What Can Be Done To Get Rid Of The Keloid On My Ear After A Piercing?

Q: I have developed a half grape-sized keloid from a piercing behind my ear. It has completely crippled my self esteem to the point where I have become reclusive. I can’t live like this anymore, so I was wondering if you could tell me how I could best get rid of it and what it would cost to do so. I lost my job, and my family might be willing to pay for it if I can gather information. You seem to be the leading plastic surgeon in the area, so I hope to hear back from you soon. Thank you for your time.

A: Keloids of the earlobe are particularly difficult scar revision problems. This is so for two diametric reasons. When removing keloid scars it is critical to get it out completely, not leaving even a miniscule amount of keloid behind. If one does, it will surely come back. The earlobe, however, is a small piece of ear real estate and wide excision of the earlobe can make it nearly disappear or at least distort it when putting it back together. This is balancing act that can make for a difficult decision if the earlobe keloid is of any appreciable size.

The other concept to grasp about its removal is the high propensity for keloids to recur. This recurrent rate can be reduced if all of the keloid is removed and someone is not genetically prone to them. (in other words, not have developed them in other areas of the body) Yours is a primary keloid problem and was caused by an inciting event. (ear piercing) These may be favorable for a lower risk of recurrence but the risk remains nonetheless.

Because the plastic surgery techniques for ear keloid removal can be different, it would be important to see the keloid problem before you could get a cost estimate.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana