Not all the keloids develop infection. Only some of them would lead to infection which needs medical treatment. Infection can be defined as the state of being infected by someone or something. Infection can be considered as growth (in excess) of bacteria and other micro-organisms in the body. Our body has plenty of in-built bacteria that may not cause any infection. But at the site of piercing keloids can develop for some people. Formation of keloids with pus inside is a sign of infection.
Bacteria and viruses can easily survive on such wounds. Infected keloid should be treated with antibiotic if necessary. Ear piercing and cartilage ear piercing are the most common sites on which keloid can develop. It can cause pain and itchy feeling. Keloids have irregular shape with no well defined borders and pinkish or flesh colored. Scarring of tissue is quite common with infected keloid.
You can start with home remedies initially for treating an infected keloid. But if the pain is more you need to take painkillers for sure. You can apply warm compression on the site like ear and nose. Dip a soft cloth in hot water and after few seconds you can place it directly on the site of infected keloid. This would not only reduce pain but reduces inflammation. Sea salt solution is an excellent remedy for infected keloid. Non iodized salt should be used for this purpose. Add 1 tsp of sea salt in lukewarm water and stir it for easy mixing. Now rinse the infected site of piercing with this solution. Sea salt is effective in managing bacterial infection.
Medical Treatment :
You have to decide whether the infected keloid can be managed with home remedies. But don’t wait for too long period for the infection to get reduced. If you have pain and swelling it is better to opt for medical treatment.
- Creams – Creams are available to reduce scars on the skin. Ointment like Mederma is effective in treating infected keloids on the site of piercing. You can apply this cream twice a day and leave it for few minutes to get absorbed into the skin.
- Dressing or Bandage – Many people are still debating whether it is good to cover the infected wound with dressing. You can use scar reducing dressings on the piercing site like ear/nose. You can get them from any local drugstore in your area. But remember you have to cover the area completely and leave it intact even during sleeping hours.
- Injection – If the size of keloid is big and pain is not manageable you can consider this option. Your doctor would give you a shot of steroid on the infected site. This would reduce inflammation quickly and reduce the scars also. But one drawback in using corticosteroid injection is that your body gets addicted to it and you may need to repeat 2-3 injections for complete healing.
- Oral Antibiotics – Your GP may prescribe suitable antibiotics for infected keloid. The strength of antibiotic depends on the intensity of infection, age and the site of infection. You will be given topical creams that contain antibiotics which help in easy healing.
- Laser Therapy – In rare cases laser treatment is done for removing the scar caused by keloid. But your skin specialist would decide whether laser can be done on the infected site.
Preventive Tips :
Follow the instructions of your piercer and always keep the site dry and clean. This would reduce the chance of getting an infection and keloid on the site of piercing.