Keloid from Ear Piercing - Removal Options?

Hi. I'm a 15 year old. I got my keloid on my ear as a result of a bad piercing. I went to my doctor and she said she won't treat it with a steroid injection. I then went to a plastic surgeon and they said they'll remove it but my insurance denied it because I should get another treatment before that. What do you recommend I get done?

Doctor Answers 8

Ear helix keloids can be removed with surgery

This ear helix keloid may involve cartilage and should be removed in the early phase to prevent deformity of the ear.  I routinely remove these keloids with surgery in my LA practice. Surgery90210

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Ear keloid treatment

Treating all keloids is a challenge but particularly in this area of the ear. If injection do not reduce the keloid, surgery with followup injections is a viable option but know that your participation by use of silicone sheeting, postoperative compression and regular injection is essential. Historically, if the keloids recurred, therapeutic radiotherapy was successful but the radiologists in my area no longer accept these cases for fear of the longterm effects of treatment. I treat post revision patients monthly with injection and emphatically advise against repiercing as this will induce regrowth and greater disfigurement.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

How to treat a keloid of the ear

Keloids of the ear and earlobe from piercings are quite common. In your situation, my recommendation would be for it to be surgically removed by a plastic surgeon (whether or not it is covered by insurance) with immediate injection with steroid medication. You should then be followed up monthly for a while with possible additional steroid injections at these visits if warranted. Just doing surgery alone has a very high rate of recurrence.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Ear Keloid Removal. What are my options?

Hello Drea.  We agree with the other practitioners that surgical removal and preventative steroid injections are your best bet.  In addition, whenever possible, we use compression tools in the area to prevent regrowth of the keloid.  

Keloids are tricky to treat and unfortunately it is never guaranteed that they will not return but surgery and injections are your best bet.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Keloid Scar Treatment from Ear Piercing

Hi Drea15,

Keloid scars a challenging to remove, as they may recur despite treatment at some point in the future. These types of scars are more common around the ears or chest, especially in darker skinned individuals. The mainstay of keloid scar therapy is both steroid injections and plastic surgery. Commonly, plastic surgeons will inject a keloid scar before, during, and after the plastic surgery. Other treatments for aggressive or extensive scarring include low-dose radiation, silicone, pressure, or skin grafts among other things. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a plastic surgeon help determine appropriate treatment options for you. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Ear Keloids

Ear keloids can be very tricky. There are many different forms of treatment including surgery but this is usually tied in with steroid injections or radiation and sometimes even brachytherapy for problematic ones.  I usually try surgical excision and steroids first.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Ear keloids

The best treatment is most likely going to be surgical excision followed by aggressive injection steroids to prevent recurrence. Sometimes the use of silicone sheeting afterwards will help lessen recurrences as well.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Ear keloid

Ear keloids are tough BUT treatable.  Most insurance companies will deny payment.  Steroid injections are not going to make your keloid go away.  The only real treatment in your case is surgery.  Following surgery there are other things you can do to decrease the chance of the keloid returning (i.e. steroid injections, radiation) but there is still a chance of the keloid returning.  Your best bet is to see a plastic surgeon with experience in keloid scar revision.  Good luck!


Dr. Singer

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

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.