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Question: VCH Piercing Secretions
March 30th, 2011
I received this message from a woman who was concerned about her new VCH piercing:
I got my VHC piercing done 4 days ago. I made sure and went with a APP here in Madison Wisconsin. I just want to make sure he did a good job. I'm new to this and i've been reading your articles and have been gaining some knowledge. I'm just a little worry because i have been having some pain, which is minor. Today i realize some yellowesh stain on my panties. Is this normal? I been cleaning the piercing twice a day with an Antimicrobial Lotion Soap i bought in that same shop. If you can please respond to me and let me know your opinion it will be very helpful. Thank you for your time.(: P.
Your piercing looks great! The piercer did a good job. Some discharge from a new piercing is perfectly normal. Here's a brief section from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing, about the piercing you can expect from your piercing:
Normal Piercing Secretions
During stage one, as a response to the injury just hours after piercing, an inflammatory serous exudate (red and white blood cells, blood proteins, and other components) fills the wound to help with clotting, prevent infection, and begin the repair process.
During much of the healing course, it is normal to experience “crusties,” a non-medical term used to describe the dried discharge of serous exudates (lymph, dead cells, and interstitial fluid [liquid from between cells]) that comes from a healing piercing. A small amount of clear or straw-colored fluid seeps from the channel, dries, and forms a bit of crust on your jewelry and the tissue around the openings of your piercing. Never pick at it with dirty fingers!
This secretion is distinguished from pus, which is a yellowish-white, thick, often foul-smelling fluid. It is made up primarily of white blood cells, bacteria, and dead cells. Pus is secreted in response to inflammation or infection. You may see a small amount early in the initial stage due to inflammation; after that, this is not a normal piercing secretion. Compounds produced by certain microbes cause it to have a yellowish, grayish, or greenish appearance. Colored pus is indicative of infection.
Sebum is a substance from your oil glands that collects in healed piercing chan- nels. It is a naturally occurring product of the body, containing fat, keratin (a fibrous protein), and cellular material.3 The purpose of sebum is to protect your skin and hair, keep it moisturized, and to inhibit the growth of microorganisms on the skin. People sometimes mistake it for pus, but it is more solid and cheeselike and has a distinctive rotten odor that reflects the dead cellular debris it contains.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Elayne Angel, Author
The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing
Medical Liaison, Association of Professional Piercers