First off- No, it's not infected. It. Is not. Infected.
It's just upsetti-spaghetti, ok?
That bump you see around the piercing area... that is an irritation abscess, more commonly known as a piercing pimple. What. Fun.
Yes, I know it does not feel good. Nor does it look good. It's probably red, swollen, crusty, sore. There’s discharge. The bump might be getting worse/bigger. It might be throbby. Sometimes, it looks and feels… pretty wild.
Fear not. It is temporary. Fixable. Treatable. Get-rid-of-able; and actually, very common.
Especially in cartilage piercings. It is not infected.
It is often mistaken for infection as it can carry a few similar symptoms as stated above such as swelling, discharge, redness, soreness, etc. It can appear differently in varying degrees of severity from person to person. Maybe it is very red, maybe it's lighter in color, maybe it looks like an actual pimple/pustule.
Essentially what is happening is something is making it angry. Piercing pimples are most commonly caused by…
- Trauma to the piercing (catching it/bumping it on things, sleeping on it)
- Excess swelling (you might need some extra room on that post)
- Touching it too much (stop touching/moving your piercing aside from cleaning it)
- Improper aftercare
- Soaps, cleansers, make up and creams
- Cheaper jewelry styles (surgical steel, sterling silver, and any type of plated jewelry as these don’t usually vibe well with sensitive skin)
Now, it's not always easy to determine exactly which of these points is causing the issue, as it may be one specifically, or a few of them combined. Given this, its best to tackle all the possibilities to ensure success.
You should ensure you are wearing Ti-6AL-4V-ELI ASTM F136 implant grade Titanium metal, or a solid nickel free gold above 14K. Nothing else, and no plating. If you are not, the first thing to do is change your jewelry to one of the high-quality metals listed above.
If you are wearing a hoop, take it out. You need to be wearing a stud, sister. One that has extra room for swelling- or this will continue to be angry. Hoops and healing/irritated piercings are FAR from friends. Hoops are commonly a direct cause of piercing pimples/irritation among many other issues.
The next step after ensuring you are wearing the right jewelry, is warm Sea Salt soaks and taking Ibuprofen orally for a few days (always read the instructions on the bottle, you should not deviate from these)!
Aftercare is very important. You MUST follow the instructions given to you by your piercer (you can contact us for instructions as well if you are unsure). Cleaning your piercing with the wrong products and in the wrong way (or not enough) WILL cause numerous issues to arise. Also, do not sleep on your piercing!
For Sea Salt soaks..
Dissolve 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon (.75 to 1.42 grams) of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt (no other form of salt is acceptable) into one cup (8 oz / 250 ml) of warm distilled or bottled water, not tap water! A stronger mixture is not better as a solution that is too hypertonic (strong) can irritate the piercing. Use a clean cup or shot glass, whichever is easiest for you, and completely submerge the piercing/area in the solution. Soak the area for roughly 5 minutes. Dry the area with a Q-Tip or cotton pad. Do not leave your piercing wet. This should be done twice per day for 10-14 days.
This is your starting point. If this combination of things does not work, there are other options available to try. Make sure you keep in touch with your Piercer. When in doubt, pay them a visit in person. It is always much easier for us to help you and evaluate the situation when we can look at it.
In conclusion, it is not infected. It's irritated.
** You should never go against the advice given to you by trained and licensed medical professionals. The above information is only a guideline based on years of professional experience in the body piercing industry.**
- Sea Dawne
Luar Body Piercing