Piercing Bump vs keloid: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Piercing Bump vs keloid Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Skin injuries can lead to scars- keloid and piercing bumps fall under the same category. Since piercing is considered a form of skin injury, there are chances of developing a bump around the pierced area. Likewise, some people observe an unusual growth on the skin after a skin injury, which is often termed keloid. 

If you get confused between the two, detailed information on Keloid vs Piercing Bump will help. They differ in different aspects, such as how they form, feel, look, and are treated. 

Keep reading till the end to understand each of them. 

Symptoms of Keloid and Piercing Bump

Keloid and Piercing Bump

Since the occurrence of both keloid and piercing bumps is skin injury or trauma, they often look the same. Still, there are a few variations between the two that differ.


Keloids look like abnormal growth on the skin. It is an overgrowth of scar tissue that usually appears after a few months and slightly beyond the site of injury. It can have irregular shapes and sizes that may change over the course of time. 

Itching, irritation, and tenderness are common over keloids and may hamper your daily routine. 

Piercing Bump

As the name indicates, a piercing bump appears only around the pierced areas of the skin. Basically, this bump is a thin film of tissue formed in a raised and symmetrical pattern, unlike a keloid. 

While keloid may spread over time, piercing bump stays limited to the injured area. However, symptoms like itching and scabbing can be experienced.  

What Causes Keloid and Piercing Bump?

What Causes Keloid and Piercing Bump

The major cause of scar, either keloid or piercing bump, is cells clustering to repair skin damage. As the skin clusters, they form a patch that looks unusual from the healthy areas of the skin. 


Keloid is a result of the body’s way of overcompensating the healing process after skin injury. Even though what causes keloid is still a matter of debate, it is usually seen running in families. 

Keloid can be caused by piercings, acne, burns, cuts, insect bites, tattoos, surgical wounds, etc. 

Piercing Bump

The major cause of piercing bumps is the body’s reaction to the skin injury, causing inflammation while repairing the tissue. 

Here’s a table differentiating between keloid and piercing bump on different aspects-

FeatureKeloidPiercing Bump
DefinitionAn overgrowth of scar tissue at the site of a wound or injury.A small bump that forms near a piercing site.
AppearanceRaised, thick, and extends beyond the original wound or piercing site.Small, localized bumps usually around the piercing hole.
TextureFirm and rubbery texture.Soft or hard, may contain pus.
ColorTypically pink, red, or darker than surrounding skin.Can vary from pink to red or match surrounding skin.
GrowthContinues to grow over time.May increase in size temporarily but usually stabilizes or decreases with proper care.
PainMaybe itchy, tender, or painful.Can be tender or painful to the touch.
CauseOverproduction of collagen during the healing process.Often caused by irritation, infection, or trauma to the piercing.
Risk FactorsMore common in individuals with a family history of keloids.Can occur due to improper piercing technique, inadequate aftercare, or individual predisposition.
TreatmentCorticosteroid injections, surgical removal, silicone sheets, or laser therapy.Improved aftercare, saline soaks, avoiding further irritation, and sometimes corticosteroid injections.
RecurrenceMay recur even after treatment.Can recur if the underlying cause is not addressed or if proper aftercare is not followed.
LocationCan occur at any site of skin injury, including piercings.Typically localized around the piercing site.

How Are Keloid And Piercing Bumps Treated?

Once the dermatologist determines if the scar is a keloid or piercing bump by observing visually and checking the family history, the right line of treatment is administered.  


Keloids are usually treated on the basis of how severe and large they have grown. Usually, medications and therapies are included in treating keloid. In most cases, the doctor may also advise surgical intervention; however, there is no guarantee that keloid will not reappear after the surgery. 

Piercing Bump

Most of the time, piercing bumps resolve or fade on their own after a course of time. However, there are procedures that can reduce their appearance, such as-

  • Radiation
  • Laser therapy
  • Corticosteroids
  • Topical gels or treatments

How Do You Prevent Keloid And Piercing Scars?

People with a family history of developing keloid over skin injuries will get them irrespective of preventive measures. However, maintaining skin hygiene and following skin care habits can minimize their occurrence. Also, it is advised to always cover the keloid to prevent it from spreading and getting larger.

Likewise, for piercing scars, maintaining proper skin hygiene is the key to preventing it. 


All forms of scars and bumps are the skin’s response to an injury. While you can get rid of piercing bumps after a few months, either automatically or after using certain treatment procedures, keloids can be managed to some extent either surgically or by making efforts to prevent their spread. 

If you develop any of them and are not sure how to manage or treat, talk to a dermatologist.

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