How Can You Determine if Your Belly Button Piercing Has a Keloid?

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There are numerous reasons to have a piercing, as well as numerous advantages of doing so. They’re one-of-a-kind, they make you feel wonderful, they’re visually beautiful, and the list goes on.

There are, however, a number of things that can go wrong. The majority of them are avoidable.

Keloids and healing bumps are two of them, although most people can’t identify the difference between them. Let us assist you with that!

What are Keloids, Exactly?

A keloid is a raised scar that develops as a result of skin damage or injury. After a piercing, this form of scar can appear.

The expansion of fibrous tissue causes a keloid to occur. When skin cells called fibroblasts are injured, they create too much collagen, which leads to the formation of a keloid.

After the initial damage, keloids might take 3–12 months to appear. Keloids begin as elevated scars that are pink, red, purple, or brown in color, and they often darken over time. The look of a keloid is determined by its location as well as the person’s skin tone.

Keloids can have a variety of textures. They can have a soft, doughy texture or a hard, rubbery texture. A person with a keloid scar may also suffer the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Itchines
  • Tenderness

What are Piercing Bumps? 

Piercing bumps are little lumps that occur after a piercing. They’re most common with cartilage piercings, including nose or upper ear piercings.

When the body’s immune system reacts to a wound and initiates the healing process, piercing bumps appear. Inflammation is the result of this response, which is what generates the bump.

In the first few weeks after getting a piercing, a person may experience bleeding, bruising, and swelling at the piercing site.

All of these signs and symptoms are typical. Other signs and symptoms that don’t usually cause concern include:

  • itching
  • some white fluid coming from the piercing site
  • forming a crust around the piercing 

What is the Difference Between the Two?

Keloids and piercing bumps can appear similar at first. However, changes will appear with time.

Some of the significant differences between these skin alterations are shown in the table below:

Piercing Bump Keloid
Formation Soon after a piercing 3-12 months after the piercing
Size It varies, but it does not grow larger after it forms.It could start tiny and expand over weeks, months, or years.
Color Pink or flesh-colored Varies but it can become darker overtime 
Location Around the piercing site Around the piercing site, however, it might sometimes extend farther.
Fluid Common Uncommon

If you have a keloid on your belly button piercing, it will stay until you see a dermatologist to get it removed.

However, if you act quickly when you notice the first signs of a keloid, you may be able to stop it in its tracks.

Keep an eye on your piercing and visit a dermatologist if you observe any scarring or thickening of the skin. A quick intervention may be able to prevent the thickening from progressing to keloid status.

“If there are symptoms of tissue thickening, your dermatologist may laser the scar to flatten it or inject it with steroids or other drugs,”

Explains Cheung.

Treatment of Keloids

Keloids can be treated with a variety of methods. Several criteria, including the form and size of the keloid, can influence the best treatment approach. Treatment possibilities include:

1. Dressings made of silicone or gel

A keloid can be flattened by using a silicone sheet or gel. Silicone is frequently used in conjunction with compression.

2. Compression

A dermatologist-fitted compression garment can help prevent a keloid from forming after a belly button piercing.

3. Cryotherapy

This causes the keloid to freeze from the inside out, without causing damage to the skin underlying. Cryotherapy can help shrink and soften keloid scars, and it’s sometimes combined with steroid injections for improved outcomes.

4. Surgery

A keloid can only be removed surgically, but it’s vital to remember that it will most likely grow again at some point. Your dermatologist may suggest using another treatment following surgery, such as compression, radiation therapy, or injections, to reduce the odds of it returning.

Bottom Line: 

Keloids are difficult to treat, therefore it’s important to seek medical help. Keloids, whether on the ears or elsewhere, usually respond best to a combination of therapy.

If you know you’re prone to keloids, there are things you may do to try to avoid them in the future. A dermatologist should be consulted, since he or she may recommend a combination of therapies.