this ACV is working, because I do perceive the keyloid to be shrinking.”

Sharon Brown wrote, “I saw the comments about the apple cider vinegar and decided to try it. At first the keloid on my ear began to look so irritated, I almost stopped. I was putting a soaked cotton ball on it and used a band aid to hold it in place. The vinegar actually is dissolving the keloid, within one week my keloid is half the size it used to be.”

Chris wrote “I decided to try the ACV method (also drinking 2 tablespoons a day). I use a q-tip and just run it along my keloids on my jaw. It stings for a little while, but it’s not unbearable. I do this about 10 times a day. The keloids seem to have dried out, but they’ve also become very red”

Felix wrote, “I place a cotton ball with ACV behind my ear on the keloid and tape it in place. What I have noticed (I have been doing this for only a day) is that this seems to only make the keloid worse (maybe my imagination but I cannot be sure I’m already self-conscious enough about this).”  Felix also talks about how his keloid tends to act up in winter. One year later, Felix kindly came back to share his update here where he also gave more details about the effect of the weather/changing temperature has on his keloid.

Amanda gave a detailed account of using ACV over 5 weeks. So far, her 7-year old keloid has shrunk and flattened. She also gives some tips and advice.

She wrote:

Hi everyone,
I have to say thankyou to Sam, and the contributing members. I am a keloid sufferer myself, my case isn’t as severe though. I just thought I would contribute my story because I promised myself that IF one of the remedies suggested here works on minimizing or leaves no trace of my keloid, I would comment. And, so here I am.
Anyways my keloid is approximately 1.5cm wide, the thickness I would say 0.5cm and is located on my chest. My keloid is 7 years old, had it since I was 15 and now I am 22. In the duration of ‘on and off’ again treatment of ACV (apple cider vinegar – ‘Cornwells premium ACV’ 100% natural) for 2 months, it has shrunk to 1cm in width and has flattened a little out. Here’s my procedure:
1) Rip a cotton ball in half, stretch it out so that it covers your keloid completely. Make sure that the cotton you’ve stretched out isn’t too thick, because in that case the cotton ball WILL be eating up the ACV rather than your keloid!
2) Dip the cotton in ACV, make sure its not drenched. You don’t want it dripping on your skin, but you do want it wet enough. What I do is because my ACV is in a glass bottle and has an opening of 2cm wide, I just place the cotton on the opening and tip the bottle slightly to get the cotton wet enough. (Try to make sure that your cotton has some dry sections so that you can place sticky tape onto your skin properly to hold it in place on the keloid).
3) Place cotton onto keloid, use sticky tape to hold it in place.
4) Once the cotton is dried up (usually close to 1 hr or so), replace the cotton and do the whole procedure again throughout the day, and when it comes to night just leave it on till morning.
*Note: This procedure won’t work for everyone, but of course there is hope that it will. Persistance is the key, so keep trying and do NOT give up. I think this is a better solution than going for surgery or injections because it’s inexpensive and it is of course natural. By the way, these procedures are just an outline, you can do the application however you want to do it, the objective is to have ACV on the keloid.
My first few experiences in about a week of continuous treatment. What I did notice was that my keloid tingled and was looking more pinky-red and had little circular pus like growths underneath the skin. Also my healthy skin was affected by the ACV as well, because I drenched my cotton in ACV and taped it drenched. So that was a lesson to be learnt! And, signs of laziness lol.
Second week, I left the keloid alone because it started to swell, and plus I didn’t want to further damage my healthy skin. What I did do was clean it with water and then WIPED it with ACV and left it alone to aerate.
Third week, I did the whole procedure again, yet it wasn’t as consistent as the first week. Yes I saw improvement, the pus-like undergrowth surfaced had popped itself and left a little hole in the keloid. During the third week, for some reason I started to experiment and poked the keloid with a pin which I doused in ACV prior to doing that. It hurt, but I didn’t care, my mentality was to just get rid of it. The next morning after that, it was swollen and it hurted. But nothing that I couldn’t handle. What I did was just put ice on it to stop the swelling. It went down and after that I left it to recover for 2 days only.
Fourth week, keloid was turning black and was scabbing. I was very excited indeed. On-off application once again. (I get lazy, plus I had exams to study for). During that week, scab fell off and it turned yellowy-white looking, and looked smaller as well.
Fifth week till now, I don’t put it on as frequent as the earlier days, probably 3 times weekly or less. Progress of keloid continues to improve with each week. I will update you guys if you want, but everything seems to be going to plan. Outcome: keloid = dead. lol
In conclusion, I would say do give it a try. And, you know DON’T put ACV on when you’re going out, because you do smell funny. My sister said the ACV made me smell like BAD FEET ODOUR LOL. Which I thought to myself, “yeah right”. I thought I smelt like salt and vinegar chips instead… apparently not as my mum thought the same thing as my sister! But yeah weekend and night time application is good enough to keep continually killing the keloid. Be patient, and take note of what you see and feel, because you are the one who can determine whether it is working for you or not. So you know, common sense says if your keloid is swelling up or inflamed, give it a break from ACV. And, when you do go out, well since mine is on my chest I first wipe it down with ACV, then put a bandaid on it. When I come home, I shower then re-apply as normal again.
Anyways I hope this helps all you lot out, my voice is just to confirm the suggested application on this site has contributed to the ‘downsizing’ of my keloid. =)

Amanda later followed up with another update and a recommendation for a balm called Agnijith:

Hey guys! I’m back again. I stopped using ACV, as I ran out of it. As I stopped it grew back again. Filling up the holes the ACV made, its still the same size as it was without the ACV, thank goodness. Although I would have preferred if it just disappeared altogether. Anyways, I’ve found something that is a reasonable price it is from India. I happened to stumble across this website.

It’s a balm called AGNIJITH. It treats burns, keloids etc. Heres the website I do believe in this product, as I have this little protruding scar from an insect bite and I just applied Agnijith balm for the heck of it for one day. And…surprisingly next morning, its noticeably flatter. So guys this is a natural remedy, and I recommend you do check out the website, it sounds very promising. It cost me 76.38 Australian dollars, it is priced at $75 US for 90 Gms, which I believe is quite reasonable. Check out the testimonials, read the articles etc.

I know all of you guys were hopeful regarding ACV, it did help, but its quite impractical for me to walk around stinking like foot odour all day long lol. But, guys I know how you are all feeling, and it is disappointing to find out it didnt really work, but then again, who knows ACV may work for you as it has for others.

All the best to everyone, and I’ll inform you guys on my Agnijith balm progress on my keloid. BTW I am not advertising their products, I am just helping you guys seek other alternatives. I will get back to you guys within a months time, or even sooner than that!

Deb wrote “…I bought some Apple Cider Vinegar and applied it on my scar at night, reapplying with a cotton bud once dry. I would also dab a bit of cotton wool with ACV and tape it to my scar over night. Some nights I would hold off taping the cotton wool with Apple Cider Vinegar to my arm as it would sometime irritate and sting but I knew the irritation was from the scar being broken down so kept at it. Eventually the ACV broke down the my whole scar, amazingly it never destroyed the healthy skin. This took about 3-4 weeks for the Apple Cider Vinegar to break down the keloid, I now have flat pinky skin surrounded by healthy skin so I have stopped using the Apple Cider Vinegar and I am now using natural oils to promote healthy skin to grow…It took about 4/5 days to notice that the ACV was working. At times it did feel like it was getting worse as the scar would swell and start to pus in different places on the scar but this would eventually scab and fade after bathing…For now I would say that ACV was a God send and I just can’t believe I never knew about this earlier in my life. “

6. Take special care when using garlic on skin

Terri asked, “What do you mean by using caution on pressed garlic or garlic oil? Is some burning ok?”

My advice about using garlic as a home remedy was: “Raw garlic on the skin can be extremely harsh and needs to be monitored carefully. Some mild stinging localized on the keloid is okay and can be expected, but overuse easily injures the surrounding skin and the keloid itself (can lead to bleeding if left on too long, its that powerful).

If you do use garlic, protect the healthy skin around the keloid with a layer of Vaseline or other skin oil. It’s also best to take it very slow in the beginning so you’re able to understand its strength and effects first.”

7. Keloid formation is linked to iodine deficiency in diet

Terri was fearful of developing keloids following cataract surgery and wanted to know what she could do to minimize the chances of getting one as she is prone to getting them.

My advice to her was, “If you find that you’re prone to getting keloids, your body might be lacking in the mineral iodine. You can check with a very simple patch test – paint a circle of brown iodine over an area of your skin, like your inner arm or stomach. If the color disappears in less than 24 hours (i.e. your skin sucks it up), you’re iodine deficient.

Thus, its a good idea to get your iodine levels to a healthy point again prior to any surgery (or any type of skin injury for that matter) to prevent new keloids from forming. One way to do this is by painting your skin with iodine each day until you find that the color stays on the skin for 24 hours and longer.”

8. Applying iodine on a keloid and ingesting iodine

Scott kindly shared his initial experience in using iodine topically and through a supplement. After 1-2 months, his results are very encouraging. He wrote the following:

“Iodine Seems to be Working! Hey everyone, I’ve read every bit of information on this site up and down. I’ve had a keloid scar on my chest for over 2 years, which came from acne (I believe). It started out as a very small bump, but has grown to a nickel sized red lump. It has really driven me crazy, I’m pretty self conscious about it. I promised myself if I ever found something that seemed to be working, I’d post about it here!

I’ve had it injected several times, but It never seemed to do much. I’ve also tried scarguard silicone gel, with little results.

I read about using Iodine, as potassium iodide, and thought I’d give it a try. I purchased a product called Liqui-Dulse. It’s a liquid iodine supplement you’re supposed ingest it by putting it in a glass of water, but I apply it straight to the Keloid topically. It’s key ingredients are Glycerin, Water, Dulse Palmaria Palmala and Potassium Iodide.

I put a few droplets on the keloid, then massage it in for several minutes. Then I put a few more drops on, cover it with a band-aid then go about my day like normal. Two or three times a day, or whenever I think about it, I pull the band-aid back, apply 3-4 more drops, then re-apply the band-aid.

After the past month or so of doing this, for the first time ever I see a difference in my Keloid!

The edges are softening, and diameter is shrinking. The redness is calming down. And one particular section of the Keloid (which gives me the most hope) has almost totally flattened AND new healthy skin appears to have grown over it! This healthy skin patch started out small, but has grown and covered about a 5th of the keloid. It grew to this size in about 2 weeks. The healthy skin seems to be continuing to grow.

Just thought I’d share this!

Also, for about 2 months I’ve been taking a multivitamin that contains 100% daily value of iodine and Vitamin E capsules. It’s hard to say which treatment is helping more… but I can say that the “healthy skin patch” never started growing until I applied the Liqui-Dulse.”

9. Why most home remedies are not sold commercially by pharmaceutical companies

Nowayz‘s question was “does ACV truly helps? why i surf so many webs but none of professionals said dat can use ACV?”.

My response was, “You won’t find home remedies being promoted by pharmaceutical companies even if they work because these natural ingredients cannot be patented. No patent=No massive profits to be made.”

(Nowayz also later reported success in the drying of his keloid.)

10. Itching and pain commonly associated with keloids (and when first using the remedies)

Emma wrote, “my keloids are in the chest, and they often itch. My keloids are caused by acne and pressed strongly by the nurse to let the thing in the acne out, but she did not succeed.”

Jules wrote, “My case is very similar to Dina’s – my keloid is on my chest, about 1 and a half centimetres wide and the same in length. It’s a dark pink colour, can get very itchy (especially after I drink) and hurts for no reason. I’ve had it since before 2003. I’m in my early 20s and it’s been a nightmare trying to find clothes that will hide it as nearly everything is v-necked and low-cut!”

Jules also kindly reported back later after using ACV, “I’ve been using ACV about 3 or 4 times a day, and it stings a little sometimes but not as badly as I mentioned before. My scar feels different now, it’s a little softer and I’ve noticed it’s flatter in the mornings (though this might also have been the case before i started using ACV). The big change is that the occasional sharp pains and itching have mainly disappeared, which is fantastic.”

11. How to remove remaining scar tissue after successful keloid treatment

Jules first wrote to ask if keloids can ever fully disappear, “…I am really keen to try the ACV after hearing what people have said. I understand that not everything will work for everyone, but I was wondering how much I can expect the scar to die down? Can it ever fully disappear? “

I responded, “If the remedies work you can expect some flattening and an improvement in the color. The itch should also be gone. However, there might remain scar tissue from the original wound, so that it would resemble a regular hypertrophic (raised) scar.

Jules later came back with an update to say that ACV has helped with her keloid’s pain and itching. She wrote, “I’ve been using ACV about 3 or 4 times a day, and it stings a little sometimes but not as badly as I mentioned before. My scar feels different now, it’s a little softer and I’ve noticed it’s flatter in the mornings (though this might also have been the case before i started using ACV). The big change is that the occasional sharp pains and itching have mainly disappeared, which is fantastic. Let’s hope I will see some change in the appearance as well.”

More on reducing scars (updated April 2011):

I had previously recommended using copper peptide creams to reduce (and possibly remove) leftover scar tissue. However, after using castor oil for several months on some very old and tough scars, I have to say that castor oil appears to work just as well at reducing scars (and maybe even better).

Castor oil is also much cheaper than copper peptide products and is all-natural (no chemicals). I’ve actually managed to remove a deep burn scar using castor oil (before-and-after photos).


jo asked me about copper peptides and how they can reduce scar tissue, when it is stated that they increase collagen formation. This led me to do some research.

I replied: “Hi jo, that’s actually a very good question. I don’t know the mechanics of it well enough to give you a proper explanation, but I think copper peptides may work to replace the excess collagen (type 1 & 3 collagen) in keloids with the healthy type over time.

I also found this in Roenigk & Roenigk’s dermatologic surgery (By Randall K. Roenigk, Henry H. Roenigk), which you might find interesting:

“Excessive collagen deposition is a hallmark of keloids. Keloid scars are composed of both Type I and Type III collagen… The collagen cross-linking in keloidal scars has been shown to be abnormal. This has been postulated to be due to a decrease in lysyl oxidase activity. This enzyme is copper dependent, and keloids have been shown to be copper deficient.

Additionally keloidal collagen is more acid soluble than normal dermal collagen. The collagen found in keloids is less mature and less stable than that found in normal skin.”

I’m not sure if the “copper deficiency” part means anything or is just a coincidence… but regardless, it seems that not all collagen are alike.

The above is just an extract. If you want to read it in fuller detail, there’s a preview of this page in Google Books, page 612. “

Other keloid remedies recommended by commenters

Cutting off the blood circulation to the keloid by tying it off with a string

Read earloid’s comment that first mentioned this method.

Taquaya commented that she tried tying off her keloid with string for 3 days and the results were so painful that she had to go to the emergency department.

She wrote, “I have not so good news. I always knew the string method was painful, but after 3 days of little sleep and excruciating pain, I had to remove the string to see what changes my skin was undergoing. The keloid is very tender and swollen now. In my eyes it looks worse than before.

To top that of, the skin surrounding the keloid was rubbed RAW. It is so painful that my eyes often fill with tears. I’ve been forced to make an emergency appointment with my doctor. Over the counter pain-killers are doing nothing for the pain. I’ve started stressing and losing my appetite because of the agony and discomfort. Even though I was applying Tea Tree oil and Vitamin E oil to the skin, it still got swollen, inflamed, and possibly infected.

My keloid was bothering me before all this, but it is killing me now. All I wanted was to get this thing off. I hope my doctor gives me something to combat infection and something STRONG to ease the pain.

I was a fool to believe that because some people had success using the string method that I too would be able to endure the pain and trauma to the skin. For those who are considering the string method, don’t do it. It is a long painful process. I just took a bad situation and made it 10x worse.”

Claudius had a more positive experience with this method. He said: “Tying a string around the base of the keloid really does work, it is severely painful but effective. I tie it around the keloid on both of my ears in 2 weeks they fell off, & my earlobes r not hard so nothing is growing back. Once I got the keloid on my left ear remove for $600 and it grow back twice the size, becuz my earlobes was hard after they remove it, so it was still there and then I got it on both ears & they wanted $3000 to remove them, so I tie a string around the keloid and bear with the pain for 2 week. It is worth the pain not $3000 the string cutts into the keloid & it bleeds a little so don’t be scared just try it, it worked 4 me.”

‘hold in there’ warned that while this method was painful, it eventually caused his keloid to dry and fall off.

He said: “I have had a keloid for 6 years. I had surgery to remove it 3 years ago and continued with the cortizone shots-both were painful. It grew back and continued to grow.

I decided to use the string method. Now the string method was not pretty and it did take a month to complete the process. It took longer because to avoid infection, I retied and applied cortizone every night. Yes, sometimes when the string is tied it can be painful, but eventually the keloid started drying and fell off. It has only been a few weeks and I am currently monitoring the progress. I can say that during my last doctor visit he pretty much left me with no other recourse.

P.S. I have tried the ACV method with no results. Will keep you up to date.”

In 2010, Destyni successfully removed a keloid on her right ear after six weeks. One year later, she returned to report her success with removing the remaining keloid on her left ear (scroll down to read all her comments in chronological order).

On 12 May 2010, she commented: “my right keloid is GONE! It took 6 weeks. 3 days ago it turned extremely black and hard and was hanging by a thin layer of “ear meat” i cut it with scissors. I didnt even feel a pinch. 1 keloid down.. 1 to go!!”

On 18 June 2010, she kindly shared some before-and-after pictures of her keloid after using the string method.

“i cant believe its actually gone. there is a rash on my neck from all the dried up blood that accumulated every night while sleep. anyway.”

Destyni’s before-and-after photos:

Throughout her journey, she gave some helpful progressive updates as well.

11 April 2010
i have a keloid on each of my ears. Very big and ugly.
I am currently on day 6 of the string method. Let me first say IT HURTS LIKE HELL. its very hard to sleep and i get headaches frequently. i have changed the string once. i noticed 2 days ago the keloid is starting to detach itself from my ear. so i cleaned the open area with mild soap and warm water and tied another string which was the worst pain ive yet to experience. I have had these keloids for about 6 years. I am tired of having to wear long hair to cover them. im hoping that by summer, they will be long gone and i can wear my hair in a pony tail. I will keep updating and possibly providing before and AFTER photos.

oh and let me add, my keloids are starting to leak and i have minimal bleeding and the leakage has an awful smell. But if this works, it will all be worth it

15 April 2010
Day 10 of stringing my keloids. the one on my right ear is literally hanging by just a few strands, its also turning black. It could fall off at any minute. i want to re-string it but it is so painful and tender. the left one is still loosening but slower than the right. Either way neither of them are really attached to my ear much. The process i say is about 85% complete. i give “tying a string around the keloid” an A. and once they fall off it gets an A+. I am SO happy i found this site.

In 2011, Destyni came back to share her success with removing the remaining keloid on her left ear. This time, instead of taking six weeks, the process took only 5 days, which she attributes to her use of a rubber band instead of string.

8 April 2011
Hi guys! Last year i had great success on one of my keloids with the string method. Thank you to the owner of this site for putting my progress on the main page. Hope it helped someone.
I was stringing both of my keloids on each ear at the same time last year, but that pain was just too unbearable on BOTH sides of my head. So i worked with the right keloid and got that off. Havent gotten around to the left one until now. This time i am using the rubberband method and i will say it is ALOT faster than the string. The first day hurt ALOT more with the band vs the string but the rubberband is killing the keloid so much faster. I am currently on day 4 and this lil creature is already almost dead. I will share pictures from beginning to end.
Here are days 1-4
Get’s a little graphic on day 4.

9 April 2011
Here we are.. barely day 5 and I AM KELOID FREE!!!
Its 4:21am. I was just about to clean my keloid and change the rubberband, but as i took the band off i noticed the keloid was just hanging there so i cut the little piece of skin which didnt hurt AT ALL because it was dead. I have photos. Which are VERY graphic i took them immediately after i cut the keloid. I cant believe this thing was on my EAR! yucky. Any questions, id be glad to help.

Thank you Destyni for sharing so much of your experience.  I’m sure it will help many others.

Destyni also has a YouTube channel called “destynihoney”, which chronicles her journey to being keloid-free.

Contractubex gel (from Germany)

khosbhoo used this gel for her burns. She wrote, “initially I applied contratubex gel (from Germany). it has decreased a lot. I mean 90% has gone (this medicine is a miracle) but I had to massage it regularly.”

Healthier diet (more fruits and veggies)

Sarah noticed that her keloids improved following a change in her diet. She wrote, “Over the last few months i have been drinking 3-4 cups of green tea with lemon, pomegranates (read the health benefits in Wikipedia) and increased the amount of fruit and vegetables I usually consume. from all these things I have noticed a big difference in the size of them and some even appear lighter. I do understand everyone is different but you never actually know this could work for you.

Sarah later came back with an update about her progress and also about her diet, “Hey guys its me again…so I’ve been away for a few months, but thought i should just comment on the progress of my situation with keloid i mentioned previously, green tea with lemon has seemed to work for me. I have recently included the following fruits and vegetables in my diet; tomatoes (plum and cherry in particular), avocado, bell peppers and sweet potatoes…and not only do i feel a lot better but my keloids have definitely minimized in size.”

Thanks for sharing, Sarah! If anyone else has had improvements to their keloids following a change in diet, please do share.

Foods that affect keloids

carolyn wrote, “I noticed that whenever I eat sugary foods, it grows or itches more. I just noticed this the other day and I wanted to see if foods or drinks can affect them or make them worse.”

rizwan wrote how red meat makes his keloids itch more, “I have keloid scars for about 15 years now… only thing i can recommend that try to eat more veg and fruits and don’t eat red meat coz when i eat red meat my keloid scars itches more .”

Jules wrote that her keloid itches more after drinking (alcoholic beverages), “My keloid is on my chest, about 1 and a half centimetres wide and the same in length. It’s a dark pink colour, can get very itchy (especially after I drink) and hurts for no reason.”

Anonymous wrote that white pepper causes his keloids to become very itchy. He also noted that his keloids grows/shrinks with his weight.


Irene’s father had a keloid that was infected with pus that wasn’t helped by steroid injections or antibiotics. She wrote how using Silicea helped:

“My father has a long keloid across his chest. For several years, it got infected with lots of pus. Steroid injections and antibiotics didn’t help. I put him on the biochemical tissue salts called Silicea for a few months. This prompted the keloid to discharge pus from several holes for a few weeks which was quite scary. After all this drained out, the problem has not occurred again, and the keloid has flattened out. Hope this will help somebody.”

Kenalog injections and Cica Care silicone gel sheets

Anonymous reported that his keloids “flattened and are less visible” with Kenalog injections and Cica Care gel sheets.

Castor oil

Nancy wrote that castor oil (Wikipedia link) made a difference to her keloid, which formed from a chicken pox scar.

She said, “I have since then tried castor oil after reading up on the web. It seems to have made a difference.”

Castor oil has many amazing healing properties which is perhaps helped by its ability to deeply penetrate skin and tissue. My research into castor oil has revealed many benefits of using castor oil, including its ability to break down scar tissue over time, which may make it helpful for keloids and internal surgical scarring.

You can read more about castor oil in these articles:

  1. a good introduction on castor oil
  2. using castor oil for scars
  3. and from my own experience, I’ve healed a deep burn scar using castor oil (see before-and-after-photos)

Tea tree oil

Anna tried ACV but had better luck using tea tree oil on her keloids, which are a few years old.

She says, “…slowly but surely stuff is happening, it’s peeling off, the keloid cells are dying, and eventually it should fall off…”

Silver nitrate

Iceni wrote that silver nitrate prescribed by a doctor is helping an infection and keloid on his little toe dry up. Iceni wrote, “Apparently this was a common anti- biotic way back to Egyptian times until after the first World War.But it came into disuse with the advent of modern antibiotics. I believe its efficacy is being studied again for use in humans. It is non toxic and apparently bacteria do not become resistant to it. Hope this helps someone.”

Tips for preventing keloids in the first place

Tip #1 – Cover small wounds for a few days

Anonymous advised, “The most important is once when you have any very small wounds, you have to put plastic bandages on it immediately for few days”

Tip #2 – Press down on newly-forming keloids

Rachel said, “I have a few keloids on my shoulder and have started getting a few on my chest, but right when i saw them forming, I applied pressure and pushed down on them and they are gone! It hurt like hell, but nothing on my chest! However, i still have the ones on my shoulders. =/ I really wish they would find a cure or solution that is definite! It is really is embarrassing! So next time you see one starting to come in, press down continually, and it will eventually fade. I had read online a while back that it worked for someone so i tried it and it did! Hope this helps!”

Tip #3 – Keloid formation is linked to iodine deficiency. Read about iodine and how it can help.

Tip for those considering surgery to remove their keloids

Anna kindly shared some advice from her dermatologist for those considering surgery to remove their keloids: if the surgeries are on problem areas that are susceptible to keloid formation, then the surgical incisions should be closed with a laser rather than traditional stitches as these could lead to stretching and further irritation, making post-op keloid formation on the surgical scar more likely.

Poll (closed in June 2013)

Terry suggested that a poll could be helpful in finding out the most effective method to treat keloids. I thought this was a great idea.

848 Replies to “Keloid Treatments and Home Remedies”

  1. i spend almost half of my life with these 2 very big, long keloids on my chest..8 inches long horizontally side by side with one another.. after so many inquiries, to almost every person that i encountered who has got one of these keloids, the only treatment that i am trying until now after 14 years is through steroid injections…it hurts so much every session, with about 10-12 injections on the two keloids,but i can’t do nothing but be strong ..i want them treated, just flattened it, and be free from the itch and pain …i had these keloids for almost 42 years now, it was flattened, but not in all places, there are some bits of it left..still having injectionsevery 3-4 weeks, having infections, itchiness and pain once in a while. but still i am hoping that the itch and pain and infections be gone forever..

  2. I had keloid scars while wear a necklace with a pendant 9 years ago. for the first 2 years, i didn’t notice it much as it is pretty small like an acne on my chest. its is red but not too obvious hence i ignored it.

    only about 7 yrs ago, I become very concious about it because it has grown to a size for 2 x 50 cents coins. I went for multiple injections for the past 1 year plus. (Trust me!! injections are painful).. though flatten but it has small lumps around and still appear very red and raw after injecting at least 15 times.

    just after the last check up with my doctor, he said that there is no more need for injection. But there is still small lumps (from the effect of too many needles).. and redness. The itch and pain has stopped since. But there is skins folded and crumpled and small lumps and bumps around the keloid.

    now, I am going to try betadine to see if it works to reduce the redness and the lumps around. will let you all know if it works.

  3. Hi, how good is iodine on Keloid. I have a very stubborn keloid on my neck and chest for more than 25 years. Every medication is harsh on the skin by spreading the keloid on any part of the body the medicine touches and it still itches especially at night. Can I use iodine. I once bought ACV but has not touched it. My skin reacts badly to any harsh medicine. Help me.

    1. It seems like that redness gone down. Will continue till end of mar to see results. Situation is improving and it’s not harmful to skin. I have very sensitive skin too.

      Every night, I applied a thick layer of betadine and cover it with a plaster to prevent it from staining my clothes. Leave it there till morning. Seems like the scar gets lighter and lighter and also softer after a few days.

      1. Hi, the iodine iches but I can see that the aspirin is fine. What is making the itching so serious when I apply iodine. I thought the iodine will be okay since it is used on wounds.

        1. What type of iodine are you using? Betadine is gentler, while iodine tincture can cause some itching since there’s alcohol in it that can lead to dry skin.

  4. Samantha, I used iodine tincture. I am going to try betadine today. At the moment, I am using the aspirin and it does not itch. I planned on getting castor oil so I can use it during the day and the betadine at night. What do you think?

    1. That sounds like a plan. Just be careful that betadine can stain your bedlinen/clothes, and it rubs off easily (unlike iodine ticture which doesn’t stain after it dries). Good luck, Gift!

  5. I just used the aspirin for a week and the peace that I thought I have found in aspirin has vanished. The area around the keloid have become very red and sore. Now, I am treating sores around the keloids. Went to buy the castor oil and was told it is hexane free but there is no writing on it. I am returning it. Cannot get betadine to buy. Was told by the pharmacist to buy wokadine. What’s the difference. Thanks.

    1. Hi

      Betadine/wokadine are just brand names for the same thing — povidone iodine. The pharmacist should’ve known this.

      Both brands offer povidone iodine in a few forms (creams or liquid solutions).

      Hope that helps.

  6. Thanks Samantha, will try wokadine this evening. Can I use castor oil (not hexane free) around the keloid area? This is to prevent further sores or redness.

    1. Yes, castor oil might help, but just monitor your skin’s reaction as castor oil can increase blood circulation — this may not be so helpful if you want to bring down redness. If this happens, you may want to leave the area alone until it calms down a bit first before using castor oil again.

      If you have any coconut oil on hand, it’s also a good skin healer. I’ve personally found coconut oil to be very quick in soothing red/irritated skin (and I was just using the inexpensive ‘Parachute’ brand).

      Good luck, Gift.

  7. I have started the wokadine on the keloid. So far so good. However, I do it at night so that my clothes will not be stained. I have a very big one at my back. The one on my chest has spread, likewise the one on my chin. How many times should I use it. I use it at night only. Thanks.

  8. I have a keloid on my right earlobe and i’ve notice each time i get it removed the steroids injections always make it bigger then i have to get laser surgery again… After i get the surgery, my doctor always insist i need the steroids for it to not come back? But it always does…. i going to have my third surgery next week and this time i don’t want no steroids at all!! is there anything else i can suggest to him and also has anyone gone through the same problem where the steroids makes their keloid bigger and different shape?… only one thing it dose is, that it makes it soft but at the price of making the scar bigger!! now my right earlobe way longer and bigger to my left and its obvious because my earlobes/ears originally small.

  9. as i have said before, i suffered almost 42 years with my 2 keloids, tried many ointments and not succeeded with all of them..15 years ago, i met a dermatologist who became a close friend for almost 15 years too, she gave me steroid injections for all of those years, with intervals of 3-4 weeks..for 15 years the long long keloids measuring almost 8 inches long 1 1/4 inch wide and soreness of 1/4 inch , so red and itchy and aches..i really sacrificed for every 12 or 10 injections for every keloids left measures just less than an inch and almost all the areas covered by keloids are flattened..but…i still get my injections for the remaining ones every 3-4 weeks still and i also get infections maybe several times, had to take antibiotics ,put on some ointments but it really cleared them with one remaining part in my chest..i thank God, but i still have to take care of it maybe for some more years to make it smaller and avoid having it infected..hope my experience can help ..

  10. I did your treatment Yolanda but had to stop because it did not get smaller and the places of the needles also form keloid. Now it is even bigger than yours.

    Since I started using the wokadine, I have not experienced excessive iching so I will use it for sometime before I come back with any result.

  11. Thanks for your comments guys. Today i just had my keloid removed and i want to know is there any vitamins or supplements that i can take to stop the re growth and collagen build up? I want this to be the final operation i have once and for all! Once the stitches come out I’m going to do my all so that this deform scar don’t return.

    1. I have 2 keloids on my chest. I mgnaaed to get surgery done on both, one didn’t grow back. However, the scar expanded and the other keloid grew back so much bigger. After surgery I was put on radiotherapy. After 2 months post surgery, I started to exercise could this be the cause of expanding the scars ? I feel like I shouldn’t have ever done surgery.

  12. Hi Samantha, I have have a 3 keloids on behind my earlobes. The one on my right ear is greatly larger the the smaller two on my left. I believer that they occurred from piercings. I’ve had them for about 3 years now and i have noticed that my right ear continues to grow. They are soft to the touch, but are hard one you apply pressure. I want to know what is the best solution to my problem?

    1. Hi Brittany, you’ll have to try the suggestions to find what works best for you. If you read the post, you’ll see that what works for some may not work for others. I’d suggest trying what’s most convenient/easiest for you first and go from there.

  13. i have two keloids,one on my hand and the other on my chest.someboby suggested i go for kenalog injection.can it work?

  14. I use wokadine and aspirin paste (once a while). I can see the keloid is disappearing slowly. At times it itches but I get along with the wokadine because it is gentle on my skin. I do not know about ACV mixed with honey but I cannot stand ACV. It is as if I have put pepper in my sore. Sorry for the choice of words. I know it works for a lot of people but my skin is very very delicate and reacts fast to these medications including the aspirin.

    1. Hi Gift

      Nothing to be sorry about. 🙂 IMO, you’re doing the right thing in using what works for your skin. And I’m very glad you’re seeing some results with your method.

  15. i have keloid on my chest for last 11 years. i had undergone for surgery under Dr. K Priyadarshan, sagar apollo, tilaknagar, bagalore last year, it was skin grafting but it did not help anyway, rather it has come back again in bigger way. Friends do not go for surgery for keloid. some dr. may recommend to make money, do nt get trapped by them. Use all home based remedies that really help.

  16. whenever i work outdoor, sweats more which causes lot of itching and therefore……………..
    So, try to keep keloid as much as dry, let air passed through keloid which will keep it dry and sweat free. (especially when it is on chest)After office work wash it with tea tree oil and avoid cloths.

    1. I got a Keloid when I was 18 Yrs Old In 2009, Size Of A Grape on the back of my Ear So embarrassin Tried EVERYTHING !!! NOTHING WORKED.. Order Sum Surgical Sciccors onnile.. held ice on ear 10 min ,burned scissors til it turned red.. then I cut it off and pour? a bottle of WARM seasalt water on my ear I picked tha keloid up in threw that shit in the Garbage my ear Barely bled or hurted..every nite I put a bandage on it for 8 months 11 months later no keloid and ear looks 80% BETTER!!

  17. What is tea tree oil and what are its uses and benefits especially on the keloid? The keloid on my skin is always wet because of the heat and it itches a lot. I have not seen much on the medicines I am using. I am also afraid to change because of my very sensitive skin. I use wokadine and aspirin interchangeably.

  18. it’s me again and still , for me,there is only one treatment that i am doing with my decades ago keloids…topical steroid injections every 3-4’s been 15 years now, and still my dermatologist do the same thing, injecting my keloids..i agree with her..there is so much that i am thankful of to her.. my big big keloids, almost 8 inches long and 1 1/2 inch wide,,there are 2 of them in my chest… they are now an inch big..and maybe i will still go to her and be injected for the rest of my life..i am 64 years old, not so much itchiness and just 2-3 times of infections..i am satisfied at that..

  19. Hi, Im thinking of trying Iodine topically on my earlobe keloid. I’ve had it for 2 years and it is about 2 inches long…

    my local store has two iodines

    one has (Glycerine (vegetarian), iodine, ammonium iodide)

    The other is pure Potassium Iodide

    Which one should I get?


    1. Hi derrick, I’m not familiar with ammonium iodide, but you can try either iodine or potassium iodide and see which works better for you.

      I know many have had good results with iodine, but if you google keloids and SSKI (which is the saturated solution of potassium iodide), you’ll also find positive user reviews.

      You can also try both if that works for you. My only advice is to use your own good judgement (i.e watch out for irritation and adjust accordingly).

      Good luck!

  20. I am so happy to see that I am not alone, and I am thinking of using one of these remedies. A friend currently gave me advice to get some horse tail hair, and tie it around my keloid and tighten it each day. I may be trying that soon, so we will see what happens. Cross your fingers.

  21. No one has answered my question on the tea tree oil.

    Well now I have to try other remedies since the wokadine cannot take the itching away. Aspirin is just fine though I have realised some are stronger than others and some do not stick to the skin.

    Sarah, please tell me more about your fruits and veggies. That is another option for me. How many times do you eat it and which ones do you eat most. Just give me details.

    Thank you and wishing everyone a healthy and happy recovery from keloids.

  22. GIft and everyone else: hey, I have used tea tree oil on my keloids which are on my chest. When I first started putting them on, they were about an inch long and bumpy. For about a month, I would soak a cotton ball and tape it on my keloids when i went to bed. The burning and itching was so intense that I would tear up and take the cotton off. But some days I would tolerate it because I saw that tea tree oil was reacting to the keloids, I wasn’t sure at the point if it was getting better or worse.

    So, about a month of doing so, the top skin of the keloids would peel off, and the bumps that i had was now flattened. The keloids did not disappear, they are in fact about an inch long now, more than before, it is now just easier for me to cover them up with make up. They are still noticeable


    dont be disappointed by tea tree oil though, it really is an amazing oil. I have gotten about four keloids in the past couple of months and I was able to treat them completely with tea tree oil. I got one right behind my ear and i would soak a cotten ball just like before and put it over night, I left it alone after and did the same thing three days later, (its better to give the skin time to heal, tea tree oil is really really strong! it usually burns the surrounding skin of the keloid so you have to be careful). After that I had two on my shoulder and I did the same and I was able to get rid of them.

    I wish I knew about it when I first got my keloids on the chest, but its been five years now and the older they are its much harder to treat them. That is why tea tree oil works best on fresh keloids.

    Tea tree oil is a must have medicine for those who suffer from keloids or acne. It works wonders.

    I have tired many other topical stuff, I am into drinking green smoothies, heard it dissolves the keloids, but take a really long time. Anyway, I hope you all finds this helpful, if you need more info or have more questions, feel free to ask me! 🙂

  23. I used ACV, vitamin E, iodine and castor oil
    I started getting small bumpy scars around 2 years ago a few mounts after repeatedly rubbing at pimples and resulting open wounds around my jaw area in the shower in frustration for a few weeks. Then, they formed bigger scars. I used vitamin E at first (applying it nightly to the scars), when I wasn’t really serious in my research. I experienced some slight visual changes (they felt a little bit softer too) for the better but not enough to call it a success and it felt pretty hard when I stopped using it during a trip overseas (and possible worsened).

    After that, I also had some steroid injections in them, but I didn’t experience much improvement (at least from what I could tell). The doctor also did some pulse dye laser all over my face (as I have generally really crappy skin). I then tried ACV, after the first week of just slight dabbing, the reddish discoloration (which could have been because of the laser treatment, I’m not sure) quickly subsided, but it looked exactly the same to me, only the color was closer to the surrounding skin color.

    Then I got impatient and started applying more, like almost dousing the scar with ACV, which actually in my opinion helped a lot. As can be seen from the pictures (I only documented the biggest and most repulsive looking scar. I lost the file from the first week, which is practically the same as the second week, just red: after this more aggressive treatment, some of the smaller collagen bundles at the surface of the larger scar smoothened and it looked more like one big scar. (

    I applied ACV every half an hour whenever I was at home as regularly as possible, which can be pretty hard if you are busy and lose track of time. But I did so as diligently as I could. The results were acceptable if not remarkable. But I was also looking at other non-invasive options as I thought this hideous thing is on my face anyway, it won’t go away if I don’t do anything so I’ll just give everything a go.

    I next set about looking for potassium iodide as it looked promising, no such luck finding it in pharmacies around my area. So I settled on iodine, which is easily found. I applied to the scar before bed and sometimes in the morning if I am not going out that day (I’m quite a homebody and with scars like these I was even more apprehensive of going out if not necessary, so this was quite often especially during the school holidays where you can’t possibly go out every single day anyway). I thought that the effect was much more immediate and drastic with iodine, but the stain on my fingers and hands was pretty embarrassing (I apply the iodine directly with my finger and sometimes pour it on my hand so that I can cover the bottle to not let it evaporate. I did this concurrently with the ACV, if I got home from school in the afternoon, I wouldn’t apply iodine as I’d be washing it off after dinner anyway, but would apply the ACV every half an hour. (About the same time last year:

    This was all fine and dandy, but still it wasn’t great. The scars had definitely improved to a limited extent and beggars can’t be choosers, so I made do and tried to just forget about all the scars on my face. In my opinion, I think trying to not think too much about your scars helps a lot. Obviously we can’t forget, but try to just not let it be an excuse to not do anything. Life goes on with or without the scars and I can continue treating it without it controlling my life. Anyway, I began using castor oil on my scar after Samantha’s post on using it for scars and thought what the heck I’ll give it a shot, since it worked for an internal scar, why not an external one.

    I apply it and massage it into the scars before going to bed (at least 1 and a half hour before actually going to bed as much of it is lost on the pillow anyway I believe), and in the day again if I’m not going out. But I make sure to not apply it if there are pimples or open wounds on the surface as I’m pretty sure I know why I got these things in the first place. So I try to avoid putting myself in the same situation again. If I feel that I have accidently been too rough on an open wound, I apply iodine over it for a few days just to be safe. In fact, since iodine has been beneficial to the scar subsiding, I try to apply it over the scar anyway in the place of massaging castor oil into it if there are open wounds on it.

    After all this, I can definitely feel that my scars have decreased in perimeter and become softer, so I will continue and will post about it if I get rid of them completely! The scar can sometime seem worse than it is when you develop pimples on them, but when the pimples go away, you almost get the impression that it the scar subsided even more in the process. The scar also forms small scabs sometimes, especially with ACV use but that goes away and in some other cases I have read about users actually feel it is beneficial to the scar subsiding.

    I am generally very careful about not rubbing over my face if I am not sure if there are open wounds on my face. I apply ACV and water over my face every day after washing as a toner (?) and then apply everything after it dries. For example, I may forgo moisturizing if I have open wounds on my face. If everything is fine, I even massage castor oil all over my face as it can help with. In the end, I still believe what has been most beneficial to me if the change in mindset and not letting my scars (I also have indented scarring from popping pimples during a spell where I stopped applying acne cream and just gave up on everything, which I really regret) stop me from doing most things. Yes, I still feel down sometimes about my scars, but I try over and over again to not let it affect me as much.
    Most recent: (From earlier this year, I would like to think it looks a little better now. Please excuse the lighting, I don’t know why it looks different. Hopefully a difference can be seen between this one and the previous one)

    1. Wayne i think your last picture looks great, i can see alot of improvement so congrats with whatever it is your doing cause it really does appear to be working! 🙂

  24. If you name it, I’ve had it done. From steriod injections(hurts like hell), to surgery removal (scar came back),radiation,creams and compression. I’ve suffered with keloid skin my entire life. I have a huge scar on my chest as a result of chicken pox at the age of 3 which left a bump that was removed when I was nine. The scar keloided, omg..I’ve been so self concious it’s unbelieveable, always high neck shirts and prom dresses and scafs or tailor made bridemaides dresses.

    In college, I fell through a window and cut an artery and now I have one on my wrist which is god awful, I usually keep a wristband on it, the pressure of the wristband helps with the pain that shoots through it, I know you guys can relate. I’ve had both of these areas worked on and had surgery twice only for them to come back larger.

    The one on my chest has done something over the past year that it has never done before…sometimes it itches so bad, I go crazy scratching it causing it to become infected and ulcerate( infected with pus creating a craddle like hole) the pain is almost unbareable. It comes to a head and drains almost like a boil and then heals as if nothing ever happened, this has happened 4 times this year in two areas of the scar. Sometimes I find myself walking hunch over because stretching out feels like I’m pulling the skin causing the scar to hurt.

    I stumbled across the this website because I was using ACV to wash my hair as another home remedy. I’m going to try the ACV remedy..what could it hurt, I hit the big 40 and after years and years and thousands of dollars worth of treatment, it’s worth a try. Thank you guys for the testimonals..I dont wish this condition on anyone, but I’m glad to know that there are people out there who feel my pain.

  25. I got the skin on my upper arm scarred due to the use of creams on the keloids. I realised that my skin is too delicate for the creams. I am afraid to try ACV but I tried wokadine and the iching was too much. I did not get the hexane free castor oil so I bought what was available. The aspirin I was formerly using was good but the skin around the keloids turned red and the formation of keloids started again when I burst some rashes I had through the use of aspirin. I stopped. Now the scarred skin at my upper arm is turning dark. I know it is trying to form keloid. I cannot get the garlic oil, tea tree oil and the SSKI in my country. I used the wokadine on it and the iching and pain has stopped, unless I touch it with my finger, it does not itch. Any other remedies? Can I use raw garlic and how much water should I add. Can I store it in a fridge or just put it on my dressing table? What should I do to prevent the skin around the keloids? Please help?

  26. Dear frends,
    I stumbled upon this site and it has alot of information and experiences shared by people who has keloids, it has been like a god-sent site, I wud recommend all to visit it and try it. I had a keloid on my ear which was very embarrassing and I still have one on my shoulder and 3 on my chest. I had operated on my ear to remove it and it was successful as it has been 7 years and it never returned but the one on my chest and shoulder came back full in size. Apparently your ear is not so reactive. But i wud still suggest to take help from more than one person. I’m trying the ACV method and its only been 5 days, haven’t see much progress but will share if anything positive, until then try the home remedies from the site above, try to avoid the expensive surgeries if you can. hasn’t helped me much!! take care!!

  27. I am back to comment after 8 months of ACV treatment. And I have to say that it is flatter now. See I had an operation which involved the doctors opening up my chest and left a 4inch scar. 2yrs after the op the keloid grew wider like 2cm wide and like fat blobby looking. So here’s what I do

    at night I use a saturated cotton ball to dab ACV on the scar
    I use the same cotton and use a transparent water proof tape to stick it on the the scar overnight
    This tape is usually used for post op dressing I use this to really trap the ACV within the the scar area only. 2nights in a row I will get a first degree acid burn on the scar only then I treat it with betadine for another 2 nights. After that you’ll have some scabs let your skin recover and when the scabs are all out do the process again until nice and flat.

    do note that the betadine will itch as hell but you’ll get used to it. I did anyways

    1. Hi Adrian, thanks so much for taking the time to come back and update us on your progress. I’m sure this will help many others. 🙂

  28. What a nice resource. I have a nickel size keloid on my bottom from surgery that I’m trying to flatten and get the red out. I just started taking Lugol’s Iodine solution, 6 drops in a bottled water. I’m hoping this will help get the healing process started. My keloid is about a year old and can get very raised and firm, other days it is flatter and less red. Overall though it sticks around.

    I was also interested in cryotherapy. I read that Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away is basically the same procedure used in a derm’s office, so I ordered a package even though it’s indicated as a wart remover. I’ll be attempting to freeze away this keloid and will report back here. Since the keloid is on my bottom I’m fine experimenting with these things. No one really sees my bottom anyway! It’s just a bit annoying because of the itchiness and redness. If I could completely freeze it off, I’ll be very very happy. I’ll be back with my results. If anyone else has already tried this, please reply.

  29. Samantha, I asked my auntie to buy me garlic oil but she got me garlic and olive oil and another bottle of garlic oil mixed with basil or so. can I use them?

  30. Hi everyone, I just started using crushed garlic on my keloid which started growing after I pierced my right ear. It’s very painful and I want to know how long the garlic can stay on before I wash it off. I have read all the testimonies from other people and I’m positive mine will finally fall off. Lastly, how long will it take for a small sized keloid to disappear after whilst treating with garlic?

  31. hey, i have got my skin grafting surgery done almost 4 months back frm nw, bt i hav developed a keloid on my nose.. any suggestions how to reduce it? or get it treated?

  32. Hey I’ve read pretty much all the stories on here and they are so helpful. Gives me a lot of hope in getting to of my keloids which I’ve had for close to 7 years now. I’m so stressed out over them. I really want to try the ACV method , does it matter on what kind of ACV is being used thanks a million someone please answer.

  33. I have read that Swedish Bitters reduces and even cures keloid. How true is this finding and has anyone tried it or does anyone know someone who has tried it. Answers please.

  34. hey everyone,
    Just wanted to share how I’m currently treating my keloid. I developed a keloid about a year ago from a surgery I had to remove a cyst. It’s about 1 and a half inches long and about 1/3 of a inch wide. It’s also 3-4 shades darker than my complexion.
    I went to Ulta about 2 weeks ago and saw this product called ScarAway. It’s like a silicone sheet. You’re supposed to wear the sheet for 12 weeks. I’m finished week 1 but I definitely saw a change. I’m approaching week 2 now.
    I have before and after pictures on my blog “Purging Pretty” (didn’t want to post the link so yall would feel like I’m spam. You can just google the blog if you like.
    But It really has shrunk a little in size and has lightened up. I really can’t wait to see how it looks on week 12.

  35. i have kaloids on my chest and multiple kaloids on pubic area…(from 6 years)
    ihave gone for treatment t many places i had injection on my skin..but its not going and the large one on my pubic irritate me alot.
    please advice me what to do n where to go?i m worry i hve to get marry :(but due to this i cant tk any step…
    please guys advice me

  36. I was wondering if castor oil can be used as an effective treatment for stretch mark removal (or at least minimization). And, if so what would be an appropriate castor oil application regimen. Also, my stretch marks are old and are no longer red so perhaps it is too late for a castor oil treatment

  37. I am trying to find the most effective treatment for keloid scars. There doesn’t seem to be a 100% effective cure, but I would like to narrow down to the most effective treatment. Vote at the Formafist website. Just search for “keloid”.

      1. The site seems to need registration though…

        If I can figure out how, I might be able to add in a poll below this article.

        (UPDATE – Done!)

  38. Whatsup loosers? I got the best solution for anyone with keliod no matter how big it is! Go to a a dermatalogist and ask him to do u a laser co2 session! U only need 1 session its effctive sfe and time efficient! When i read ur comments i get depressed like wtf! No solution?! No theres is a bigtime efficient solution! Laser co2! Everyone is gna love it it cost around 200$ and u only need 1 session and 1 week to recover fron the burn!

  39. hi,plz be v carefull abt any treatment as there is no 100% treatment for any keloid , espacially before going to any surgery or removing keloid with surgery or laser can be dangerous and could cause reoccurance of keloid , bt gels , tea trea oil , or other such applications can be helpful.i got keloid on my chest and i took steroid injection “kenacord” bt since then m feeling great prob of itching and movements kcm uneasy sometimes,if is flattened bt growing from sides ,v painful,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,any suggestion plz ,thx

  40. Hi everyone. I had severe keloids on my earlobe (front and back) which were so huge I could not even lie on that side of my head when I went to sleep. I began seeing the best dermatologist in Melbourne who began injecting the scars with cortisone. After 2 rounds of injections he ‘shaved’ them (cut them) off completely. Then he injected more cortisone into the earlobe. After that I had to go back every 2 weeks to get more injections to prevent the keloids from going back, then eventually every 4 weeks. It has been about 19 months since I’ve had the keloids removed and I go back to my dermatologist every 6-8 weeks for more cortisone injections. I will continue to do this until my doctor is convinced the keloids will definitely not grow back. My ear looks like a completely normal ear now and I couldn’t be happier with the result. On the front of the earlobe, there is a slight scar, but it is very faint and hardly anyone has even noticed it. Also – for about a year after getting the keloids removed, I was on a medication called Methotrexate, which is not widely used for keloid treatment but my dermatologist insisted it would help prevent the keloids from growing back. I’m convinced this definitely helped too. Just google the use of this medication!

    I also have severe keloids on my chest, upper back & shoulders and have had these for 9 years now. I have tried every natural remedy you can think of and nothing worked for me. My dermatologist has begun injecting some of these with cortisone to see how they react (he is reluctant to surgically remove them as you would need radiotherapy afterwards). The keloids he has injected recently already seem like they are flattening.

    Good luck everyone. It can be a long process both emotionally and physically. But I would definitely recommend finding the best dermatologist you can find!!

  41. Great job thats impressive to hear! But trust me the use of co2 laser is the best!! U may need some cortisone injection bt its like the beat treatment! I had hypertrophic scar nt keliod which is way easier to treat than keliod.give it a try for laser co2 and thank me for my advice

  42. hi Samantha, i want to ask some advice from you. i have 2 keloids on my my upper arms from vaccination and on my chest from chicken pox scar. its about 20years already. i already tried injections but nothing happens. i am so depress with this, can you please help me sam? is tea tree oil worth a try or the ACV?which is better? sorry im just worried getting it worst because as of now it’s like 3inch already..,so sad.

    please can i have your suggestion of what’s good for me.

    thank you so much. God bless

    1. Hi popz, I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. Unfortunately, I can’t really offer any firm advice since each person’s keloids just seem to respond differently to different methods. That’s the difficulty… and was why I put this page together in the first place, so people could try and see what works for them since there’s no one best way that works for everyone.

      My only suggestion is to try both internal and external methods at the same time. You could try boosting your iodine intake or improving your diet (it’s one of the methods mentioned) along with experimenting with one of the external remedies that’s easiest for you.


  43. I think, with the ACV method is not that there are results. because it’s been over 2 weeks using the ACV, to no avail. I just feel like not so itchy and painful even feel, I think. I use ACV I made this with a cotton round and I’m wading into ACV, and I stick to my keloid maybe 3 times a day, but there was no sense that I get. no color change, no sense that tertimbulkan, no shrinkage. I have a keloid on my chest, right in the chest so it can be seen when wearing regular socks. and I’m so ashamed of my friends, especially since I’m 14 years old. and keloid me there are 3, 2 in the chest (very embarrassing) and 1 in the stomach. I hope the comments, successfully to treatment with ACV was so true and real. but, I continue to wear the ACV. because I will not stop my efforts, before I see results.
    anyone can help maybe?

    1. hi albertus. I think the comments are true beacuse I have flattened 3 keloids with ACV as I was inspired to try it by these comments.
      but it is still not normal skin just flatter keloid. hurts like hell on some days when it starts to burn new layer of the scar. and I guess it takes a long time. also mine were very old and hard keloids.

      what kind of ACV is it? is it old? is it brown in color? soak the cotton in ACV,tape it to the keloid and soak it again in ACV as many times as possible during the day otherwise it won’t be effective. so try using it more than 3 times. on me it has to be at least every 2 hours. you can also try applying it during the night

      1. thank you. but I think it’s very time consuming, now I use a q-tip dipped in ACV, in maybe 2 times a day and I’ve started to feel something in my keloid, but it does not hurt like hell. and I very much hope will be that, with your suggestions as well. hopefully I can remove my keloid perfectly within 3 days. does it get?
        because if there is a keloid on my body, I could not be accepted at the school I want to apply for, and it was 3 days away from the day this week, and hopefully it can indeed be lost keloids. because the body must fit the criteria, while I was 14 years old, how in my relationships? very embarrassing and painful in my life. and it just gara gara keloid, I often ridiculed.
        ACV I was TAHESTA, it costs $ 3.9. is it expensive? [I’m Indonesian]. may still be new, and not too brown, probably to the old-yellow, and tiu not lumpy. is it wrong?
        I really hope to get rid …
        every one, help me!
        thank you in advance.

        1. if we are talking about real keloids I don’t think any ACV can do it in 3 takes a long time. so far I’m not even sure it can heal them completely as I’ve only seen flattening but the skin again heals into a keloid..perhaps I have to do it longer. maybe to flatten them then to go freeze them with liquid nitrogen could be a good option.. I don’t know albertus,just be sure to keep the ACV in a cold,dry space as it loses potency in the heat,especially in the summer and then it’s not very effective. the only other hope so far that I know of is a device called Cryoshape but very few countries have it so far.. maybe in the future. God help us all. good luck to you

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