Dear Alley is our weekly advice column for pierced, inked, and amazing individuals (and everyone else too!) who might need a nudge in the right direction. Relationships, mods, or whatever, Alley's got you covered :).
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Disclaimer: Body Candy is only here to give you fun and helpful advice and information when it comes to getting pierced. Always consult a professional piercer to make sure a new piercing is right for you!
Question for you. Over the years I’ve had several different piercings, body, surface and otherwise, and typically I have no problems. The only piercings that seem to cause me issue are my ears! Which I know for most people don’t cause any issue.
I try to do everything the ‘proper’ way and not touch them and use the sterile solution (not harsh alcohol or peroxide) and they still always seem to have a difficult time healing and frequently get swollen, etc. Do you think I just have sensitive ears? I always make sure I use real metals (stainless, silver or gold).
I want to get a couple cute cartilage piercings, but I just get so afraid that they won’t heal right. For some reason I’m a baby when it comes to ear pain!
I appreciate your help and any insight you can provide! (:
Alley: Hey Taylor!
Hmmm, very interesting... Ears are typically really easy to heal up. It seems like you're practicing good aftercare. You're avoiding harsh chemicals and practicing the LITHA method (leaving it the hell alone, haha). You're definitely speaking my language!
First and foremost, I'm not a professional piercer or a doctor - they are the first people you should consult if you ever have any pain, discomfort, strange smells, or discharge in your piercings. With that being said, I DO think you might have a sensitivity to certain materials.
While stainless steel, silver, and gold might work for some people, there's really no such thing as a "hypoallergenic" piece of jewelry. In your case, I think what you're really looking for is a material that is as inert as possible. Here's a few of my favorite inert materials.
1.) Bioplast - bioplast is a super cool material - it was invented for use in medical practice, which means it's super durable, super flexible, and can be sterilized in an autoclave. The nice thing about bioplast cartilage studs is that they are usually push-pin style - in other words, they don't look like clear plastic studs. Check some options out here.
2.) Titanium - if bioplast just isn't your thing, I think titanium is your next best bet. Titanium is one of the most inert metals, and if plain silver isn't your thing, you can always choose a vibrant anodized color! Just make sure you're getting anodized titanium, and not another metal.
It's worth saying again - if you do decide to get a cartilage piercing, be open and honest with your piercer about your struggles with ear sensitivity. Any pro piercer will want you to be happy with their handiwork, so they will help you make a decision that works best for you and your body... Good luck Taylor!
I’ve had my industrial for a little over 4 months now and I still have piercing bumps, I clean it multiple times everyday but they aren’t seeming to go away at all...
Do you have any tips??
Alley: Hi Olivia!
Industrial bars are really tricky to heal up. Since you've only had it for four months, you're only about 1/3 of the way through your healing process... So you still have quite a ways to go! Before you get nervous about losing your mod or that your bumps are never going to go away, keep these things in mind:
1.) Clean it once a day - I noticed you said you're cleaning it multiple times a day... While this might seem like the best option, you really only need to clean your piercings once (maximum twice) per day. Even though you're being gentle, this is still poking and prodding at an irritated wound, which could certainly be contributing to your nagging bumps.
2.) No unnecessary pressure - do you wear hats? Do you like hoods, beanies, headbands, or otherwise? Are you sleeping on it? Any extra pressure you could be putting on your industrial could be irritating it quite a bit. Try sleeping on the opposite side while your industrial bar continues to heal, this could certainly be contributing to your discomfort.
3.) Leave it alone - other than the cleaning once-per-day, avoid messing with your piercing at all. If you have long hair, try to keep your hair away from it. No bumps, snags, or pulls with any clothing. Honestly, any extra touching on this piercing is going to prolong your bumps.
Realistically Olivia, you've got about 8 months left of full blown healing before your industrial is totally healed up... So be gentle with it as it continues to heal and be as patient as possible... It will be worth it in the long run!
My piercer is still not open and I'm not sure what size jewelry to get for my daith piercings. What do I do?
Alley: Hey Regina!
The current COVID situation has certainly complicated things for piercers, no arguments there... Unfortunately, that also affects people who want to not only get pierced, but simply have questions about switching out their jewelry! It's smart that you wanted to contact a professional piercer about this, but I think I have a good answer for you.
Luckily, daith piercings usually only come in two different gauges - 16g and 18g. For those who may not know, the "gauge" of a jewelry is the thickness of the metal itself. The higher the gauge, the smaller the jewelry - in this case, an 18g daith earring would be a smaller piece of jewelry than a 16g daith earring.
You could always measure your jewelry by using some calipers or by taking a piece of string, wrapping it around the metal, and measuring how long the string is... But if that seems like too much of a hassle for you, I'd venture that you're probably a 16g in size (most daiths are) and that you'd be safe getting an earring of that size.
If you're concerned about a 16g daith ring not fitting, the smaller 18g size will fit in your current piercing hole. Hope this helps!