Like any intervention in the body, there are Piercing-leaves-behind-consequences, sometimes in the form of a lump, inflammation, keloid, and even an abscess. No more than 1/5 of the owners of punctures face moderate complications, and only 3% have severe conditions. While the chances are slim, it’s best to know ahead of time about the risks and ways to prevent them.
This article will be helpful for those who have not yet decided on piercing and those who have had a bad experience and are worried about why the puncture does not heal as it should.
Allergy to earrings and medicines
Sometimes the cause of a local reaction to piercings is an allergy: most often, nickel causes it, but occasionally surgical steel also suffers from this. Also, a response may occur not to jewelry but to disinfecting and healing drugs that you use.
The area around the hole may be red, rash, and itchy. Allergic dermatitis differs from other types of complications in that it does not have an increase in temperature, separation of pus, and other signs of infection. But scratching the piercing with dirty hands can lead to disease and infection. Therefore, one should not hope that the phenomenon will pass by itself.
The first step is to understand what exactly triggered the reaction. If you have nickel earrings, then most likely they are to blame for the allergies. Ask your piercer to replace them with more inert retainers such as titanium or silicone retainers. It is highly discouraged to change jewelry in a fresh wound on your own: you can damage the tissue or introduce bacteria.
Also, try changing your treatment and using it a little less often, mainly if you have applied diligently at every opportunity before. If the allergy around the puncture persists or causes severe discomfort that causes you to constantly scratch and touches your ear, eyebrow, or other parts of your body, you can take medication. The antihistamines will relieve the condition and will not cause side effects when taken as directed.
Puncture inflammation and infection
When bacteria enter the wound, an infection can begin to develop. Moreover, this can happen both immediately after the procedure and after several weeks or even months, especially if the earring often clings to clothes or hair, as well as with poor hygiene.
Signs of a developing infection:
- piercing takes a long time to heal;
- the skin is reddened, warm to the touch, painful;
- there is a seal inside;
- purulent discharge of yellow, gray, greenish color;
- there is a throbbing, pain;
- the temperature rises, the lymph nodes increase.
All of the listed signs are not always noted, but a combination of even two or three should be a reason for a visit to the piercer for a consultation.
What not to do if you suspect an infection:
- removing the decoration is fraught with overgrowing of the hole, and there will be nowhere for pus to go out;
- take antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription;
- trying to squeeze out pus;
- take painkillers in the hope that they will go away on their own.
With some types of punctures, the typical healing symptoms are similar to infection – swelling, redness, soreness, and fluid production. Only a piercer or a doctor can distinguish a standard process from a pathological one, so do not delay visiting him.
He will tell you how to take care of the sore spot, what medications to take, what ointments or solutions to apply to the puncture. Be sure to follow his recommendations. If you start the development of infection, then an abscess and even phlegmon can form – an extensive purulent lesion of the subcutaneous adipose tissue.
Lump near the puncture
Sometimes a tiny lump or pea-shaped seal with a diameter of about 5 mm forms at the puncture site. These are the so-called granuloma, that is, an area of overgrowing cells. Most often, such a lump occurs near an ear piercing or navel, as well as near a lip piercing. Humidity, lack of air access, inadequate hygiene, injuries – all this provokes granulomas. To get rid of them, you can use creams, including hormonal ones, as well as baths and compresses. All this is prescribed by the doctor or recommended by the professional who performed the procedure.
If the lump has a purulent head, it may be folliculitis – inflammation of the hair follicle. Do not open it yourself – consult a doctor or a technician. Such pimples can pass and appear again. As their prevention during the period when the skin is healthy, you can do a light massage.
Sometimes it is difficult to understand what exactly you have – a granuloma, a scar, a subcutaneous abscess, or ordinary edema, which will then go away.
Post-piercing scar or keloid scar
Usually, the puncture site is soft, the same color as the skin around it, without seals. But sometimes, a scar begins to form – a rough tissue, dense to the touch and noticeable due to the color difference. Such a scar after piercing can protrude above the skin and spoil the aesthetics.
In some cases, a keloid scar may occur – this is a scar that looks like growth, is larger than the piercing area, protrudes significantly above the skin’s surface, and feels like tough tissue. Some people are more prone to the appearance of keloids after punctures or injuries – it is worth asking your parents if they have encountered such a phenomenon.
If the healing stage is already behind, and you want to smooth out the scar on the piercing, then do not expect a quick result. Any creams, physiotherapy, and hardware cosmetology have a cumulative effect and require regular repeated use. Your piercer or attending physician will advise you on the specific method.
What to do if earrings are ingrown
An ingrown piercing is not only ugly but also dangerous. Only a professional or surgeon can remove a stuck earring. Better to prevent this phenomenon:
- the procedure must be performed in the correct technique;
- the decoration should correspond in size to this particular type of puncture;
- it is essential to keep cleanliness;
- if you notice that the jewelry is sinking under the skin, you need to show yourself to the professional.
What to do if an earring falls out
In some cases, piercing migration may begin, that is, a reduction in the distance between the puncture points or between the puncture point and the edge of the body section. If, after a puncture, you ignore migration, one day you will find that the earring fell out. It is better not to wait for this, but to contact the piercer to help stop the migration – change the decoration or advise on caring for the vulnerable area.
Is there a risk of swallowing the tongue wrap from the piercing?
If you have a tongue piercing, make sure that the wrap is not loose and is always firmly screwed to the barbell. Otherwise, you may swallow the ball. Did the trouble happen? Do not despair: most likely, cheating will come out naturally without causing harm. Replace the jewelry and continue to make sure that all parts fit tightly. If you feel pain after swallowing a part, notice blood in your stools, or other warning signs, see a doctor.
All of these complications and problematic piercing healing scenarios occur in only a tiny percentage of people. To further reduce the risk of their occurrence, we advise:
- Carefully study the description of any puncture and its possible consequences;
- Do the procedure only with a trusted professional in a good salon;
- Follow the recommendations of the piercer and adequately care for the procedure site;
- Choose high-quality jewelry made of titanium and other inert hypoallergenic materials;
- Observe personal hygiene, wash hands more often.
If healing or already healed puncture worries you, call the professional: it is better to play it safe than to face serious consequences later.