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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I got both my nipples done back in February, they healed really well but the right one seems to be struggling now. I didn’t change my bars till recently within the last two weeks. I was pierced with bars not hoops which I’ve been told is unusual and harder to heal. I did have a reduction in May 2019 and the right nipple was harder to pierce the left no problem no pain.
I realize you’re not a doctor, but could the reduction scar tissue be an issue with the right nipple and its up and down healing issues?
Also, what would you recommend to use to help the healing? I do use saline water to clean them.
Thanks for any help or ideas.
Alley: Hey Charity!
Congrats on your new piercings! This is certainly an interesting case... I do want to reiterate that I am not a doctor and that my advice is no substitute for a medical consultation or an in-person appointment with a pro piercer. Here's what I think:
I'm answering this question in August, so it's been approximately six (6) months since your piercing in February. Nipple piercings take a while to heal - often up to a year to be fully healed up. Even though your nipple piercings might look and feel healed on the outside of the piercing, they could very well still be healing inside of the piercing. I think that most of your irritation is probably due to swapping out your piercing just a little bit too soon.
I do want to quickly say that it is not abnormal to be pierced with barbells (they have lesser risk of snags), so I don't think that's your issue. And while, yes, your scar tissue could contribute to some complications here, it seems like you weren't having as much of an issue before you swapped out your jewelry. My best guess is that swapping your jewelry irritated the inside of your piercing that was still healing, and now your right nipple is being a little sassy in response.
For now, try to give your right nipple some space to heal back up. Be careful not to bump, snag, or place any unnecessary pressure on your irritated nipple. Try not to sleep on your stomach or on your side if it puts any stress on your nipple. Last but not least, clean it once per day with a gentle saline soak... Depending on your anatomy, sometimes a shot glass works wonders for this!
One last time: if your nipple piercing starts to really hurt; turns excessively red; starts to ooze or smell; or develops any other medical condition that makes you do a double take - it's time to head to your professional piercer to see what they have to say.
I got a belly piercing 4 weeks ago. Around the top ball that’s touching my skin, the skin peeled and in a small spot at the top is red, like the skin is being extremely agitated.
I clean twice [a day] with medicated saline and a protective barrier of neosporin, but the red skin isn’t healing. It doesn’t look infected, but just worried 😧.
Happy Bday as well! ❤️
Alley: Hi Ashley!
Thanks for the b-day wishes :)
In terms of your belly ring - a little bit of irritation is normal. It could be that your body is experiencing a bit of sensitivity to whatever sort of material your jewelry is made of. It could be that your jewelry is a little small for the piercing itself. It's hard to know without seeing an actual picture of the piercing itself.
More importantly, I noticed that you've been putting Neosporin on the piercing. I do not recommend putting anything petroleum-based on your piercing (this includes Neosporin, Bacitracin, antibiotic ointments, or Vaseline). Creams/ointments made with petroleum do not allow any oxygen to get to your piercing... Believe it or not, your piercings need to breathe!
I do recommend using a gentle salt soak on your piercings, but not more than twice a day. As far as medicated saline spray - I'm not sure what is in that formula, but a bit of homemade salt water is a good enough solution to use on your mods! Keep it free of debris and crusty material, but if you clean it so much that you dry out your piercing, that might cause some of the peeling you described above.
I had gotten my daith pierced back on the first week in January. I have cleaned like I was supposed to and everything. It keeps crust on it and it drains. Sometimes it’s drains yellowish stuff and some days it’s extremely sore and some days it won’t even hurt. It also has little balls that pop up around it on top and bottom.
Do you know what’s going on or what I’m doing wrong?
Alley: Hey Kayla!
Congratulations on your new cartilage piercing!
Since I'm answering this question in August - it's been about 8 months since you've gotten your piercing... Even so, cartilage piercings almost always take a full year for them to be fully healed. They're really tricky to heal and can be very fussy throughout the process, so don't be discouraged.
My best advice in this situation is to avoid any unnecessary stress on your ear. This means avoiding headphones, hoods, hats, beanies, or anything that might put pressure on that side of your head. Are you a side sleeper? Sleeping on the side of your piercing is a surefire way to prolong your piercing process.
One last thing: masks can put a lot of stress on your ears as well. If you are someone who wears masks often, you might want to look into different options (like wrapping the masks around your hairstyle, or other creative solutions).
Cleaning gently once per day with a salt solution is one of the best ways to take care of your piercing. If you are avoiding all of these stresses, cleaning consistently, and practicing good general hygiene, and you're still experiencing bumps and discharge, it might be a good time to head back to your professional piercer for an in-person consult.