Keloids are super-scars. When skin healing goes into overdrive and turns an ordinary scar into a large, lumpy, bumpy area, often bigger than the original wound, you get a keloid. Doctors may prescribe strong corticosteroid creams or even inject corticosteroid drugs to treat these overgrowths. If the area is not too large, the doctor may try freezing it off. Dermatologists may use lasers against larger scars. Surgery is a last resort, but frequently the keloids return after surgery.
Will Castor Oil Help Keloids?
Q. My husband had two large keloids in the middle of his chest. They hurt when he tried to wear his seatbelt in the car. He went to a surgeon who removed them with follow-up radiation. After a few months, the keloids came back even larger. The doctor injected potent steroids, but the keloids continued to grow and became more sensitive and itchier than before.
When I did a search on Google, I read about castor oil for keloids. He applied it at bedtime, and it was a miracle. After a few months, the keloids were completely gone, leaving only two flat scars on his chest. The doctor was in total shock.
A. These scars result from abnormal wound healing and are usually raised tissue that may be firm or rubbery (StatPearls, July 19, 2022). They almost always come back after surgical removal (Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, July 18, 2022).
Castor Oil as a Skin Remedy:
Scientists have not studied the use of castor oil on these skin lesions, but we’re glad to hear your husband had success. Readers have been touting its use as a home remedy for skin problems for a long time. Here’s one testimonial.
Q. I have been using castor oil for years on bruises in my family. It truly works.
It also works wonders as an anti-scar ointment. I used it on a surgical scar AFTER the stitches were removed. When I went back for a post-surgical appointment, the doctor could not locate his work. I had to point out the incision to him.
A. You are not the first person to recommend castor oil topically. You may be the first, however, who has reported such success for healing such recalcitrant scars. Scientists have used a primary component of castor oil, ricinoleic acid, to speed wound healing in rats (Polymers for Advanced Technologies, June 2018).
Watch Out for Allergic Reactions:
Some people may be allergic to castor oil, so please exercise caution. Testing a drop or two on the inside of the forearm should be adequate. The reaction is a form of contact dermatitis (Contact Dermatitis, May 2007).