What is a keloid? The real definition.

What is a keloid

A lot of people think that a piercing bump is a keloid, this is incorrect. A keloid is a medical scarring condition.

The definition of a keloid

Here is the definition. Keloid: A scar that rises quite abruptly above the rest of the skin. It is irregularly shaped, usually pink to red in color, tends to enlarge progressively, and maybe harder than the surrounding skin. This condition is a response to trauma, such as a cut to the skin. In creating a normal scar, connective tissue in the skin is repaired by the formation of collagen. You can get a keloid from a piercing since a piercing is causing trauma to the tissue. If you are not already prone to getting them, it is very unlikely that you will get one.

The cause of a keloid

Keloids arise when extra collagen forms. Susceptibility to keloids is genetic, and keloids are particularly common in people of African descent. So with that definition in mind, I will explain a bit of what I know about keloids. Remember that I am not a medical professional. I am a piercer with many years of experience and knowledge based on my personal experience, Continued education, and research. Most people think any little bump that arises from your piercing site is a keloid, which is almost always wrong. Since keloids are a genetic condition, most people know at a young age, and they will get them with any trauma breaking open the sink. They know to avoid activities such as piercings and tattoos as they are likely to get one each time. They can range in size from just a slight raising of the scar tissue to substantial growth.

What is a keloid - Piercing Handbook
This is a keloid. Source: https://bit.ly/2qi1nkO

How do you treat this condition?

Keloids generally do not go away on their own and will most likely need treatments to remove or make smaller, and they can sometimes be surgically removed. However, any treatment can have a negative effect making it worse since all procedures will have some level of trauma such a surgery, laser, and injunctions. If you do suffer from this condition, piercings are not an option for you, unfortunately. If you have a small bump on the exit of your piercing, this is, in most cases, what we call a “piercing bump.” Please read the blog regarding that for more information on the causes and how to get rid of them.

A keloid versus a “piercing bump”

I know it is very common, and it has somewhat now turned into a slang term for any bump next to your piercing to be called a keloid. I will often go along with the word as it tends just to confuse people when I tell them it is not a keloid. I even have a video on my YouTube channel where I call them keloids because it is so highly used, and I just wanted to make things simple. I just wanted to inform you of the correct terminology, so you are more educated on the subject.      

 Written by: Erica Bautista

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