saline soaks

Ear Piercing Problem

I received a message from a gal who was having problems with an ear piercing:


I can't get a good picture of the piercing so I'll try my best to describe the situation. I got my 4th piercing on my earlobe around the end of May 2012, and I think I may have created another hole next to the actual piercing. The piercing is probably around 90% healed; the front hole is healed and never bleeds, but the back hole (where the earring comes out of) is still healing and sometimes will bleed a tiny bit. I've been cleaning my piercing with salt water and anti bacterial soap, I have not used any creams or lotions on it, it does not hurt or ache and there is no pus. However, I think I may have poked another hole at the back of my ear when I pushed the earring back through the hole after I took it out to clean it. So now, I think I have one front hole, and two holes in the back. The earring can go through the front and out the back in two separate holes, and the two back holes are not connected. Something might have ripped on the inside of the piercing. I'm trying to close one of the holes, and the skin on the new one has already formed over but the area around it looks a bit red. Should I continue to clean it as I have been doing? Or should I get it checked out?

Any information would be helpful, thanks!

Hi there,

Your description is good, but I'm still not going to be able to offer thorough advice without seeing you, or at least a clear, close up photo or two.

Are you wearing body jewelry or a traditional earring? When you wear body jewelry there is NO REASON to take the jewelry out to clean it!

Emu Oil for Healing (and Stretching) Nipple and Genital Piercings

I recently received a great message from a gentleman who got his first piercings at age 50. He wrote to say how much he likes emu oil, and how well it worked on his piercings and stretches:

The Effects of Stress and Health Habits on Piercings

Hi Elayne,

This is the second time I've noticed this.  I've had a few piercings since I was young.  I got a batch of piercings a while ago and the old, established piercings started to ache and ooze along with the new piercings.  All seemed to be better and I got a few more piercings recently.  Now all of my piercings, including the last batch are sore and crusting.  Can my new piercings cause my older piercings to be irritated? Thanks, S.


Changing Barbells to Rings in Nipple Piercings

I received a message from a woman whose nipples I pierced and she had questions about changing the jewelry:

Hello Elayne! I got my nipples pierced by you last year when you were at Obscurities, Dallas. I just want to let you know that this is my favorite piercing yet! They healed so beautifully! So after a year I was wondering if getting my jewelry changed to rings instead of barbells would be possible. If I did do the jewelry change (meaning I got to a piercer to get them changed, I'm kinda chicken in that situation) would my nipples once again become tender as they get used to the new jewelry? I still clean them daily. Your input would mean a lot to me! Thank you again for everything you have done! S.

Septum Piercing Questions

I received a question about a tender septum piercing:

Hi Elayne,
I have had my septum pierced for three months. i am having issues with it. There is no discharge from it or crusties on the jewelry but it is very tender to the touch and very difficult when cleaning to start rotating the jewelry.

Thanks! T.

Hi T.,

Question About a Bleeding VCH Piercing

I received this message through the contact page:

I got a VCH piercing 3 days ago by a very well known/good place. I was just wondering, mine is bruised pretty bad and semi swollen and it doesnt really hurt. My biggest concern is that it is bleeding alot. The hole where the jewelry comes out of has this blood looking tissue stuff (skin??) coming out of the hole. My piercing is bleeding alot but this stuff doesnt come off of my skin, its like tissue inside the hole where it is pierced. I have been cleaning it with sea salt solutions. Is this normal? I'm worried.  thank you, K.

Hi K.,

It is hard to evaluate you without seeing you (or at least a photo). Feel free to send a few clear, close-up images to elayneangel @ piercingbible.com and I'll be happy to take a look.

Any piercing can bleed, bruise, and/or swell during the initial phase, though most of the VCH piercings I do don't seem to suffer from that during the aftermath very often.

Bleeding Industrial Piercing

I received this message via email:


Hi Elayne,
I am having a situation with a piercing I did. Sunday afternoon I did an industrial piercing on a girl named Alex. I'm still an apprentice but this was the 10th industrial piercing I've done and I have never had a problem with any of them up until now.

Alex called me this afternoon, 2 days later, complaining that her piercing is bleeding and she can't get it to stop. It hardly bled when I pierced it, and up until last night when the bleeding started, she said that it was healing just fine. It wasn't sore, red, no signs of infection, and didn't hurt at all. First thing I did was try to figure out how the bleeding started. She said she took 500mg of ibuprofen and the bleeding started shortly after that. I understand that a side effect of ibuprofen is blood thinning but unless she was already bleeding I didn't think the ibuprofen would cause her to start. I just thought it would make it a bit harder to get the bleeding to stop if she did happen to start bleeding. Am I wrong about this?

She also said she thinks she accidentally rolled over onto it in her sleep which would make more sense except that it started bleeding before she went to bed. Is it possible she is just not telling me that she bumped it or something, or is it normal for industrial piercings to randomly start bleeding days later?

Nostril Piercing Help

This inquiry (like so many others I post) was also from a Facebook Friend:

Hi Elayne,i got a question for u. I've got my nose piercing long time ago,a year...until now didn't heal,i always have this bump on top,red sometimes bleeding. All i use is H2Ocean and emu oil,but....nothing.This is my second time i've it done,and i use14k white gold .I have read in your book all about aftercare...but i guess something is wrong with my piercing or i do something wrong. Maybe i should take it out?


My reply:

Hi Kristina,


Have you ever tried a different material or jewelry style? Are you wearing a nostril screw? If so, was it custom bent to fit your nose? If it wasn't bent for you, then it is possible you're wearing a "right-bend" piece of jewelry on the left side of your nose (or vice-versa). Also, if the post is too short, or too long, that can cause problems with healing.

I'd strongly suggest you try a jewelry change before abandoning your piercing. Here's a section from The Piercing Bible about nostril screws:

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