Prince Albert Problem (with photos)
I recently got a message from a man who was having some trouble with his Prince Albert piercing:
Thanks for the great site, and your book.
I got a PA 5 weeks ago, ¾” inch captive ball stainless steal ring, 8g. I am uncircumcised. Placement etc. was fine, but it soon became clear that the ring was a wee bit too small in diameter and causing pain during erections. On the advice of my piercer I waited a few weeks to have it changed, he felt it might mostly be initial swelling and he was reluctant to swap out jewelry too soon. I eventually, at 3 weeks in, had the ring changed to a 7/8” which seems to be the perfect size. After-care throughout has been washing with mild soap once/day, and 2 or 3 sea-salt soaks per day. I also put a small dab of emu oil on after the soaks.
Problem: about a week ago I developed a bump along the edge of the piercing hole. It is not warm or red, looks like a small blister, no hint of puss or other fluids. It is about 1mm thick, and goes around about ¼ of the circumference of the piercing. No signs of infection etc., but this "blister" is very sensitive, feels like being poked with a needle every time anything touches it. Otherwise the PA is pain-free, but that one tiny bump is certainly hurting!
Possible complications is that I’ve had the flu for a few days, so my immune system is no doubt busy. I’m also a cyclist and have been biking to work (the bus got too expensive). While I did take two weeks off the bike after getting pierced and felt no pain or discomfort while cycling, I may have added insult to injury.
What do you think this painful little bugger is? Other than the warm soaks and staying off the bike, any advice for getting rid of it, or at least making it less painful?
Thanks for your help! I’d like Mr. Happy to stop being Mr. Ouchy!
Sounds like your care routine is excellent.
Are you able to send me a clear, close up photo or two? That might be helpful to me.
A 7/8" ring may be the diameter you need, but it could be rather heavy on a piercing that new. You may need to swap to a curved barbell, which will be lighter in weight, and subject to less trauma than a ring. I'd avoid balls that are very large to keep it in the category of lighter and less intrusive.
And it may be a combo of your weakened immune system coupled with the trauma of returning to the bicycle.
Be gentle! : )
These are two pics snapped right when I got home from work - so in theory the piercing should be as unhappy as it will get. I notice that it is weeping a bit of lymph fluid. There is no pain other than when the raised lip is touched directly. Sorry one is a bit misfocussed, it's remarkably hard to photograph the underside of your own penis while holding a heavy camera in one hand!
Any recommendations would be appreciated.
If the jewelry fits properly and you aren't causing trauma to the area with your clothing or other activities then….
Something that concerns me is the finish of your jewelry. It doesn't appear to have a high-shine, mirror finish. See image left, and compare with your jewelry. If the jewelry finish is porous, that could cause tissue damage and result in the build of up scar tissue you seem to be experiencing.
This is an excerpt from my book, The Piercing Bible: Finish and Polish
To be safe for healing, metal body jewelry must have a mirror finish—a high-shine, super-smooth surface. Wearing body jewelry that has nicks, burrs, tooling marks, or scratches can cause severe complications. When jewelry has an uneven surface, the new cells that are formed during healing grow into the irregularities. Then, when the jewelry shifts or moves, these areas tear. As this cycle is repeated, scar tissue forms and healing is delayed. A faulty finish can also introduce bacteria into the wound and cause infection.
Also from what I can see in the photos, it doesn't appear that you have a webbed frenum, in which case, I was wondering why the piercing was positioned so far off to the side? Maybe I don't have a picture of enough of the area to see the whole area properly, but that's my impression from what I could see. Is it possible you're experiencing excess trauma simply by wearing a complete circle when the entry of the piercing doesn't line up well with your urethra?