Keloids

What Is Keloids

When the skin is cut or injured, fibrous scar tissue begins to form over the wound.  This is the body's way of repairing itself to protect the injury.  In some cases, extra scar tissue forms, resulting in hard, smooth growths known as Keloids.  These overgrowths of scar tissue can occur where body piercing, vaccinations, surgery, trauma, blisters, or acne have injured the skin.  Keloids are most often seen on the chest, shoulders, and upper back, and they generally occur between the ages of 10 and 30 across both sexes. Statistically, Keloids are most common in people with darker skin tones.

Signs Of Keloids

Keloids result from the overgrowth of scar tissue and appear in areas of previous trauma.  They tend to be smooth, rounded, shiny, and raised, often times being brown, purple, or pink.  It is possible for them to feel itchy, tender, or uncomfortable.  The symptoms of a Keloid can include:

  • A lumpy area of skin that is elevated
  • An itchy patch of skin
  • An area of skin that is red, pink, or flesh-colored
  • Scar tissue that begins to grow larger after original scarring
What Causes Keloids

Skin trauma appears to be the most common cause of Keloids, but the exact reason why Keloid scars form is not entirely understood.  Aside from the area where trauma occurred, muscle tension or skin tension seems to play a role in the formation of Keloids.  At this time, there does not appear to be a genetic component to Keloid scarring.  Other possible causes may include:

  • Repeated trauma to the same area
  • Infection at the wound site
  • A deficiency or excess of melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH)
  • Decreased amounts of mature collagen (and increased soluble collagen)
  • Burns
  • Skin tension

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • It is possible that the combination of sandalwood powder and rose water may help to reduce and lighten Keloid scars.  According to research, sandalwood contains skin-regenerating properties, and rose water helps to improve skin tone.  Make a thick paste of sandalwood powder and rose water (you can also add black gram to the paste if you find it at an ethnic supermarket).  Clean the Keloid with water and apply the paste before bedtime.  Rinse the area with lukewarm water in the morning. Do this daily for about one to two months.
  • Baking soda has many uses outside the kitchen.  Because baking soda is an abrasive agent, it works to naturally exfoliate the skin and keep it clean.  At the same time, baking soda helps to reduce swelling and soothe the skin.  Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with three teaspoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide to form a smooth paste.  Dab the paste with a cotton ball and gently apply the paste on the Keloid, letting it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing with water.  Do this two times daily.
  • Both raw honey and Manuka honey have antimicrobial properties that help fight infection, which is why they are commonly used for skin treatments.  While the research on honey in relationship to Keloid reduction is limited, one study found that honey mixed with milkweed helped to limit and repair keloid-like scars in animals.  A review of multiple studies found that the anti-inflammatory properties of honey may calm the skin, which would make it useful int he initial healing process of Keloids.  Gently dab raw or Manuka honey onto the Keloid once or twice a day.  Wash the area when it gets to dirty or sticky.
  • Applying onion on your skin may not be the first thing you want to do, but several clinical trials have found that onion may aid in the reduction of Keloids.  Onions contain quercetin, which possesses powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  While onion extract has helped with Keloid prevention in the past, other studies found that it was enhanced when combined with traditional medications.  That being said, a study that included Asian women with scarring from cesarean section births found that applying a 12% onion gel extract three times daily helped reduce scar tissue.  Cut an onion into small pieces and press down on them with a clean towel to extract the juice.  Dab this juice on the Keloid up to four times per day, rinsing between applications. 
  • Multiple combinations of carrier oils and essential oils may assist with the reduction of Keloid scars.  Carrier oils like coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil provide moisture and help to nourish the skin with essential fatty acids.  Some essential oils contain skin regenerating properties, along with antioxidants that may reduce Keloids.  A great essential oil to use is tea trea oil, which has been proven to help reduce inflammation of abnormal muscle tissue.  Combine 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree oil and massage on the Keloid several times daily. 
  • Recent studies have found that garlic may act similarly to conventional treatments for Keloids.  It works to prevent excess fibroblast proliferation, which is what increases the size of Keloid scars.  Garlic also works to improve circulation to the affected area.  Crush a few cloves of garlic and apply them directly on the skin.  Rinse after 15 minutes or if you experience any irritation. 
Things you should eat
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Wheat Germ
  • Raw Cacao Powder
  • Ginger
  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Black Beans
  • Kale
  • Pine Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Quinoa
  • Oranges
  • Butternut Squash
  • Beet Greens
  • Okra
  • Blackstrap Molasses


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