Want to know how to get rid of keloids permanently? When it comes to getting rid of keloids, there are some successful cures. Here are several natural home treatments for preventing or lessening the appearance of keloid scars.
What is a keloid scar
A keloid is a raised, red, and hard scar found at the site of an old wound. Unlike a hypertrophic scar, it often extends beyond the original wound.
What causes keloids
There are no definite answers. But it seems people with dark skin are more susceptible to developing keloids compared to people with fairer skin. These often develop after a minor or major skin injury, like acne, burns, piercings, and abrasions.
How to prevent keloids
Bad news: You can’t really do anything to stop keloids from forming. The best prevention is to avoid getting your skin injured, which is not always possible.
Good news: Aside from invasive treatments and compression therapy, there are also a few natural topical applications you can use.
How to get rid of keloids fast and naturally
1. Topical Vitamin C
It’s no secret that vitamin C is good for our skin, especially for wound healing. It stimulates the building of new collagen, the main protein of connective tissues, which leads to faster tissue repair. And as a powerful antioxidant, it stops free radicals from interfering with a proper wound healing.
A few clinical studies suggest that it may help improve the appearance of old and new scars. In one study, 80 patients with fine surgical scars were assigned into two groups: the treatment group and the control group.
Treatment Group: Researchers used a silicone gel containing vitamin C on the participants’ surgical scars after the stitch was removed. This was done for 6 months.
Control Group: Well, they weren’t given any topical medicines.
Results showed that the group who received a vitamin C-enriched silicone gel benefitted the most. The redness (erythema), height, and color of the scars were significantly improved.
To achieve the same result, you need to buy skin care products with stabilized vitamin C. The bad news is most products out there use vitamin C in L-ascorbic acid form, which is really unstable when repeatedly exposed to outside oxygen and moisture.
Solution: Look for products that mix vitamin C with magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which all act as stabilizers.
2. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)
Aloe vera is one of the most commonly used home remedies for keloids. Aloe vera contains many compounds that help heal the wounds and get rid of scars. It contains salicylic acid and fatty acids (e.g. campesterol and β-sisosterol), which have anti-inflammatory activities. It’s rich in antioxidants, such as vitamins E, C, and A. As I’ve said earlier, free radicals interfere with the wound healing and damage skin cells. And it’s the job of antioxidants to stop them from wreaking havoc.
After getting a full-face dermabrasion (removal of skin imperfections), participants in one study were assigned into two treatment groups. One group was treated with wound dressings containing polyethylene oxide gel, while the other was treated with wound dressings with polyethylene oxide gel and stabilized aloe vera.
By the 5th to 6th day, the aloe vera group experienced faster healing rate (approximately 3 days) at the aloe vera treated site. The speeding up of wound healing is crucial because this will lessen the risk of developing another keloid, changing of the skin color, and bacterial contamination.
Until now, it’s still not clear how aloe vera works to get rid of keloid scars. One theory is the compounds (specifically, glucomannan) found in the leaves of Aloe vera have the ability to split up the old fibrous tissues in keloids or hypertrophic scars. This will then smooth the area where your scar was once located.
3. Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
Gotu kola belongs to the parsley family. It’s a perennial plant that’s usually found growing in the regions of Japan, Indonesia, South Africa, and India. Its stems and fan-shaped leaves are usually used as medicines. It’s traditionally used to treat many skin problems, like leprosy, cellulite, psoriasis, wounds, stretch marks, burns, and scars.
How to treat keloids with Gotu kola?
Experts say it may have to do with its active constituents called as saponins (also known as triterpenoids). Examples of triterpenoids are asiaticoside, madasiatic acid, and madecassoside. It’s believed that these compounds improve skin elasticity and strength, speed up wound healing, increase antioxidants levels in affected areas, and stop collagen production in order to prevent excessive scar formation.
A study suggested that asiaticoside in Gotu kola stop formation of scars by increasing the expression of the inhibitory protein called SMAD7. Together with SMAD6, SMAD7 shuts down the signaling pathway that will help activate the receptors for the TFG-β protein found on the surface of cells. (The TFG-β protein family is composed of cytokines, which manage cell growth and proliferation.)
There are plenty of Gotu kola-containing creams and ointments that you can readily purchase. If you’re worrying about side effects, well, they’re rare. Possible side effects of topical application of Gotu kola are allergy and burning sensation.
Caveat: Do not give to children and people with precancerous or cancerous skin conditions.
4. Tea Tree Oil for Keloids
Tea tree oil is a popular remedy for various skin conditions, such as acne, cuts, insect bites, and minor burns. Some even use it to slowly get rid of keloids and hypertrophic scars. But there are really no solid scientific evidences to prove its effectiveness as a keloid treatment.
One theory is it may have to do with its anti-inflammatory activities. People develop hypertrophic scars or keloids because of increased inflammatory reaction. Tea tree oil helps by suppressing the production of your inflammatory mediators through the help of its active component called terpinen-4-ol.
How to remove keloids with tea tree oil?
One way is to use it as it is. In diluted form, of course. For this purpose, mix 3 drops of tea tree oil and 2 teaspoons of carrier oil (e.g. virgin coconut oil and almond oil). If the resulting mixture still feels too strong for you, add a few more carrier oil or water.
If your keloid scar happens to be located on your face, you could also try making a facial mask using this essential oil (diluted) and clay. You can leave it for at least 30 minutes. Use warm water to remove the facial mask.
If you don’t have the patience to make DIY scar treatments, you could always buy a soap with tea tree oil. Use it on the affected area about two times per day.
Reminder: Make sure to perform a patch test before using this oil. Simply combine 2 drops of tea tree oil and 2 drops of carrier oil. Apply a small amount on the hairless part of your inner lower arm, and then wait for any allergy response for at least 30 minutes.
5. Silicone-Based Gels Containing Allantoin
Allantoin is an organic chemical substance that’s manufactured by microorganisms, animals, and plants. One of the richest sources of this substance is the comfrey plant. Today, allantoin is widely used in many skin care products, such as lotions and creams, because it doesn’t cause any irritations, allergies, and toxicity.
When it comes to this chemical substance, you can’t use too much of it. The recommended amount ranges from 0.5% to 2.0%. Within this amount, allantoin can effectively and safely treat minor burns, skin ulcers, dry and cracked skin, acne, rashes, minor cuts, and scars.
Got any proof that it really works for keloids?
Well, human studies are often lacking. However, based on one animal study, silicone-based gels containing dexpanthenol (a medication used as a moisturizer), heparin, and allantoin may be a possible treatment for hypertrophic scars or keloids. Participants who were given this gel experienced remarkable decreased in scar elevation, thickness, inflammation, and pigmentation.
How to get rid of a keloid scar using comfrey leaves and roots:
Comfrey Scar Ointment
- 8 to 9 ounces of virgin coconut oil
- 2 cups of dried comfrey leaves (finely chopped)
- ½ cup of comfrey root (finely chopped)
- 30 grams white beeswax
- Liquefy the white beeswax in a bowl of a double boiler.
- Once the white beeswax has completely melted, add the finely chopped comfrey roots and leaves. Then let the mixture boil for approximately half an hour. During this time, you should be continuously stirring the mixture.
- Next, pour the concoction in a cheesecloth or muslin bag. Squeeze out as much liquid as you could into the appropriate bowl. (For safety purposes, make sure to wear protective gloves to prevent burning your skin.)
- Once you’re done, pour the resulting mixture into a clean and airtight jar. Do this before it begins to set. Make sure to wait for the comfrey ointment to cool down before closing it up.
Indicate the manufacturing date outside the container, and then store it inside the refrigerator. This recipe is good for three months.
Quercetin is actually a type of flavonoid, which is responsible for giving plants its colors. This is mainly used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. You can find it in many foods and drinks, like green tea, apple, red wine, and onion.
Interestingly, lab studies have shown that it may be a possible keloid cure. It stops the formation of keloids by inhibiting insulin-like growth factor (IGF), a group of amino acids that are structurally the same with insulin. Insulin-like growth factor is believed to promote abnormal production of fibroblasts and synthesis of collagen, which is characteristic of a keloid formation.
Based on an animal study, topical quercetin preparations may be more effective as a preventive cure than an adjuvant curative treatment for keloids and hypertrophic scars. Results from the same study have shown that only 40 percent of quercetin-treated wounds developed hypertrophic scars after a month of treatment. Meanwhile, all of the non-quercetin-treated wounds developed hypertrophic scars.
Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Keloids Fast
As you may already know, keloids are pretty stubborn. They don’t usually go away after a few days or by using one type of treatment. They may continue to grow for weeks or even for years. There’s also a possibility they’ll return after you remove them (Yikes!).
Fortunately, keloids are mainly a cosmetic problem. They usually don’t develop into a cancerous growth or cause other health concerns. However, if your keloids are too itchy, painful, or limits the joint movements, you may want to visit your doctor to discuss any treatment options.
For the meantime, here are additional things you should remember when dealing with keloids:
- To achieve the best possible results, treatments should be used right after a skin injury. New keloids have a bigger possibility of being healed and minimized compared to older keloids.
- If you’re a keloid former and suffering from a skin condition, make sure to consult your dermatologist to get the right treatment.
- Avoid exposing your keloid to direct sunlight for too long to prevent it from getting darker.
- As much as possible, avoid going under the knife for cosmetic purposes. If your surgery is truly necessary, doctors normally use special techniques, tools, and precautionary measures to minimize scar formation. For instance, they may cover your surgical wound using medicated silicone gel sheets or inject corticosteroids to flatten the keloid.
- Compression therapy is also effective for new and old keloids. However, it’s still best done after a wound has healed. A silicone sheeting, pressure bandage, or compression garment is usually used during a compression therapy. This is done to facilitate faster wound healing, uniform arrangement of fibrous tissues, and decrease the thickness of the keloid.