While keloid scars and piercing bumps may initially appear the same, there are many ways to distinguish them.
We will explain the differences between piercing bumps (or keloids) and how to distinguish them. We will also talk about the possible treatments for each, and other skin conditions that could occur after a piercing.
What is piercing bumps
After a piercing, piercing bumps can form. These bumps can often be seen after cartilage piercings like nose or upper ear drillings.
When the body’s immune response to the wound initiates the healing process, piercing bumps are created. This inflammation is what causes the bump.
In the first few weeks following the procedure, some people may experience bleeding, swelling, or bruising. These are all normal symptoms. These symptoms may not be a cause of concern.
- Some whitish fluid is seen from the wound site
- Plaquering jewelry is crusted
What is keloids?
Keloid refers to a raised scar caused by trauma or injury to skin. This type of scar can sometimes appear after a piercing.
An overgrowth of fibrous tissue can lead to a keloid. A keloid is formed when fibrous tissue overgrows due to injury.
After the initial injury, it can take 3-12 month for keloids to develop. The keloid appears as raised scars, which can be red, pink, purple, or even brown. They usually become darker with time. The location of the keloid and the skin tone can affect the appearance.
Earlobe keloid scars are likely round or oval. They can grow quickly or slow and can eventually become quite large.
Different keloids have different textures. They may feel hard and rubbery, or soft and doughy. A person may also experience the following symptoms after a keloid scar is removed:
How do you tell the difference
Initial appearances of keloids or piercing bumps may be similar. Over time, however, you will notice differences.
Below is a table that shows the main differences between these skin types:
Treatment for piercing bumps
Generally, piercing bumps do not require treatment. They are part of the body’s natural response to injury. People can take steps to clean the area, prevent infection and allow the piercings to heal. These are:
- Perforating jewelry should be kept in place for at least 6 months.
- Before touching the piercing, wash your hands
- Once a day, wash the piercings with a mild soap and water or a saline solution.
- After showering or bathing, dry the area with a cotton pad. Avoid using towels as they can harbor bacteria.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), suggests that you apply rubbing alcohol to the piercing. However, the general guidance recommends not to do this as it can slow down healing.
There are many treatment options for keloids. The type and size, as well as the type of keloid, will all play a role in choosing the right treatment. There are many treatment options:
- The use of corticosteroids can reduce the size of the keloid. According to the AAD, people need four injections per week. One every three to four weeks is typical. Corticosteroid injections can shrink keloids by 50 to 80%, according to them.
- Surgery A specialist will remove the keloid. Even after surgery, keloids may return.
- Laser Treatment: Laser Treatment can flattenTrustedSource the keloid scarring and make it disappear.
- Cryotherapy This is a treatment that can be used on small keloids. Cryotherapy is when a doctor freezes the small keloids to soften them and reduce their size. Cryotherapy can cause skin pigmentation changes and is not recommended for those with darker skin tones.
People who are aware of their vulnerability to keloids should avoid piercings.
Infections in new perforations are very common and can happen if the needle is not sterilized or the person is unable keep the piercing clean. Infected piercings can be characterized by:
- Swelling and puffiness
- Yellow pus comes out of the piercing
- nausea and vomiting
Contact dermatitis refers to a form of skin rash caused by irritation or contact with something. It could be caused by allergies, friction, or an exposure to something corrosive, toxic, or both.
- Fluid-filled blisters
- A burning or stinging sensation
Most jewelry allergic reactions are caused by nickel. Although nickel is less costly jewelry, it can be found in smaller amounts in silver and gold jewelry. This could cause an allergic reaction.
The best method to treat jewelry allergies is to replace the metal with one that is hypoallergenic, such as stainless steel, titanium, or 18- and 24-karat gold.
How to talk with a doctor
A doctor or dermatologist should be consulted if a person suspects they may have keloid. The keloid could continue to grow if the patient does not receive treatment.
If you are suffering from symptoms of infection, it is a good idea to consult a doctor.
There are two types of skin conditions that can develop after a piercing: keloids and piercing bumps. While keloids can grow slowly and become larger, piercing bumps are more common and appear faster.
Keloids can be treated by a dermatologist or doctor. A healthcare provider should be consulted if anyone suspects they may have a keloid, or another condition that could cause a lump.
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