Self-Performed PA (Prince Albert) Male Genital Piercing

I received a message from a man who had questions about the healing progress of his self-performed Prince Albert piercing:

Hi Elayne,

First of all, thank you for maintaining such a wonderful and informative website.  If only all interests had such a great resource online...

I'm writing today about a PA that I've had for about five weeks now that is still giving me some trouble.  A little bit of background on the piercing. I have to start out by telling you that it IS self-done.  I know I know... but to allay concerns as best as I can I took all precautions one can at home short of creating a sterile field, I used a sterilized needle and sterilized jewelry with clean hands and gloves.  I also didn't go this route out of being cheap or anything either (I've payed for piercings in the past plenty of times), I had a real desire to do this one myself and accepted all the risks and consequences of my actions!  That's actually not my question though, but may factor into your response.

Basically, my piercing is still just about as sore as the second or third week of having and has shown little change over the last two-three weeks.  There is also still some discharge from it and what appears to be some scarring or swelling on the glans-side of hole.  When I have an erection it is the most sore, and this is especially a problem when sleeping, where I have little to no control.  My question is basically, is the piercing fundamentally flawed (poor placement, etc.) and needs to be removed and redone, or do I just need to be more careful with it and give it more time?

Twice Rejected Navel Piercing

I received a message from a woman who wanted to try another navel piercing after two rejections: 

Hello there, hope all is well. I am currently 27 years old and had my navel pierced when I was 17 and again when I was 19. Both times I kept the piercing in for over a year, cleaning and treating it, but it would not heal (and kept cycling between infected and not infected). I’m left with this horrid scar and I’m getting an itch to pierce it again. I’d only do it if I knew of a material that my body wouldn’t reject, but I don’t. Clearly “surgical steel” isn’t working. I’m assuming it’s the nickel in it.  

Scarred Navel - standing view

I don't know if the piercers were members of the APP. However I can tell you that I first got pierced in May 2003, took it out (due to it not healing, keloids forming, and constantly having to treat it) in Jan 2004. When I went to get it re-pierced in June 2004, the piercer told me that the previous guy didn’t take enough skin when he pierced me, thus it was too far out and refused to heal. However, the same thing happened with this piercing, and thus I took it out about 8-10 months after that.

BOTH piercings were done with externally threaded surgical steel. 

The area does not fold in when I sit, however I do remember the jewelry getting caught onto my jeans a lot when I sat/stood. Of course I tried to avoid that as much as possible, but sometimes I’d forget.

Scarred Navel - sitting view

Forward Helix Healing Help

I received a message from a woman who was concerned about her new Forward Helix piercing:

Hi there! I got my forward helix and snug done on February 5th and the healing for the forward helix isn't going as smoothly as I'd planned. I have several other ear piercings but this one feels sore, hurts to smile or move my mouth, and has blood crusties coming out. My piercer used a hoop instead of a barbell for the jewelry, could that be the source of my problem? The snug is healing beautifully with no problems and I have my industrial in the other ear which gave me no problems as well.

If the cause of the problem is from the hoop, would it be safe to change it right away then?

Forward Helix healing

Hello.

The piercing is still brand new; you need to give it a little time to settle in. Blood and secretions aren't indicative of any problem at this stage, and neither is discomfort or even pain. 

I have put hoops in on many occasions in that location and everything has healed up just fine. I think you need to just give it some time (assuming the jewelry is high quality). The fit looks appropriate, and so the initial jewelry should be left in for at least a few months before changing it.

Is My Navel Piercing Okay?

I received a message from a woman who was concerned about her navel piercing:

Yesterday was my 3 month mark with my navel piercing. I've been through hell and back with this thing but I am not giving up!!! I adore this piercing and I don't want to take it out!

I got a granuloma on the bottom hole of my piercing about a month ago. It's healing, slowly but surely. I apply tea tree oil to it 2-3 times a day and it has decreased in size.

Lately I have noticed my bar hanging out a bit more. I know that usually happens since the piercing bars are longer to accommodate for swelling of the piercing. However, I am worried it is hanging too much. I have seen pictures on Google of navel piercings that look much, much shallower than mine. I still have quite a thick amount of skin in between my balls. The reason for my concern is that right behind my top hole, there is a purple dot. I am wondering if that is where my hole used to be and it is moving?

Should I put in a smaller bar? I think I may have a little scratch on the bottom of my bar, but I can't quite tell...maybe you can?

Thanks for your help!!!

Healing Navel piercing with burdensome jewelry.Healing Navel piercing shows purple tissue that is normal.

 

My response:

The piercing looks quite normal for its age, and there is an appropriate amount of tissue between the entry and exit holes.

The darkened appearance can be perfectly routine during healing.

This is from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:

Healing A Lip Piercing

I received a message from someone who got a lip piercing and was concerned about how it was healing:

Hi! 8 days ago I got my lip pierced professionally. I was pierced with the standard gauge at 16g stud. My cleaning regimen goes like this: Every morning after my first smoke and breakfast, I brush my teeth, do a 50/50 mouthwash with water and Listerine, and clean the outside with antibacterial soap. When I get out of the shower I do a sea-salt soak for 3-5 minutes depending on how it feels. These actions are per my piercer. After I eat or smoke I swish sea-salt water. I do the morning regimen before bed, skipping the last sea-salt soak.  My problem resides on the inside of my lip where the back of the stud sits against my lip. I'm trying not to panic, but I am known to overcook things when I notice something weird going on on/in my body. What I SEE looks like a small mound of scar tissue; it's not very red and there is no leakage other than small amounts of lymph. I should tell you that this scar tissue (or whatever it might be) is aiding in the back of the stud leaving a mark where it sits. What I FEEL is a small lump under the skin just next to my piercing. If I show anyone what I am feeling, they would not see it as it is impossible to see under the scar tissue. It worries me because I don't want to take it out or get rid of it. It looks pretty and I love it. I wouldn't think it is because my long stud is too short because it sticks out a ways in front.

Navel Nightmare

I received a message from a piercee who was concerned about her severely troubled navel piercing:

Hi,

I've had a belly piercing since sept 2011 and it has refused to heal. At first, I thought it was because I hadnt changed the ring, but then I did n it became worse. I dont know what 2 do, n I dont want 2 take it off cos I've grown accustomed to it. Bt now it brings out yellow pus, n it itches n looks like its about to fall off. Please what do I do? And if push comes to shove and I have to take it off, when it heals, can I get another piercing? Thanks a lot And I also want to know if I cn repierce it after it heals if I unfortunately have to take it off. Thank you very much.

Navel piercing in distress.Navel piercing in distress.Navel piercing in distress.

My reply:

You're having a serious problem there. I believe part of it is from poor quality jewelry, and part of it is that your piercing is too shallow. It is clearly on its way out.

I HIGHLY suggest you do some saline soaks to foster drainage. You don't want to trap any infection inside when you abandon the piercing.

Information on saline soaks is here: http://piercingbible.com/saline-soaks

Nipple Piercing Migration

I received a message from a piercee who was concerned about her nipple piercing, which appeared to be migrating:

Hey. 

I had both nipples done back in August. The one had to be removed about 3 months later because of rejection and now I think the other is doing the same. 

I have been under a lot of stress but I'm just not sure. It's not in the same place anymore.

Nipple piercing showing migration, front view.Migrating nipple piercing, side view

 

My reply:

Yes, sorry-that does appear to be migration.

Did you use the same jewelry the first time? 

I noticed your jewelry appears to have a matte finish and that can cause problems, especially in a new/healing piercing. Initial jewelry should have a super-smooth, high polish mirror finish for safety. It is unclear whether the ring would have been wide enough for optimal safety when the piercing was new. The part of a ring that passes through the tissue should be relatively straight.

You should probably go ahead and remove that ring now to avoid further tissue damage.

 

 

 

Multiple Nipple Piercings

 

I received a message from a woman who was considering the possibility of having multiple nipple piercings:

So I got both my nipples pierced quite a while back. Because of my profession I can't get any visible piercings and I'm not quite ready yet to go into genital ones. So that's why I was thinking of getting my nipples pierced again

What are some of the perks and risks of getting additional nipple piercings? My piercings are also not horizontal, but diagonal. I let my piercer do this on purpose, for aesthetic reasons. Is it possible to put the second pair straight on there, so it makes a diagonal cross?

My reply:

Hi there,

To some extent your anatomy will determine appropriate (or possible) locations for added jewelry. If the second piercing would end up too close to the surface, or too far into the areola, those are potential issues. Also there's another consideration, depending on how much space you have, and therefore how much tissue is in between the jewelry: it can pinch on the interior. And, if the jewelry is quite close together, it is not uncommon that due to pressure, the skin in between thins and dissipates, and the jewelry rests metal to metal inside. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you experience discomfort from interior pinching. 

The drawing from my book, The Piercing Bible, shows the appearance of a double nipple piercing in an "iron cross" formation.

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