WARNING: Graphic photos

Experts are warning against the growing trend that sees people using rubber bands to perform a DIY removal of unwanted skin blemishes and scars, saying it can lead to infection and even death.

The dangerous procedure involves wrapping a rubber band around unwanted raised bumps on the skin caused by scar tissue and leaving it on until the blood supply is cut off and the lump falls off.

There is a growing number of YouTube videos showing how to use the "rubber-band method" of removing keloids, which are raised scar tissue that can be left behind by minor cuts.

Advertisement
A keloid is raised up scar tissue and affects around 10 per cent of people. Photo: Zizou Love / Youtube
A keloid is raised up scar tissue and affects around 10 per cent of people. Photo: Zizou Love / Youtube

One in 10 people are affected by keloids and some of the videos showing how to remove the unwanted scar tissue at home have been viewed over 150,000 times.

But experts have slammed the practice saying it could lead to scarring, infection, flesh-eating bugs and even death.

"These videos are deeply disturbing. I'd advise in the strongest terms possible that no-one should attempt to follow the instructions," scar reduction specialist from Nourisil MD Peter Batty told the Mail Online.

Tight rubber bands are placed around the keloid to cut off blood flow. Photo: Zizou Love / YouTube
Tight rubber bands are placed around the keloid to cut off blood flow. Photo: Zizou Love / YouTube

"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."

While there is no cure for keloids, doctors can offer a number of different treatments to help reduce or remove the lumps, such as specialised gels, silicone tapes, steroid injections and cryotherapy.

Dermatologist Dr Anton Alexandroff, told the publication that any DIY methods are usually painful and dangerous.

"This is a very unhelpful practice which is very painful and can result in infection," he said.

"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."

But experts warn that this treatment is likely to make the lumps grow back bigger. Photo: Zizou Love / YouTube
But experts warn that this treatment is likely to make the lumps grow back bigger. Photo: Zizou Love / YouTube