What are Keloids? Causes, Home Remedies, Precautions

Keloid is the formation of a type of scar caused due to overgrowth of granulation tissue on the site of a healed skin injury. They are firm, rubbery lesions or shiny, fibrous nodules and vary in colour as per a person’s complexion, from pink or red to dark brown. Keloids can be without any sensation, other than the sense of touch, but they could also be accompanied by itchiness, irritation or needle-like pain and a change in texture. 

Keloids occur on the skin where trauma, like pimples, insect bites, scratching, piercings, burns or any other skin injury, occurred. They can also develop post-surgery. The most common sites for keloids is the central chest, back and shoulders and ear lobes, arms, pelvic region and above the collar bone. 

Apart from home remedies, some of the medical treatments for keloids are cryotherapy, radiotherapy, pressure dressing, surgery, laser therapy and retinoids. 

Causes of keloids

Keloids develop due to serious injury on the skin and this can be caused due to – 

  • Surgical Cuts
  • Scars and blemishes due to acne or chickenpox
  • Any body-piercing
  • Vaccine shots
  • Burns
  • Insect bites

20 home remedies for keloids

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an excellent exfoliant and astringent. It helps to reduce the redness and the size of the scar. 

  1. Mix in equal parts of water and apple cider vinegar, enough to cover the entire area with keloid. 
  2. Apply this on it and leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse it off with water. 
  3. Repeat this process 4-5 times a week for the best results.

Lemon Juice

Lemon, which is known to be rich in vitamin C, works as a great antioxidant and helps to quickly heal the scar. After using this method for at least 2 weeks, one may notice changes in the flexibility, colour and texture of the skin.

  1. Squeeze out the juice of one lemon
  2. Using a cotton pad, dab it on the keloid on the skin.
  3. Let it rest for 30 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
  4. This process should be repeated twice a day for the best results. 

Baking Soda

Being an abrasive agent, baking soda helps to exfoliate and keep the skin clean. It soothes the skin and reduces the swelling.

  1. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with 3 teaspoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide which forms a smooth paste. 
  2. With a cotton ball, apply this paste onto those parts of the skin that have keloids and let it stand for 20 minutes. 
  3. Rinse it off with water and repeat this process twice a day, every day, till the scar fades away. 


Sandalwood contains skin regenerating properties and rose water acts as a skin toner really helps to get rid of keloids. 

  1. Take 2 teaspoons of sandalwood powder and keep adding rose water to it, until a thick paste is formed. 
  2. Before going to bed, apply this paste on the keloid affected areas on the skin and wash it off the next morning with warm water and repeat this process every night.  


Garlic helps to prevent enlargement of the scar and also improves blood circulation in that location, thus speeding up the healing process of the keloid. 

  1. Crush 2 garlic cloves and apply them to the scars on the body and leave it to rest for 15 minutes. 
  2. Wash the area with warm water. 
  3. Repeat this process every day and if possible, twice a day. Garlic helps to prevent enlargement of the scar and also improves blood circulation in that location, thus speeding up the healing process of the keloid. 

Grapefruit seed 

The grapefruit seed extract is filled with antioxidants and Vitamin C which help to reduce keloids. 

  1. Dilute 3 drops of grapefruit seed extract in one teaspoon of water. 
  2. Dip a Q-tip (or earbud) and apply it on the keloid and leave it on for as long as possible. 
  3. One can leave it on overnight or apply it before going out in the morning. Repeat this process twice a day. 


Tualang honey is known to be the most effective in treating keloids. Honey prevents the accumulation of dead skin cells and enhances blood circulation which speeds up the healing process. 

  1. Apply honey straight from the bottle onto the scars. 
  2. Massage the areas affected with keloids for 30-40 minutes and then rinse them with water. 
  3. Repeat this process twice every day for a few weeks to effectively reduce the keloid scars.

Aloe Vera

Having antiseptic and antibacterial properties, aloe vera gel helps in healing keloids in the initial stages.

  1. Cut open an aloe vera leaf and extract the gel from it. 
  2. Clean the keloid affected area with mildly warm water and apply the aloe vera gel. 
  3. Rinse it off after allowing it to rest for 30 minutes. 
  4. One can also leave it on overnight and then rinse it off the next morning. Do this process twice a day.

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly traps moisture into the skin which helps to reduce keloids.

  1. Massage the affected area with petroleum jelly for about 30 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water. 
  2. This process should be repeated 3-4 times during the day. 

White Onion

Scientists tested the effectiveness of onions on keloids and hypertrophic scars, a few years back. This treatment was observed to have a positive effect on the appearance of scars. Onion juice uses multiple mechanisms to heal keloids in a short period.

  1. Chop up one white onion and place it in cheesecloth. 
  2. Squeeze out the onion juice. 
  3. Using a cotton ball, apply the onion juice to the keloid. This process does not require rinsing. 
  4. Repeat this process 3-4 times a day. 

Coconut Oil 

A combination of carrier oils works well in the fading away of keloid scars. The carrier oils contain moisturizing properties and also nourish the skin with essential fatty acids. The essential oils contain properties that fasten the healing process and also

  1. Blend in 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree oil into 2 drops of neem oil and gently massage this on the affected areas of the skin for 20 minutes. 
  2. Repeat this process several times a day for better results.


This remedy not only fades away the scar but also helps the skin become brighter and smoother.

  1. Blend half a cucumber with half a cup of water and apply this juice to the keloid. 
  2. Let it rest for 15 minutes and then wash it off with cold water. 
  3. Repeat this process daily until the scar fades away as much as possible. 


Papaya is useful in reducing the size of the keloid and also helps fade away the marks caused due to them, hence increasing skin’s elasticity.

  1. Wash and peel one papaya and cut it into small pieces before putting it into a mortar to crush it. 
  2. Apply this paste to the affected areas of the skin. 
  3. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash it off. 
  4. Repeat this treatment 4 times a day to achieve the best results. 

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has astringent properties that shrink the keloids and prevent the scars to appear. This remedy works best for keloids that are caused due to nose piercings.

  1. Wash the keloids on the skin with soap and warm water and apply witch hazel on them. 
  2. Leave it on to dry completely.
  3. Repeat this process three times a day until one achieves the desired results. 

Fuller’s Earth

Fuller’s earth is useful in treating and fading the scars. 

  1. Mix one tablespoon of fuller’s earth with one tablespoon of rose water and one tablespoon of lemon juice, and make a paste. 
  2. Apply this paste to the affected areas and massage it for a minute. 
  3. Once dried, add another layer on the same areas. 
  4. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes and then rinse it well and thoroughly. 
  5. Repeat this process once every day until results are noticed. 


The combination of gooseberries and honey is considered to be one of the best remedies for keloids.

  1. Grind 1/8th cup of deseeded gooseberries with one tablespoon of honey. 
  2. Apply this paste on the keloid and massage it gently for 5 minutes. 
  3. Leave it on for an hour and rinse it off with cold water. 
  4. This process should be repeated thrice a day to get the best results. 

Salt Water

The salt solution helps clean the keloids thoroughly.

  1. Dilute 1/4th teaspoon of salt in 2 cups of warm water. 
  2. Once combined, soak the keloid affected part of the body into this solution. 
  3. If soaking is not possible, apply this solution to the skin, using a cotton ball. 
  4. Leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse it with water. Repeat this process twice a day, every day, till the desired results have been achieved. 

Olive Oil

Olive oil has Vitamin E and K in it which are responsible for properties that exfoliate the skin and eliminate scar tissue. 

  1. Rub one teaspoon of olive oil on the affected areas of the skin. 
  2. Repeat this process four times a day. 
  3. One can also make a paste of olive oil and baking soda and apply it to the keloid. 
  4. This process should be repeated once every day. 


The home remedy works best for keloids on the face. 

  1. Mix one tablespoon of yoghurt with one tablespoon of oatmeal and a few drops of lemon juice to form a paste that should be applied on keloids. 
  2. Leave it for 10 minutes and wash it off. 
  3. Repeat this process 2-3 times a week for the best results. 


Aspirin has anti-inflammatory and exfoliating properties that prove beneficial for eliminating keloids.

  1. Make a smooth and thick paste by crushing 4 aspirin tablets and mix with water. 
  2. Apply this paste well on the scars after washing them with soap and warm water. 
  3. Allow the paste to dry out. 
  4. Wash this paste off and apply moisturizer. 
  5. Use this method every alternate day. 


  • Look out for medical assistance if the keloids form a puss.
  • Properly take care of skin injuries to prevent infection or scarring. 
  • Avoid scratching the keloid as that could worsen the condition. 
  • Avoid unnecessary trauma to the skin as that could aggravate the problem. 

Myths and Facts

Myth: Keloids can vanish away with time, without any treatment.

Fact: This is not true. Keloids will not go away unless one takes the necessary medical or dermatological efforts to remove them. Homoeopathic or alternative medications do not work on keloids. 

Myth: Only cosmetic procedures can treat scars

Fact: There are some skin treatment procedures that have the potential for the keloids to reoccur, making them larger than before. Consult a skin specialist before deciding on any cosmetic procedure for keloids, they will provide one with the best advice on what treatment is suitable for a particular part of the skin, after weighing its pros and cons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should be done if the keloids do not reduce even after months of practising the above-mentioned remedies?

A: If the keloids do not reduce even after months, a doctor should be consulted because the issue may not be as simple and will require an expert opinion on it. 

Q: Are keloids contagious?

A: A keloid scar is not contagious as it is a result of a skin injury. It is benign and only affects the person on whose skin the keloid is formed. 

Q: Is there is a difference between hypertrophic scars and keloids?

A: Yes, there is a difference between hypertrophic scars and keloids. Hypertrophic scars are raised scars that do not exceed the boundary of the wound whereas keloids are a type of scar that exceeds the boundary of the injury. 

Q: Do keloids increase the risk for physical disorders?

A: No, keloids have no connection to physical disorders. Keloids are just an overgrowth of tissues. The scar may grow around the normal skin but it has no contact with the limbs as keloids are an external concern and not internal.

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