Piercing Bump Vs. Keloid: How To Treat Them After A Piercing?

Piercings are great and all, but like any body modification, there can be some pretty heavy drawbacks. For piercings, these drawbacks might include a keloid or a piercing bump.

Just what are these side effects? Per the Almost Famous Piercing website, a keloid is a scar that usually ranges from a red to pink color. A piercing bump, on the other hand, is, well, a bump, usually filled with pus, dead skin cells, or other wound debris, the site said.

Per Byrdie, a piercing bump is fairly easy to get rid of; there are even at-home solutions you can use. For example, the site recommends massaging oil onto your piercing, so the scar tissue can relax. If that doesn't work, try compression therapy. Though not an at-home solution and requires a bit of spending, it is a guaranteed solution toward clearing up your piercing. "We've also been successfully treating irritation bumps using what I call, 'compression therapy,' which utilizes the gentle but constant compression of a larger titanium disk on the bump, encouraging it to dissipate even more quickly," Johnny Pearce, a free-hand piercer, told the site.

As for keloids, a saline or salt soak is your best solution towards getting rid of the keloid and avoiding a scar, per Healthline.

What to do if your keloid and piercing bump won't go away

Though a piercing bump is easier to get rid of than a keloid, sometimes piercing bumps are stubborn due to the amount of bacteria in the piercing. After all, as Byrdie reported, piercing bumps happen because of a lack of care and cleaning. "At the end of the day, [piercing bumps] come from irritation," J. Colby Smith, a free-hand piercer, said. "The body does not like the foreign object, we need to gently convince the body to heal around it rather than fight it. I find most people don't take great care of their piercings until there is a problem, then they care a lot. My advice is to be proactive from the start. Keep it clean and be careful with it."

That said, if you've tried all the at-home solutions and you can't afford a session of compression therapy, it may be in your best interest to seek professional help. A quick trip to the doctor and proper medical treatment — possibly cortisone shots — should clear up the bump fairly quickly, reports Byrdie.

For keloids, it's a lot more complicated, simply because a keloid is a scar. Unfortunately, keloids can take months to disappear, so if you don't see any progress with your keloid, it might be best to head to a doctor or your piercer, Healthline said. They'll be able to (hopefully) help you keep your piercing while also healing your skin.