A nose keloid as a result of piercing is not a common reaction, but the possibility of getting does exist. True keloids are quite rare, and other types of scarring are often mislabeled as a keloid. Keloid scarring can be treated by a doctor or dermatologist, but these treatments may not prevent the keloid from coming back.
A keloid scar is a specific type of scar tissue that forms at the site of a wound. These scars are composed of collagen and have a raised, shiny appearance similar to hypertrophic or normal scarring. They typically appear in areas above the shoulders and neck, and this means that developing a nose keloid as a result of piercing is a possibility. Approximately 1 percent of scarring will turn out to be a keloid scar.
Who Is Affected by Keloids?
Certain groups of people are affected by keloids more than others. People of African or Asian descent are more likely to develop keloid scarring, and darkly pigmented skin is more affected than lighter skin tones. If you have a history of keloid scarring from other procedures, you have an increased chance of developing a nose keloid as a result of piercing. Keloids often run in families, so if your family is prone to keloids, you may be, too.
Identifying a Keloid
Keloid scars differ from normal types of scars in that they continue growing. Normal scars such as hypertrophic scarring may appear similar in color and texture, but these scars are a fixed size. Keloid scars result from a constant buildup of tissue at the wound site and continue to grow even after the wound area is filled in. They will often begin to appear as a change in pigmentation and then start to grow. This is accompanied by redness and an itchy, tender feeling.
Can I Prevent a Nose Keloid as a Result of Piercing?
Keloid scarring is not 100 percent preventable in any situation where there is a wound, and piercings are no exception. The chances of developing a keloid scar can be reduced by visiting a professional piercer who practices appropriate piercing techniques using a sterile, hollow needle. This decreases the amount of trauma to the piercing site and prevents scar tissue from forming. Home piercings and piercings performed with piercing guns are more likely to develop a keloid scar due to the pressure and trauma from both the inappropriate piercing technique and inadequate jewelry for healing.
What Should I Do if I Have a Keloid Scar?
Keloid scars cannot be treated at home. They need to be cared for by a medical professional due to their tumor-like nature. A doctor or dermatologist will assess the keloid and help prescribe a course of treatment.
Keloid treatments range from topical to surgical, and no treatment is guaranteed as 100 percent effective. Even after a keloid is treated, it may still return and grow.
Pressure treatments include placing a heavily packed dressing against the scar to discourage growth. These are often used in conjunction with other treatments such as laser removal to discourage regrowth of a keloid. The dressings may be made of fine silicone sheets and are changed by a doctor.
This treatment involves a steroid injection directly into the scar tissue. The injection acts on the tissue by slowing growth and reducing swelling. This is a common first treatment for keloids.
A pulsed dye laser is used to treat the keloid. These treatments have been shown to be effective after several sessions, but they may be expensive since they are considered elective or experimental by many insurance companies.
This is a common treatment for skin protrusions. The process of cryotherapy freezes the keloid which is then removed in the same way a wart or benign tumor would be treated. Cryotherapy is often performed in conjunction with a pressure treatment.
The final option is surgical removal of the keloid and tissue. This can be an invasive process and surgery may cause additional keloid scarring.
The prospect of dealing with a keloid can be a daunting one, but seeking early treatment is your best option for keeping the condition in check.