If you have a bulging scar from acne, pinches, injury, or surgery, you may want to prevent scar tissue from forming around it. To prevent a keloid from growing, try not to irritate it and help your skin heal. The application of a silicone gel and pressure have been shown to reduce the size of the keloid. If you've taken steps to heal your skin, but the keloid is still growing, get a medical diagnosis and talk to your doctor about removing the keloid. You are more likely to avoid keloids if you use a combination of treatments.
Method 1 of 2: Heal Your Skin
Step 1. Keep injured skin clean
If you've had acne, surgery, or cuts, or if you've gotten footprints or tattoos, wash your skin with soap and water to remove dirt or germs. Gently pat your skin dry and spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly or an over-the-counter antibiotic cream. Then put a bandage on your skin. Keep doing this until the skin closes up or stops oozing fluid.
Wash your skin every day to prevent the keloid from forming and to prevent infection
Step 2. Rub gel or silicone sheets for 2 to 3 minutes twice a day
Wait until the wound closes, then squeeze the silicone gel onto the keloid. Use your fingertips to massage the gel into the keloid for 2-3 minutes. Then let it air dry. Do this twice a day to prevent the keloid from growing and making it shrink.
- Purchase silicone gel or sheets at your local pharmacy or grocery store.
- Silicone helps prevent a keloid from forming and can flatten existing ones.
- The use of silicone gel and sheets is safe for people of all ages.
Step 3. Apply pressure to the broken skin for 2 to 3 months
Wrap a bandage or medical tape around the skin to continually press on it as it heals. Leave the bandage wrapped around your skin for 12 to 24 hours a day for 2 to 3 months. Constant pressure will not only prevent the keloid from growing, but will also reduce it.
- Take off the bandage when you shower and put it back on when you're done.
- If you have keloids near the pins of one ear, wear studs to flatten them.
To prevent a keloid from growing near the pinna of an ear, buy a Zimmer splint that you can wear on the ear. The splint will apply pressure and prevent the keloid from getting bigger.
Step 4. Give yourself corticosteroid injections every 4 to 6 weeks
If you've recently had surgery or if your skin is recovering from an injury, ask your doctor to inject corticosteroids into the keloid. Steroids will reduce itching and break down the collagen that makes up the keloid.
Most dermatologists recommend giving up to a total of 5 injections over the course of several months
Step 5. Avoid scratching your skin if it itches
Healing skin is often itchy, but it is important not to scratch. Scratching your skin as it heals will cause more damage and scarring, causing the keloid to grow out.
To soothe itchy skin, try applying a cold compress for 10 minutes at a time throughout the day, and use a moisturizer to keep your skin from drying out
Method 2 of 2: Have a Keloid Medically Removed
Step 1. Have a doctor examine the keloid
If the keloid continues to grow after you've taken steps to prevent it, get a medical exam. Your doctor will examine the keloid and review your medical history to determine its cause. Then it will tell you the options for removal.
If the doctor suspects that the keloid is growing due to another health problem, he or she may perform a biopsy. The doctor will remove some of the tissue to look at it under a microscope to see if it has cancer cells
Step 2. Try cryotherapy to freeze the keloid
If you have a keloid or several small keloids as a result of acne, ask your doctor about cryotherapy. The doctor will inject liquid nitrogen into the keloid, which will destroy it from within. You will have to repeat the treatment every 20 or 30 days until it disappears.
Keep in mind that cryotherapy can lighten the skin
Step 3. Have surgery to have the keloid removed
Your doctor may recommend surgical removal if the keloid is large or relentlessly itchy. Keep in mind that surgery can cause other keloids to form, especially if you are predisposed to developing them. To prevent that from happening, you may need a combination of treatments, such as surgery and corticosteroid injections.
Remember to follow skin healing measures to recover from keloid removal surgery
Ask the insurance company you work with if keloid removal surgery is covered, as some companies consider it cosmetic surgery.
Step 4. Try laser surgery
The dermatologist will direct a laser at the keloid, which will emit a beam of energy. This energy will cause the blood vessels of the keloid to shrink and will eventually make the keloid disappear after a few treatments.
The laser will also lighten the color of the surrounding skin
Step 5. Avoid dermabrasion, as it can cause more keloids
Physical removal of the keloid by sanding or scraping damages the surrounding skin tissue. This can cause more keloids to appear as the skin tries to heal.