Ear Piercings With Keloids?

When I was younger I had my ears pierced, but got keloids. I gave up for many years, but now am thinking about getting my ears pierced again. I still have the keloids. It has been 8 years since I've tried having my ears pierced, and a little over a year ago I got a tattoo and have had no problems with it at all. Would it be okay for me to get my ears pierced? (knowing the keloids are still there, and knowing I did fine getting a tattoo) Thanks! Steph

Doctor Answers 7

Ear piercing after keloid injections

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Ear piercing after keloid resection is possible, but only recommended in select cases.  I would recommend a careful evaluation and assessment of risk.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Ear Piercing and Keloid formation

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No, it would not be okay UNLESS you don't mind getting more keloids. If you are willing to take the risk, I am sure you could find someone to pierce your ears, usually at the mall. I see patients who have that happen all the time. I think that once you form keloids, wherever they may be on your body, then you should realize that you are a Keloid former. You may or may not form keloids. Only time will tell.

Get some clip on earrings!

Hope this helps .

Beverly Johnson, MD
Silver Spring Dermatologic Surgeon

Ear piercing in someone with keloids

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I would consider having cortisone injections into your existing keloids to see if they can greatly reduce these stubborn scars. If there was an insufficient response, then I'd consider excision of the keloid. Unfortunately, the ear is a high risk area for keloids (as are the chest, shoulders and upper back), and keloids are much more common in some ethnic groups (typically darker skin types). You would unfortunately have to face the potential that you could redevelop a keloid if you were to repierce your ears, so make sure to have a good discussion with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon about the best treatment options for you. We'd be happy to assess you at Toronto Dermatology Centre,  phone: 416-633-0001.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

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Ear piercing and keloids

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Thank you for the question. Unfortunately, no one can tell if you would get another keloid or not, but, there is high likelihood that you will. You mentioned tattoo "and have no problems". There is no mention on which area of the body. Generally speaking, keloid tend to have predilection to certain areas. The ear is one of them.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Keloids and ear piercing

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If you have had keloids, it probably is not a good idea to get your ears pierced.  You are at a very high risk of developing keloids again.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Risk of keloids after ear piercing

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If you initially got keloids from an ear piercing, there is a risk of getting keloids again on repeat piercing.  I do not recommend it.  Would you consider clip-on earrings?  Some keloids actually respond to continuous pressure, such as clip-ons would provide.  You have to make sure the clip-ons are not too tight, so that they don't traumatize the area again.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Ear Piercings With Keloids?

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If you still have keloids from your last attempt at ear piercing I wouldn't recommend trying again. The fact that you did not keloid with a tattoo doesn't rule out the possibility that your ear keloids would worsen after another attempt. In my opinion, it is not worth the risk and the downside of going though treatment of the pre-existing and potentially new keloids. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.