Keloids are an unwelcome addition to anyone’s body! Caused by something as innocuous as a pimple, burn, or cut, they have an uncanny way of converting what should’ve been a simple wound healing into a skincare nightmare. The scars and bumps they leave on your skin can be unsightly and even uncomfortable if they happen to itch.
But we have good news! There are multiple natural remedies you can use to sort out keloids. In fact, for many, you need to look no further than your larder.
What Are Keloids?
First, the lowdown on keloids! When you get a scratch, cut, burn, or bite, or even when you have a piercing done or are plagued by acne, your skin sometimes breaks. To seal the wound, the body then begins to produce collagen in the area where the skin is broken.1 In some instances, the scar tissue continues to build, resulting in a hard, rubbery, and shiny raised bump. It starts out purple or red and fades to paler shades or turns brown.2
Where Do Keloids Appear On Your Body?
You can get a keloid on any part of your body where the skin is damaged or broken. However, keloids have a tendency to show up more often on the shoulders, upper chest, neck, and head region (with the earlobes being especially prone).3
Reluctant to use aggressive medication to sort out keloids? These gentle natural treatments may be exactly what you need.
1. Home Remedies
Curcumin, the active constituent of turmeric, can help you get rid of a keloid problem thanks to its anti-inflammatory action. Apart from its wound-healing properties, turmeric can also inhibit the scarring seen in keloids.4 Simply apply a paste of fresh turmeric to the area that needs treatment every day till you see results.
Applying garlic extracts on the skin can help with wound healing and keloid scars, just like turmeric. In fact, some home remedies suggest using a combination of the two for best effect. Researchers say that it inhibits the production of nitric oxide and certain enzymes required for keloid formation, making it an effective remedy for these scars.5 Use about 3 to 4 cloves of garlic and apply as a paste, rinsing away after about 15 minutes. Remember to pat dry and moisturize afterward.
Onion extract gel is an effective remedy for the treatment of keloids.6Research has revealed that the quercetin in onion, which is a powerful antioxidant, inhibits collagen production and helps lower the incidence of keloids. Apply several times a day for a few months till you see results.
Coconut oil contains antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids which can help moisturize your skin, repair it, and prevent keloid formation. Use twice or thrice a day and leave on after application. Anecdotal evidence shows this to be an effective remedy when used on its own or with calendula oil.
Like coconut oil, shea butter is a natural moisturizer that softens and hydrates your skin while also inhibiting keloid formation.7 Moisturize the keloid with shea butter four to six times a day. You can even leave some on overnight and wipe the area clean in the morning.
2. Herbal Remedies
You can also try some Ayurvedic or herbal formulations to fight keloids. An alternative medicine practitioner will help you find these and guide you on usage and dosage.
Aneilema keisak extract, taken from flowering plants of the spiderwort family, lowers levels of the proteins needed for keloid formation. It also inhibits collagen synthesis and slows cell growth, all of which help reduce the growth of keloids.8
Research has shown that using red sage or Chinese sage can inhibit cell proliferation. Collagen synthesis that is typical of keloids is also slowed. One study used a compound of Chinese sage along with milkvetch root (an immune building natural remedy) to good effect.9
Ayurvedic remedy gotu kola (Centella asiatica) has wound-healing abilities and can regulate the production of collagen-producing cells. It is applied in a gel or cream form on the affected area and can heal keloid scars. It acts at the inflammatory stage of wound healing when keloids tend to form.10
Another Ayurvedic remedy, Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) works in a similar manner, inhibiting the inflammation and stopping the development of keloids. Remember to use it as soon as you have a break or cut or damage to the skin. As researchers point out, brahmi is good only as a preventive remedy and helps wound healing if applied in the initial six weeks to two months after an injury to the skin.11
|↑1, ↑3||Keloid scars. NHS.|
|↑2||Keloids. British Skin Foundation.|
|↑4||Lal, Jaggi. “Turmeric, curcumin and our life: a review.” Bull Environ Pharmacol Life Sci 1, no. 7 (2012): 11-7.|
|↑5||Pazyar, Nader, and Amir Feily. “Garlic in dermatology.” Dermatology reports 3, no. 1 (2011).|
|↑6||Munoz, MD George E., ed. Integrative Men’s Health. Oxford University Press, 2014.|
|↑7||Olaitan, Peter B., I-Ping Chen, James EC Norris, Richard Feinn, Odunayo M. Oluwatosin, and Ernst J. Reichenberger. “Inhibitory activities of omega-3 fatty acids and traditional African remedies on keloid fibroblasts.” Wounds: a compendium of clinical research and practice 23, no. 4 (2011): 97.|
|↑8||Kim, Won‐Serk, Ji‐Seon Lee, Gab‐Yong Bae, Jin‐Ju Kim, Young‐Won Chin, Young Yil Bahk, Hyung Geun Min, and Hyuk‐Jin Cha. “Extract of Aneilema keisak inhibits transforming growth factor‐β‐dependent signalling by inducing Smad2 downregulation in keloid fibroblasts.” Experimental dermatology 22, no. 1 (2013): 69-71.|
|↑9||He, S., Y. Yang, X. Liu, W. Huang, X. Zhang, and S. Yang. “Compound Astragalus and Salvia miltiorrhiza extract inhibits cell proliferation, invasion and collagen synthesis in keloid fibroblasts by mediating transforming growth factor‐β/Smad pathway.” British Journal of Dermatology 166, no. 3 (2012): 564-574.|
|↑10||Bylka, Wiesława, Paulina Znajdek-Awizen, Elzbieta Studzinska-Sroka, and Malgorzata Brzezinska. “Centella asiatica in cosmetology.” Postepy Dermatol Alergol 30 (2013): 46-49.|
|↑11||Juckett, Gregory, and Holly Hartman-Adams. “Management of keloids and hypertrophic scars.” American family physician 80, no. 3 (2009).|