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 have had a keloid for 6 years. I had surgery to remove it 3 years ago and continued with the cortizone shoots 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.

  2. I got my ears pierced about 2 years ago and starting the beginning of this year i noticed a keloid forming. Now the keloids are about pea size and are so unflattering. What is the best remedy to decrease the size of these keloids?

  3. hey, i have keloid about 3 years ago, they actually grow very slowly,

    and i went to dermatology or something that told me to use dermatix silicone gel, and i been using for like nearly a month, the results was hard to tell and then i notice its spreading more like tiny two now, i think its getting worse

    so there any way to rid of these keloid, garlic oil are they really work?
    sorry i was too just worried about growing bigger… which one is easy and heal faster?

    thank you



    I am 26 yrs old lady and having acne keloids on both shoulder area, area below neck. I am really fade up with it.
    I am facing big problem due to that.This is since 4-5 years.
    I am not able to wear any cloth except cotton and no embroidery, as it starts etching.
    Also, now-a-days it pains any time in the day.
    There is one keloid on left side below neck, if pressed, small part of my backside head starts paining…
    Means, these are penetrating into deeper layers of skin, may be causing nerves getting blocked with these keloids frm inner layers.
    I have tried all pathys like allopathy, homeopathy (currently using it), ayurvedic,steriods,medicinal tubes, etc….

    I am very much afraid whether this will turn into serious problem in future.

    1. Hi Anamika,

      I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. I was going to suggest more of an internal method of healing, like changing your diet to a more alkaline one or trying a juice or raw food diet, but I saw that you’ve tried homeopathy so you might have already done so.

      But if you haven’t, it might be worth looking into more.

      To get you started, take a look at this page where a woman described how her son was born with a large birthmark on his arm and it changed to normal skin after several months of feeding him organic vegetables and grains as well as herbal teas. I know a birthmark isn’t the same as scars or keloids, but my point is that what we put in our bodies could have a powerful effect on our cells.

      I hope this gives you some new ideas or avenues to go on.

      Be well,


  5. helo
    i have keloid in my chost i am a man 48 year old keloid250mm*5mm i sushgari 3 but no good i use krayo trapy lazer p d l skar so soft anti keloid widmer tridesonit avene cicalfate elocom kenacort retard injaction but no good plis help me thanks.

  6. Hey! First I wanna thank you for this great site.
    well I REALLY HATE MY KELOID it drives me insane.
    its on my chest and it’s been there for 2 years now.. I tried laser but it didnt do any good. I also took a cortisone injection, i think it kind of helped but then my doctor told me that he wouldn’t give me another one because he fears that the skin beneath it might become lighter.. so I was wondering if its okay to take another injection of cortisone ( its going to be my second ).. and I was also wondering if Tea Tree Oil is any good? I don’t want to use ACV i think its too harsh for my skin.. Does Tea Tree dry it off till it all peels away or what? and is it painful?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Jay,

      Tea tree oil is quite soothing, but undiluted or 100% tea tree oil can be irritating or cause a burn on some people. Tea tree oil can also be irritating when applied to very sensitive areas (like broken skin or the genitals). I’d advise you to test it on the skin on your chest first to see your reaction. It’s best to weaken 100% tea tree oil with another natural oil like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. In general, it shouldn’t be painful to use and it should work by penetrating the skin and killing the infection over time. As far as I know, it shouldn’t cause the skin to peel with normal use.

      I am not too sure if about whether you should take the 2nd cortisone shot. Hopefully, someone else with experience in using the shots can help to advise you.

      Hope that helps!


  7. Thank you Sam for replying as quick as you did 🙂

    What do you recommend? Tea tree oil or ACV? Mind if I ask how Tea Tree Oil works? Does it peel off the keloid which causes it to go away or does it sooth it? how does ACV work too please?

    1. Hi Jay, you might have missed it since this page is quite long, but there are previous user accounts of what ACV does and feels like when its working (or not) on this page.

      Tea tree oil doesn’t peel the keloid off. In fact, none of the remedies will work so aggressively as to “peel” the entire keloid off. If it’s working, the keloid should shrink gradually.

      The only thing that can peel something right off is surgery, which may not work so well. It might be helpful to think of keloids (and most other deep scars) as icebergs – there’s a lot more going on beneath the skin than what you see or feel on the surface. Thus, it takes a lot more patience and time to deal with them. I hope that makes sense?

  8. Does it matter how long I’ve had my keloid for the home remedies (I’m looking at ACV right now) to work? I got them about eight years ago when I was around ten, and they’re not small (one is nearly an inch long and half an inch across; kind of looks like pricess leia’s head).

    Also, I recently donated blood (today, actually) and noticed that the injection site now looks kind of like a baby leech. Is this normal? What are the chances of this keloiding and how can I prevent one from forming?

    1. Hi z, it shouldn’t matter how old your keloid is. It might take more persistence and a longer time to see if the remedies will have any effect on it, but in my opinion, even fairly young keloids can be fairly tough and resistant.

      Blood donation (especially repeated donations) can lead to scarring at the injection site, but since yours was just done, the bump sounds like it’s a temporary and normal healing response. I would keep the area clean. To minimize the chance of forming a scar or a keloid, you can keep it covered it with some soothing natural oil e.g. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), coconut oil or castor oil. Avoid applying creams or lotions on the site – these contain chemical preservatives that may do more harm than good.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  9. 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 embarassing! So nex ttime 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!

    1. hey, rachel how do u push ur keloid scar?with a bare hand ?how much prssure is required to get rid a newly forming keloid

  10. Thank you Samantha for clearing the matter 🙂

    I have been using Tea Tree Oil since January 16th, I used it randomly, sometimes 3-4 times a day, and sometimes only once at night (I soaked a cotton ball with tea trea oil and kept it on the keloid for a couple of hours), I noticed however that my night method has better effects. I also noticed that after soaking it for a couple of hours and putting a silicone sheet over it for 8 hours has actually made it look flatter!!! I’m satisfied with the results but it takes a lot of time 🙁 I also used the asprin method and I have been taking Vitamin E capsules.

    Hope that helps.

  11. I’ll give you an update.. using tea tree oil soaks caused a scab to form beside my keloid and a bit on my keloid also because it was a bit harsh so I stopped applying anything on my keloid for a week and now the scab flaked off.. my keloid looks smaller than before! not flatter unfortunately.. but it looks better than before.
    I will start massaging Vit E oil on it tomorrow, and i’ll see how that goes..(thanks femme)
    but is it okay to rub/massage a keloid??

    1. Hi Jay, thanks for the update and sorry for the late reply.

      Like my reply to any’s comment, massaging or rubbing a keloid can actually help break up the hard tissue over time and increase circulation. But this is only advisable if your keloid is ‘stable’ and doesn’t seem to grow with injury.

  12. hi samantha,

    can pressing keloids help flatten them??? i am trying it …i just hope it doesnt grow back bigger…also vl masaaging vit E help…I have heard applying anything on keloid might activate it and cause it to grow??

    1. Hi any, sorry for the late reply.

      I don’t know if pressing a keloid will help flatten it. But…

      – If you notice that your keloid grows larger with injury, then pressing on it might not be a good idea as using too much force could send a message to your keloid that it’s being agitated.
      – If your keloid doesn’t grow larger with injury then pressing on it (massaging it over time) could do some good and slowly break up the hard tissue and increase circulation in the scar.
      – Pressing (or rather, using compression bandages) might be more helpful on new injuries and could prevent keloids from forming.

  13. Hi everyone. I’ve had keloid scars for years and just deal with them the best I can. I’ve looked at several different ways to get rid of them. I tried Elicina (the snail cream) with no success. I’ve also tried something called MedScar I think it’s all Scarprin now with some small success. By small I mean that they at least stopped growing and even lightened a little bit. I tried the silicone gel padding but that just flattened it. I’ve recently read about the aspirin, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, and ACV. At one point, I know I’ll exhaust my options and succumb to surgery.

    After about a week, my scars are showing lightening. Here’s what I’m doing. I mix about half and half baking soda with peroxide to create a paste. I apply it and let it dry. That dries like powder and I dust it off. I clean the area with warm water and move on to the aspirin. The aspirin I crushed and applied a bit of water too. It’s not entirely a paste but more like liquid milk consistency. I apply that with a Q-tip on all my scars and let that dry. I do that routine every evening daily if possible. In the morning after my shower I apply this silicone gel called scarprin. I imagine even vitamin e will work because I’m just trying to ease the itching with the silicone gel. I’ll do what I can to post on a weekly basis. I did the best I could at taking photos of my back keloids and shoulder keloids. I’m curious to see the before and after pictures of one month and then two. My advise is to just keep trying and make the time.

    I’m curious about trying ACV but we’ll see in a couple months how this progresses first. My dad once told me vinegar is the cure for everything.

    Bye for now.

  14. I have had Keloid on my face closely to my ear for over 18 years. I have had 2 surgeries and the keloid keep reoccuring even bigger. I realize that I have now started to get inflamation in it which is very painful. I went to the doctor and he gave me antibiotic and pain killers. This helped where it oozed out possy substance and it went down (the inflamation). I have realized that the inflamation keep reoccuring and even painful than before. I am seeking home remedies to help the situation. I have had sleepless nights because of the pain. I also have some in my back because of chicken pox which itches terribly. Please give me your comments. Thank you.

    1. Hi Kesha, I’m very sorry to hear about your troubles. It sounds like your body is telling you it’s in trouble. I know it seems as if the trouble is the keloid, but the keloid is just a external symptom. There’s a reason why your body formed it, and to treat the keloid alone is not going to the root of the problem. This is why I would recommend for you to go the internal route.

      Look to your diet. What do you eat/drink everyday?

      Inflammation and infections occur when our bodies (and diets/lifestyles) are overly acidic). Whereas alkaline-forming food such as fruits and vegetables do the opposite – they support healing and block inflammation. I would advise you to read up on a pH-balancing diet.

      Natural remedies can help with your recurrent infections. Garlic and ginger are powerful anti-inflammatories. Garlic is a great broad-based antibiotic (as are many other herbs). Experiment and see what works best for you. I make my own ginger tea everyday and it’s delicious. Actually, you might want to try this, it just occurred to me that ginger is used for chronic pain suffers to great effect (for example, people with arthritis swear by ginger).

      Don’t be afraid. There is a lot of great information out there. You can take control of your health, just take it slow and one step at a time.

      I hope this helps, Kesha.

  15. Tying a string aroung the base of a Keloid really works. Mine came off in a few days shy of two weeks. The first couple days are merciless, but if you hang in there long enough you wont be disappointed.

  16. I am acutally in ther process of tying string around my keloids (i have two on my left earlobe on on the front and one on the back.)As of right now it is going very well! However, i did not experience the extreme pain that the others had experienced. The keloid on the front is drying up right now and is very loose. the one on the back is moving a tad bit slower but it is moving. Although my process is incmplete, I have been doing it for about 9 days now. I kept it clean at all times and used alcohol to sterilize the string and pain releaving neosporen to ease any pain that may occur. Every thing is going well and i will send an update soon =)

  17. I have a earlobe keloid and had it surgically removed about 4 years ago, it started growing back a year after and is now twice as big as before. I just started the string method and the pain is a bit uncomfortable but nothing a woman can’t bear (if u know what I mean). I hope this will be a fast process. I’ve read where it has taken as little as 4 days for the keloid to fall off or even a month but I’m down for this fight. I’ll keep you guys updated.

  18. I have had a keloid that had recently formed after removing an ear piercing I had for about a year. The piercing on my left ear closed completely with no problem but my right ear first formed a bump then it grew to about the size of a pea. While it is small in size, like other people, it bothers me just knowing it’s there. I have been using the ACV method for about a week now and IT WORKS!!! I crush up 2 asprin into a disposable cup, add an equal amount of baking soda, then pour in a little ACV and peroxide. It should look like a thick foam or hair mousse. Then I put it on with a q-tip. Before I go to sleep I tape on a cotton ball with a little of the mixture(don’t soak the cotton ball, it might get on ur pillow). After a week, the size of the keloid has shrunk and it appears to be drying out. I am so happy. The mixture may burn a little bit at first, but u can dilute it if needed. I hope it continues to work b/c I am too scared to try the string method. I will give another update after a week.

  19. hi samantha,
    I used castrol oil for diminishing my age spots and ended up with pimples on both the cheeks. But when I applied it on my keloid on my chest ,it is working. I’ve been using it for past 4 days, the itching has reduced.My keloid is 8 yrs old and it is just below my neck,still growing,I’m terribly scared and depressed about this.I tried ACV long back,it didnt work.I’ve tried everything one can imagine about keloid treatment, but nothing worked.I keep browsing the internet hoping to get a useful tip. hope this castrol oil works.I would try to give tea tree oil a try.Plese let me know ur thoughts Samantha.U r doing a great job.Keep it up! Thanks for bringing some relief to the keloid sufferers!!

    1. Hi sitha, I’m really glad that castor oil is working for your keloid. You seem to be on a good track, so the only thing I can say is to give it time. You might want to mark on a journal or a calendar the date when you started with the castor oil applications. It sounds simple, but it’s important to maintain a sense of time (as our mind plays tricks on us), and this will give us more patience to allow something to work.

      Whenever you’re feeling impatient or discouraged by a lack of progress, refer back to your calendar and see how much time has actually passed. Give the castor oil method a few months, then reassess how your keloid has changed (taking photos will be helpful). If you’re encouraged by the changes, give it a few more months. If your keloid responds well to the castor oil, it can only get better. It might take a long time, but this will be time well spent. I hope this helps, and I wish you all the best 🙂

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. hi samantha,
    So nice of u to respond the same day. Thanks a lot.
    My family is telling me that my keloid has flattened a bit.I’ll defenitely follow ur advice .Thanks once again from the bottom of my heart.
    I will keep u all updated about the developements

  23. 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.

  24. Wow Destyni, u r a trooper! I’m glad that the string method is working out for u. I’m at week 2 of my ACV method and the keloid is still drying up and flattening itself. It’s kind of similar to how ur string method sounds b/c it is starting to leak and then it scabs up. When the scab dries, it’s actually the keloid skin flakes off and it’s getting flatter and flatter. I agree with Samantha’s point that keep a log of ur treatments and taking pics really helps. U might think it’s not working and get discouraged but when u look back at a pic from 2 weeks ago, u can really c how much progress u’ve made. Hang in there everyone!

  25. Hi!! I just tried the garlic & virgin olive oil remedy.. I didn’t feel any burning or anything whatsoever, does this mean its not working at all? I’ve had a keloid on my chest, around the size of a long thick fingernail for the last 5 years.. What is the best recommended home remedy for keloids which have been around for so long?

    I did the steroid injections three times last year, they flattened REALLY slightly but then raised again. Plus they were super painful..

    Thanks :)!

    1. Hi Claudia, can I ask how long you’ve tried the garlic/olive oil? The natural remedies work slowly, so not feeling anything may not necessarily mean that nothing is happening. It could just mean more time is needed.

      If not, you can also try increasing the intensity a little and seeing what happens. Eg using garlic on its own (without the olive oil), if you haven’t already done so.

      I actually don’t know what the best remedy for keloids is as results seem to differ for each person. So it’s probably best to try each method for yourself and see what works and what doesn’t. In any case, I don’t think older keloids like yours are that much different from newer keloids. In fact, older keloids might be easier to remove as it would have naturally softened over the years.

  26. Thanks for your quick response Samantha 🙂

    I only tried it once, but I was reading through older posts and the others seemed to have felt a tingling/burning sensation already on their first round so I was wondering if no feeling at all just meant the garlic+olive oil was not getting to the lesion/keloid.

    Thanks for your help, i’ll keep trying this one if not ill try to vinegar one. Have you had keloids of your own?

    1. Hi Claudia, you’re very welcome. 🙂

      I don’t have any keloids of my own but I have some very old scars, which I’ve been successfully treating with castor oil.

  27. My daughter has a keloid on her chest as a result from a mole removal. She is fourteen and very upset. We have had steroid injections, topical steroids, laser treatments with some improvement for a while, but it swelling again. Too scared to have it removed again. Want to try home remedies. Heard about ACV and Garlic oil. Haven’t tried anything yet. She has very pale skin and the keloid is very red. Not sure which to try first. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Kim,

      I would normally advise people to try ACV first since this is usually the easiest method (and apple cider vinegar is something that’s easily available), but since your daughter’s keloid is red and might be irritated or tender, it might be better to try one of the gentler methods first instead like tea tree oil or castor oil.

  28. Hi there,

    I read this recently. Not sure if you have any experience with this…

    “Fortunately, natural medicine offers a safe and permanent treatment for keloids: potassium iodide (SSKI). SSKI must be rubbed into the keloid at least twice daily (more applications offer even better results) for several months to more than a year, depending on the severity of the keloid. Be patient, because progress often isn’t obvious for two to three months.
    Despite the somewhat lengthy treatment period, persistence pays off. Eventually, SSKI will diminish a keloid scar until it’s just an “ordinary” scar, flat to the skin surface again. At that point, the SSKI applications can be discontinued and the keloid won’t re-establish itself.”

    1. Hi Rick, thanks for bringing up SSKI. It’s something that could be valuable in treating keloids, but hasn’t gotten much attention. You might have missed it, but I did mention SSKI – it’s buried in the post right under Garlic oil/crushed garlic.

  29. Thanks Samantha for your reply. My daughters keloid is red but not from irratation, just red. She is very light olive skin colored. Strawberry blond hair. Was wondering about the garlic method. How long to leave it on and how often. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kim, there’s really no set rule for the frequency or length of the applications. Since there’s no way to “overdose” on garlic oil applications or any of the home remedies, they can actually be left on the skin for as long as comfortable.

      Even daily, overnight applications should be fine as long as the skin is tolerating it well. The best thing to do is to try it and see how the skin reacts. Also, trust your judgment throughout the process, and slow down (or even stop) if the skin seems overly irritated with any particular remedy. Hope this helps!

  30. 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!!

  31. Hi I have a big Keloid in the middle of my chest I’ve had it for almost 10 yrs , I’ve had 2 surgeries to remove it , followed by injections, radiation, silicone gel pads, and nothing has worked, I sarted using ACV today and have a lot of faith , I would also like to incorporate HEI BA GAO at the same time , but I don’t know how frecuently and appart their application should be . Can you she some light ?

    1. Hi Daviegirl, Hei Ba Gao is pretty powerful stuff. But depending on the thickness of the keloid, everyone will have a slightly different sensitivity to it. The best advice I can give you is to use your good judgement when it comes to the frequency of Hei Ba Gao applications. Back off for a while if the skin is getting sore or irritated and allow it time to heal before resuming.

      The website states usage instructions as “For external use only, spread thinly on the keloid, once every 2 days, for a minimum of 8 hours to a maximum of 24 hours. ” so you can use that as a baseline and go from there.

  32. Hi Samantha, thanks for starting this site because I was always complaining about the lack of info regarding keloids but now I have info and people who have very similar experiences as I’ve had.
    I have had keloids since childhood so I try not to get cut (lol). Well I have quite a few, from chicken pox, pimples, cuts and a large scar one that runs from my navels all the way down to just above my genitals- from having surgery to remove fibroids. I didn’t know any home remedies so I had the large one on my chest surgically removed and have started the injection (painful)and I have just had the largest part of the one on my stomach surgically removed as well- the other half of that scar I had to leave as it would have put me out of commission for a while. The surgery on the one on my lower stomach was 2 weeks ago so it’s still healing and then I have to start injections there too. Now that I have found this site I am going to try garlic with olive oil and baking soda and peroxide on some of my smaller keloids and see if they work. If they do then I will use them on the larger ones (on my upper stomach) and on the areas I just had surgically removed. I will start today and will update soon whether there is any change or not.

  33. hi samantha.

    Pls help.. my kelloids getting worse on my back and chest,, baking soda and h202 did not work for me..

  34. I have my breast operation one year ago, and after operation for nipple reduction, keloids occurred after a months… and i feel upset cause my breast looks so ugly unlike before that had no operation , my doctor had done it without my permission .. supossed its only breast implant not with nipple reduction since its still nice… now i really regrets a lot again and again i undergo with almost three operation for kelloid reduction….pls any medicine to take to stop kelloid for its growth? pls help…. so disperate…

  35. I can not believe I finally found a website like this for my keloids! I’ve had my keloids for about 4 years. At first they were just pimples and I guess I tried to pop them. They then just turned to a veryy small dark spot. It started growing over the years and now its huge! I have 3 on my chest. Seems like I don’t get them anywhere else except my chest. I never really bothered with it before or thought about it until lately lots of people have been curious and asking what it is on my chest and it sucks not having a cool story to explain or anything. So i’ve been getting more self conscious about them :[ But then again I’m just very use to it. Now I do want to get rid of them because i always get sharp pains and itchiness! I think I’m going to try tea tree oil first. the other methods seems a little bit scary! Here is some pictures to show you guys how much they have grown in 4 years!

  36. I have had keloids since i was a teen , am 30 now , i dont take my top off during any intimate moments as i be 2 embarrasses… have some on chest and one on each shoulder… kinda ruining my life but i have learnt to hide it.

    1. I also have keloids in my chest and some around on my breast, and my back shoulder, caused by acne. Im dying to get rid of it.. Im early 30’s and im about to get married.. Im afraid i’ll shock my future hasband what’s beneath my dress..How can we eliminate them?

  37. Hey, i am very happy to see people talk about keloid here and i would be happy to share my experience. I started having bumps after a hair cut at the back of my neck; it was one and very tiny. It irritates me and i had to touch it every now and then till i saw it spreading; uncontrollable. Very disturbing and embarrassing. I tried anything but it wont work.
    applied stuff and it got worse; and started nitrogen spray till the ones i had was scrapped off…this got more and turned into real Keloid; that i realized and read more about keloids before become sure it was one…seriously…couldnt stand this as it was on my neck.

    I have completely stopped nitrogen spray treatment. I am using hot water on it after a mixture of garlic & olive applied on it for some few hours, and then apply powder to keep it dry. The keloid then softens and whitish-red liquid comes out and getting it flattened. dont touch it..use powder and tissue or rubbing alcohol when it is itching.
    try this for one month you will definitely see some changes. Try to change your diet as well. still treating mine and ll share with you how it goes.

  38. Hi, I came across this site and its been very helpful. Tonight ends Day 1 of my string method to get rid of my keloid. I have two very large keloids on both of my ears. I’m starting with the biggest one on my right ear. Immediately after tying it, it became huge, it got really swollen. I tied it at 10 am and by 4 the pain kicked in. I can’t give up I’m sick of wearing my hair down to cover them so they have got to go. I’ll keep an update!

  39. I’m trying the string method now…I’ve had multiple injections and it madenit worse…then surgery and it came back twice as big…I’m now on day three…it freaking hurts and I get bad headaches but I’m not giving up…its raw and bloody but its already starting to fall of so yaaay…so tierd of wearing my hair down to cover it.

  40. I’ve used Spenco 2nd Skin Gel for my keloid. After I had my 3rd and final surgery on my left earlobe in 2003, I used the product. Now, the keloid is still there, but the mass is soft and loose. It doesn’t itch nor has it grown since 2003. I’m sure it’s because of the product. I’ve dealt with it because it’s sitting behind my ear rather then being hard and protruding like before. Even got another piercing, but I now wear nickel free earrings. If I wear “regular nickel post” earrings, the allergic reaction begins, which I think accelerates ear keloids forming. I would recommend 2nd Skin Gel after surgery instead of steroids shots and for old flat body keloids.

  41. google is definately our friend! great informative site this is 🙂 our 5 year old son had cyst thing about the size of a pea removed from his chest about 4 months ago. this has now grown 3 times the size with a raised thick scar tissue an inch long.. the doctor said “get him to massage it every day”. as if. i have thought about using garlic as this applied directly to my daughters wart on your hand blackened and killed it off to the core… and reading the above comments has confirmed this will be ok (obviously only to the area so as not to burn the normal skin ) will keep you posted as to the results 🙂 thanks again…

  42. Hey all, I have a keloid formed next to my belly button piercing (I’ve had three other piercings no problems before this one) – dark purple in colour and about the same size of the barbell. I changed the ring, it went down after salt water cleansing then appeared again. Really not sure what method to try next as I am of African descent so reoccurring seems a strong possibility. Will try improve my diet though I’m pretty healthy. Any suggestions for starting off?

  43. I’m glad that there people on her who have keloids and had them treated or sorted in some way it give a lol hope to find ways to get rid of mine as I’m 15 and stuck with a large keloid on my breast from having a cyst removed. The keloid itself is internal and is a bloody irritating nuisance and as so far as i know only treatment is another op which I was told could lead to more ….Fun!! But I would love to hear of any home remedies that do work on internal keloids before I consider going back “under the knife”

    1. Hi Kizzy B, with regard to internal keloids, scarring and cysts, you might want to google iodine (Iodoral, Lugol’s solution). There have been studies done about how higher dosages of iodine can resolve breast cysts and scarring over time. It can also prevent future keloids from forming.

      However, do extensive research before going down this path. Done correctly, it can be very rewarding, BUT it can also be very hard on the body initially. This is because iodine will throw off all manner of harmful toxins out of your body, leading to the side effects of bromism.

      I hope this helps you!

      1. Hey samantha
        thanks for the information about the iodine solution, i did research it alot and went to my doctors again with the infomation and was recommended to use it. you have really help me out with getting rid of this nuisance…Go you n your awersomeness!!! 😀

  44. Hello Everyone!

    I have had keloids on my ears for about 6 years now and I want them off soooo bad. I miss wearing my earrings and they make me feel ugly 🙁 I didn’t know at the time but pregnancy promotes the growth hormone and hense, my keloids grew, well at least thats what my doctor says. Before I found this site, I thought about tying it but I do fear pain. But even know, I can’t sleep on my left side because the keloids on my ears are so big it is uncomfortable. I am currently doing the Tea Tree oil which burned the first few times but its ok now. someone help! I don’t know what to do 🙁

    1. hey alisha. i did the string method. it hurt. really bad. my results are on the main page.
      it does work.
      stack up on pain killers and get those ugly keloids off your ears, wear your cute earrings and pin that hair back. i rock my updos and pony tails now. after 6 years.and it feels great.

      1. hey Destyni.

        Thanks for your reply. Yeah I have to do something. I am planning on tying it off. how long did it take you? Email me if you can

  45. Thank-you so much for this site! I’ve been able to clear up a small keloid next to my (new) nose piercing. I used tea tree oil 3 times a day, and using a earbud (Q tip) pressed gently on it to flatten it down. The area dried out quite a lot but it worked(2-3 weeks)! I’ve now got a cute piercing just like I wanted and when the keloid comes up I just use the tea tree oil again. If you’d like pics to add to the site just let me know.

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