Frenum Healing Problems

I received a message from a man who was experiencing healing problems with a new frenum piercing:

Dear Elayne,

I'd like your input on a piercing.  I got a 8g frenum piercing done 3 weeks ago by a fairly reputable piercer in Washington DC.  I had some personal references and saw some of her work.  

In any event, I have been having some healing problems.  While the marking was spot on, once the piercing was done it was slightly crooked.  That wasn't much of an issue for me, but the bigger issue was that one side (the exit side) appears to have been done shallow.  Looking at the piercing, the side that is healing fine you cannot see an outline of the piercing, but on the "bad" side it seems like the bar passes close to the surface for the last 1/8 inch or so before it exits.  From the first day it was pierced you could see an outline of the bar (as if about a 2-3mm tube of skin was surrounding the bar just before it exited), and the skin has since the day it was pierced felt taut there.  A few days later it was raw around the outside of that side while rest of the piercing felt fine.  That side has in the past few days taken to crusting and emitting a lot of milky goo when I give it salt soaks (2x daily since I got the piercing).  It also has started to feel a little prickly (a pinching sensation every now and then).

The little red area by the silver ball end is the skin area that has always felt taut/raw.  I have also tried to show how the area behind/around the "bad" side looks.

Besides the regular see salt regimen, I have tried vitamin E and switching to a larger ball (the blue one) on the opposite end of the bar in the hopes of taking pressure off of the irritated area.

Is this piercing too thin on the one side?  Is it going to (or in the process of) migrating out?  Would emu oil or some other type of hydrating and skin flexibility enhancer help out?

Thanks,

N

Frenum healing trouble Frenum healing trouble, side

Frenum healing trouble, close-up

My response:

Thanks for your message and your payment for the consult, N.

What sort of soap product are you using on the area (1x daily?) You may want to review my suggestions to make sure you're doing everything properly. Even a slight deviation from the guidelines may result in inferior healing:

Aftercare: http://piercingbible.com/piercing-care

Saline soaks: http://piercingbible.com/saline-soaks

I can definitely see what you're talking about. Nobody can say for sure whether it is salvageable, but since the jewelry is in place, I think it is worth a try to keep it in and see what measures you can take to facilitate healing.

I would definitely suggest you try some emu oil. It is very hydrating and moisturizing, and there is speculation about some capacity to diminish tissue thinning/cause tissue thickening. 

I'd advise you to use it 2-3 times daily. Did you see this page about it on my site or in my book? http://piercingbible.com/emu-oil

If anything is going to help, that would be the stuff. I'd get some quick! 

Should that reddened area of tissue become thinner or "disappear" then I would suggest you remove the jewelry ASAP.

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

Dealing with Rejection and Migration

When your jewelry moves closer to the surface or your tissue gets narrower between the openings of a piercing, you are experiencing migration. The piercing may move only a little and then settle and stay in a different position. For safety and longevity, a piercing should have at least

5/16 inch (almost 8 mm) of tissue between the entrance and exit holes. If your piercing is narrower than that, there is a strong possibility you will lose it.

Don’t allow jewelry to come all the way through to the surface or an unsightly split scar will often remain (unless you undergo plastic surgery). Also, future repiercing could be more difficult if you permit the jewelry to be completely expelled from your body.

A body piercing should be abandoned if the tissue between the entry and exit progressively gets smaller or thinner over time and any of the following happen:

The skin between the openings is flaking and peeling, red and inflamed, or hard and calloused-looking.

You have less than 1/4 inch of tissue between the openings.

Just a thin filament of nearly transparent tissue is left, and you can virtually see the jewelry right through your skin. 

Let me know if you have additional questions.