Keloids constitute scars that are the result of an increased growth of collagen at the place where skin injury is healing. These scars are characterized by the formation of nodule-like structures that are sometimes accompanied by pain, an alteration in appearance as well as itchiness.
Depending on the site where the keloid has occurred, the scar may restrict motion on the skin. It is important to distinguish between keloids and hypertrophic scars. The latter are made up of scars that do not develop outside the borders of the initial injury.
Keloids usually jut out of the skin’s surface, and will usually feature pink or purple coloration. In addition to this, the keloids also have irregular shapes, and tend to increase in size over a period of time.
Keloids may result from surgical procedures on the skin, but can also be the product of localized inflammation on the chest or the result of cosmetic piercings just about anywhere on the skin. Research has shown that people with deeply pigmented skins are more predisposed to the development of keloids than others. Consequently, people from communities in South India and Africa are more likely to suffer from keloids.
Keloids do not pose a health problem for the most part, but they are unsightly and may cause a low self esteem for some individuals. Medical intervention is available for keloid treatment as is natural treatment too. While the latter takes a longer period to show results, it has less side effects. Below are some of the natural home remedies available.
1. Lemon Juice:
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: 1 Medium sized lemon, juicer, cotton wool, and warm water for rinsing.
Lemon juice is a versatile home remedy whose benefits have long been used for improved health. In the management of keloids, lemon juice is preferred because it is rich in antioxidants which help reduce the number of free radicals on the skin, while ensuring that the skin remains healthy. In addition to this, lemon juice is best know for its high concentration of Vitamin C which plays an integral role in controlling the production of collagen. The combination of antioxidants and Vitamin C goes a long way in managing keloids.
- Clean the lemon and cut it into half to allow you extract the juice from the fruit.
- Soak a piece of cotton wool in the lemon juice and dab it on the keloid scars, making sure each part of the affected skin is attended to.
- Let the juice remain on the keloids for about half an hour.
- Rinse the skin using warm water and follow up with your normal skin care routine. Repeat this procedure twice daily over a period of a few months for best results.
2. Aloe Vera:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Freshly cut aloe vera leaf, and warm water for rinsing.
Aloe vera is, undoubtedly, one of the most famous home remedies for varying skin conditions. It is preferred because it reduces inflammation, soothes the skin and prevents itchiness. Additionally, the gel from the aloe vera plant leaves helps the skin retain moisture, thus preventing drying out which has a tendency to worsen the keloid scars. Aloe’s antibacterial properties is also key because it prevents infections on the skin.
- Clean the keloid-scarred skin using warm water and a gentle soap ideal for your skin.
- Cut aloe vera leaf from the plant and collect the gel that oozes in a bowl.
- Take some of the gel and apply it on the scarred skin.
- Let the gel dry and proceed to rinse using warm water. Repeat this procedure thrice daily.
3. Rose Water and Sandalwood:
Time Required: Use the remedy overnight.
What You Need: A tablespoon of sandalwood powder, a teaspoon of rose water, black gram (optional), and warm water to rinse.
Sandalwood has been recognized as one of the most effective home remedies for a number of conditions on the skin. This is because sandalwood enhances the regeneration of the skin cells. Rose water on the other hand, is used in managing keloid scars because it helps even the natural tone of the skin. Additionally, rose water helps reduce the redness of the scars. When the two remedies are combined, they work in synergy to offer you an effective home remedy for the treatment and management of keloid scars. The best time to use this remedy is just before bedtime.
- Mix the sandalwood powder and rose water to create a thick and consistent paste. Start off by adding just a couple of drops of the rose water and keep at it until you have the desired consistency. At this point, you may choose to add black gram flour (which can be obtained from your local grocery).
- Clean the scarred skin using warm soapy water and rinse before applying the paste on the skin.
- Let the paste sit on the skin overnight.
- Rinse the paste in the morning using warm water. Repeat the procedure daily for best results. Use this paste regularly over a period of three months until you start to notice that the keloid scars have improved in appearance.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of warm water, cotton wool, and some warm water.
Apple cider vinegar is a preferred natural remedy for treating keloids and the scars thereof. The vinegar’s acidic properties enhance skin exfoliation which effectively gets rid of dead skin cells. This not only softens the skin and makes it supple, it also helps reduce the appearance of the scars. The presence of specific active compounds in the ACV have been shown to get rid of fat accumulation under the scars, effectively reducing the size of the keloids.
- Mix the apple cider vinegar and water in a cup, and stir to blend the active ingredients of the respective remedies.
- Take a piece of cotton wool and soak it in the ACV solution before applying it on the affected skin.
- Let the solution stay on the skin before rinsing with warm water. Repeat this procedure twice daily.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A tablespoon of raw honey, and warm water for rinsing.
Honey is often incorporated into natural remedies for skin care routines, thanks to its moisturizing properties. One of the most infamous causes of the spread and aggravation of keloids is dry skin. By addressing this, honey effectively aids in the treatment of keloids. When massaged on the affected skin, the honey also enhances the circulation of blood. This keeps the production of collagen in check, thus preventing the accumulation of dead cells and managing the keloids. Note that the best choice of honey is raw unprocessed honey; processed honey is not advisable because it contains additives that could otherwise hamper the treatment of keloids.
- Place the tablespoon of honey on the palms of your hands and rub gently before massaging on the skin.
- Let the honey sit on the skin for approximately 20 minutes for the skin to gain the benefits thereof.
- Rinse the honey with warm water. If using this remedy at night, let the honey remain overnight.
6. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide:
Time Required: 40 Min
What You Need: A tablespoon of baking soda, 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, and warm water.
The duo of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide is a reliable remedy for anyone who is keen on treating keloids and getting rid of the scars thereof from home. Baking soda is loved for its abrasive properties which, when rubbed against keloids, helps get rid of dead skin cells and dirt. This enhances the reduction of the keloids, and improves their appearance.
Hydrogen peroxide on the other hand, is excellent at enhancing the regeneration of the skin cells. This action, coupled with the peroxide’s ability to repair damaged skin helps deal with keloids on the skin, Ideally, the amount of ingredients you use is dependent on the surface area of skin affected by keloids. As a general guide line, you are advised to mix the hydrogen peroxide and the baking soda in the ratio of 3:1.
- Mix the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide using the ratios provided above to create a consistent paste.
- Using your fingers, apply this paste on the affected skin, making sure you massage in gentle circular motions.
- Let the paste sit on the skin for about half an hour before you can rinse off using warm water. Repeat this procedure four times daily until you notice the keloids decrease in size and become less noticeable.
7. Lavender Essential Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A teaspoon of lavender essential oil, a tablespoon of a carrier oil such as almond oil (optional). Other optional ingredients include calendula and coconut essential oils.
Lavender essential oil is one of the best natural remedies for the home treatment of keloids, and this is largely attributed to its skin regeneration abilities. When applied on the skin, the oil promotes the production of new skin cells, while getting rid of dead cells. Through this action, keloids are well dealt with. Regular use over a considerable period of time shows positive results as far as the appearance, size and color of the keloids is concerned. Overall, lavender essential oil also prevents the scar from becoming a permanent fixture. If you find lavender oil to be too potent for you, consider mixing it with a carrier oil such as almond or olive oil.
- Mix the lavender oil with the almond oil if you so prefer, making sure that the two are well blended particularly if you are allergic to high amounts of lavender oil.
- Transfer the lavender oil to the palms of your hands and massage it on the part of the skin that has keloids.
- Allow the oil mixture to sit on the skin so as to enhance the benefits of the same and allow healing of the keloids.
- Alternatively, mix equivalent amounts of the following oils: lavender, calendula and coconut. Apply a tablespoon of this mixture twice daily for about 20 minutes, and rinse with warm water. You can prepare large amounts of the oil mixture, just make sure you store the remaining mixture in a cool dry place, and use it within 30 days.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 5 Cloves of fresh garlic, pestle and mortar, warm water, and a tablespoon of olive oil (optional).
Garlic is a versatile home remedy that is loved for its myriad of healing properties. When used to treat keloids, the extract from the garlic onion is known to cease the excessive production of skin protein. Studies have shown that there are particular compounds found in garlic which are able to halt the growth of fibroblast, a component which is known to steer the development of keloids.This easy to find kitchen ingredients also helps decrease the development of keloid scars, making it an effective natural remedy for treating keloids.
- Peel the garlic cloves to get the inner fleshy bit which is what you will need for this remedy.
- Use a pestle and mortar to mince the garlic and get a consistent paste-like substance.
- Apply this garlic extract on the affected part of the skin and let it stay on for about 20 minutes.
- Rinse using warm water. Repeat this procedure daily for up to 3 months for improved results.
NOTE: If you find the smell of garlic a little too strong, you can mix it with a few tablespoons of olive oil to mask the aroma.
Other reliable home remedies for the natural treatment of keloids include tea tree oil which inhibits the abnormal growth of the skin cells, extract from red onions which inhibits the excessive production of collagen as well as a mixture of the following oils: mustard seed, rose and jojoba. This mixture helps reduce the formation of keloids. Consult your doctor in case your keloids do not decrease in size over a period of time.