infections & keloid scars
There can be many reasons your piercing can get an infection. The main reason is poor aftercare. If you don’t look after your piercing properly then it’s likely to become problematic. Sometimes it can be a simple mistake such as having a spray tan and not cleaning it after or getting shampoo in it. These are quite common.
If you have a reaction to the jewellery this can cause infection-like symptoms. Please go back to your piercer to check it out. You may need your bar changing. Sometimes it can be down to the cleanliness of the studio. All clamps should be in sterile packets, these are to be opened in front of you. If they are already open when you go in, ask for a different one. The needles should also be in sterile single packets – again, if they are already open ask for a new one. The body piercer should wear gloves throughout the piercing.
If these rules aren’t followed, refuse your piercing.
signs of infection
If your piercing is hot to the touch, swollen, red, painful, itchy, has puss or another foul smelling fluid coming from it, it’s likely to be infected. DO NOT TAKE THE PIERCING OUT! This can be very dangerous. When the jewellery is in, it acts like a drain. Which means all the bad fluid can come out. If you take it out it’s very likely the infection will heal inside which can cause an abscess under the skin. This is bad and can require surgery.
If you have these symptoms, go to your GP for a course of antibiotics and back to your piercer to make sure the jewellery isn’t irritating the piercing or too tight from swelling. Keep the piercing dry and clean.
Piercings don’t tend to grow out, as long as they are pierced at the right depth. Surface piercings, skin divers and anchors are most common. Every one is different, some people can keep these in for years and years, but some may only last a few months this is more than likely down to your skin, not the way it’s been pierced.
Keloid scars are more common than people think. They can happen on any trauma to the body, such as a tattoo, operations, piercings and more.
Keloid scarring is a build up of scar tissue, they can grow quite large and require surgery if left untreated. However if you go back to your body piercer they should be able to sort it out for you. I find the following technique the best way:
You will need two asprin tablets. Crush it into a powder, mix it with a drop of hot salt water. Then mix it into a clumpy paste. Apply as much of the powder as you can to the lump (you will need to build up the powder a bit as it won't stick straight away).
Leave it on over night (if you need to, wear a plaster/dressing). Then the following morning, wash it off with warm salt water. Repeat again the following night. Do this every night for 5-7 days.
After you have finished 5-7 days of using the paste it should of got a lot smaller by this point. If it hasn’t, the jewellery may need to be changed. Don’t do it yourself – ask a professional to do it.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
If you can't take aspirin, or the aspirin paste doesn't get rid of it completely or doesn't work for you, You can try Apple cider vinegar. It is a very good and effective home remedy for keloids. It kills bacteria, minimizes redness and visibly reduces the size of the scar or gets rid of it (depending On how large it is)
Clean the affected area with water and mild soap. Dab the Apple cider vinegar with a cotton ball and apply directly to the keloid Massage gently and allow it to dry for 5 minutes To hasten the healing, do this several times a day for four weeks until the keloids reduce in size. Raw Apple cider vinegar can be used on the keloids. You can dilute it to half strength with water as it can cause stinging and irritation if the area is open/sore
Once the jewellery is changed and the lump is gone keep the area well moisurised with pure tea tree oil, this should help keep it at bay.
Although keloids can happen all over the body they are most common on cartilage piercings.
this is a keloid scar
One of this size can normally be treated by using the asprin paste (as mentioned above). Usually this will get rid of, or at least shrink it dramatically. If there is still a sign of the scar, pop in to see your body piercer, they can normally get rid of the last remaining bit.
another keloid scar
It has been left untreated and grown progressively from the first picture. One of this size will normally need minor surgery/laser treatment. Keloid scars can get even larger than this if left untreated. So get it treated as soon as possible before it gets out of hand.
This is an abscess that has healed inside a helix piercing. If you have an infection, you MUST leave the jewellery in place. This is because it acts like a drain and will let all of the bad stuff come out of the infected area. If you take it out it can heal the infection inside which can result in the picture above and result in requiring surgery. Please get a course of antibiotics from your GP to clear the infection.