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 :).
Do you have a question for Alley, submit it to DearAlley@bodycandy.com for your chance to get featured!
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!
Dear Alley ,
I have a industrial piercing and a nose piercing, I’ve had them for a year now. My industrial piercing still hurts if anything touches it or whatever and I have three (3) small keloids on my ear. How can I get rid of them? I clean my ear with solution and they go away and still comes back after while. Same as my nose, it goes away but comes back if I put on makeup, touch it, or if it gets caught on some thing it almost comes out!! What can I do the get rid of the keloids??
Please help I really don’t want to have to take them out?? I wanna buy more jewelry but why would I buy it if Ima still have keloids :(
Alley: Hey Tara!
My biggest concern here - what kind of jewelry are you wearing? Don't get me wrong! With fresh or healing piercings, you're going to have sensitivities... Especially if you're bumping them; injuring them; sleeping on them; or putting any undue stress on them (hats, hoods, headwear, etc). My concern is, after a year, you shouldn't be in this much physical pain.
It sounds to me like you might not have the proper jewelry in. I'd definitely suggest finding an APP piercing parlor if you can, or make arrangements with a trusted, reputable piercer. Let them check out your piercing in-person to make sure there's no issues. If there's nothing wrong with your piercing other than a bit of irritation, they may suggest a jewelry material that's a bit more "inert" or "biocompatible" like anodized titanium or bioplast.
Lastly, I want to make a quick distinction - it sounds like you have a "fluid bump" and not a keloid. Keloids don't go away without serious medical attention, whereas a fluid bump (aka a hypertrophic scar) is soft, fluid-filled, and temporary. For more information on keloids vs. piercing bumps, check out this blog here.
Until you get to your piercer, no bumps; snags; sleeping-on; poking or prodding; or messing with your industrial in any way. Keep it clean once-per-day with a saline spray and practice good general hygiene... Otherwise - Leave it the heck alone!
I've had my nipples pierced for two months now, I keep cleaning them every day but they still get infected. My body likes to reject my piercings... When do I know that I have to remove ‘em ? Any advice?
Alley: Hi Audrey!
First, I'd like to say that two (2) months is very early into your piercing experience! Nipple piercings often take up to a full year to heal completely... So it's normal that you're experiencing a bit of irritation.
There's a big difference between normal irritation and an actual piercing infection. Signs of infection include: redness; excess pain; the piercing hole growing in size; your jewelry moving or sitting differently in your piercing; yellow or greenish discharge; or a smell.
If you think you have an infection - I absolutely think you should go talk to a piercer! Find a trusted professional piercer in your area and have them take a look at your piercings. Be open and honest with them about your symptoms and what you've been experiencing. Let them help you come up with a plan for keeping your piercings, or, trust them to tell you when it's time to let your piercings go. It may just be an issue with what kind of jewelry material/type of jewelry you are wearing as well!
Until then, I'm going to give you the same advice as I did for Tara above! Keep practicing good aftercare with saline spray once a day. Keep yourself showered and clean, but avoid putting any soaps or topicals on your piercings. Other than that. LEAVE. YOUR. PIERCINGS. ALONE. Give them some room and attention to heal and you'll (hopefully) be feeling better in no time.
I had gauged ears (sizes 16 18 and even a 14 here and there) for several years in my ear lobes and had recently went to regular earrings. My question is, why does the back of my ear lobe itch just on the right side to the point it causes the right side of my face to go numb?
I have seen doctors and they gave ruled out anything life threatening and can't find a cause for it. Can the switch from gauged ears to regular piercings cause damage that I'm unaware of? Thanks for your help.
Alley: Hey Kasey!
I just want to say right away that I am not a piercing professional, so my thoughts should only be taken as a starting point. If a doctor doesn't know what could be happening here, I'm honestly not sure the next steps for you to take.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I've never heard of anything like that... And while I think itching is completely "normal" with most new piercings, there's nothing I can think of that would be causing any sort of numbness in your face.
My best advice is to make sure you are keeping your jewelry and piercing sites clean. Practice good hygiene and aftercare, especially on the side of your face that you're experiencing itching. A saline spray once a day should do the trick.
Finally, just like Tara and Audrey above, I think it's time that you go talk to a professional piercer. Be open and honest with your piercer about your numbness and itchiness. It could be that your body just isn't agreeing with the jewelry you have in... Maybe the piercer has had a customer who has had a similar problem!