When ear piercings lead to keloid formation

A rare occurrence where a routine ear piercing goes horribly wrong.

Keloids are fibrous growths that uncommonly occur in cases of wound healing. They present predominantly in blacks, and any type of skin piercing can affect those predisposed to the disease.

The lesions can be severely disfiguring and painful, and often recur after treatment. The first-line therapy is injection of steroids into the keloid, with a 70 percent response rate. Surgical excision alone is not effective, as this option is often followed by a high frequency of recurrence.

Other treatment options that can be used in conjunction with steroid injections include covering the keloid with a prescription silicone gel, freezing the lesion with liquid nitrogen, or laser and radiation therapy.

This is a highly frustrating disease, in which the best therapy is prevention of keloid formation in the first place. That means, especially in this patient, not proceeding with any further body piercings.

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