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There's A Dangerous New Method To Remove Scars With Rubber Bands

There's A Dangerous New Method To Remove Scars With Rubber Bands

Just don't do it. Seriously, don't.

Tom Wood

Tom Wood

A new and dangerous way to remove scar tissue is being seriously discouraged by experts.

Basically, it involves tying a rubber band around the offending tissue and, to say it is a bit dumb is somewhat of an understatement.

Tutorials on YouTube - some viewed more than 150,000 times - show people how to remove the keloid scars. Keloids are heaped up scars that rise above the skin and are way more common than you'd think, as many as one in every 10 people is thought to have them.

The idea is that by wrapping a rubber band around them you will cut off the blood supply to them and they will eventually turn black and fall off. This seems like sound reasoning until you factor in that doing this sort of stuff can cause you some serious problems.


Dr Anton Alexandroff, a dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation condemned the practise wholeheartedly. He said: "This is a very unhelpful practice which is very painful and can result in infection.

"It can also result in further disfigurement in certain areas because it can cause necrosis [cell or tissue death] in an uncontrollable and unpredictable way."

Mmm, Necrosis. Seriously, if necrosis is even a possible side-effect, probably leave it out.

It might not even help you anyhow. Dr Alexandroff continued: "Keloid scars frequently recur and often grow even bigger than the original scar."

These views are backed up by the spokesperson for medical scar gel Nourisil MD, Peter Batty. He said: "These videos are deeply disturbing.

"I'd advise in the strongest terms possible that no-one should attempt to follow the instructions.


He continued: "And what they illustrate is a real lack of understanding about both the prevention and the treatment of keloid scars.

"If you were to attempt a DIY removal of a keloid, you'd merely be running the risk of the keloid returning even larger than before."

So how do you get rid of them? Well, there are a whole load of gels, injections, and cryotherapy options that you can have a look into.

One thing you can do is not have any tattoos or piercings. Ten percent of people with tattoos are at risk of developing keloids. The same goes for piercings and even those who've had laser tattoo removal.

A spokesperson for the British Association of Dermatologists said: "People with risk for getting keloids are advised to avoid skin trauma such as tattooing, body piercing and unnecessary surgical procedures or cosmetic skin surgery, particularly on high-risk areas such as the chest or earlobes."

The spokesperson continued: "Keloid scars are rare but can be very disfiguring. Risk factors include family history, and they're most common in those aged between 10 and 30 years old.

"We see it more commonly in young females than young males, probably due to the prevalence of ear piercing.


The spokesperson added: "Keloids can affect any part of the body but most commonly upper chest, back and shoulders.

"Even temporary tattoos are known to cause keloids if patients react to the tattoo."

There you have it. Whatever you do, don't go around lopping them off with elastic bands - if you're second guessing yourself, just remember the word necrosis.

Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Topics: News, YouTube