scar tissue piercing

Risks of Piercing "Cauliflower Ear"

I was asked a question recently that I hadn't heard before:

At one of the tattoo shops I work in, one of the apprentice tattoo artists wants me to pierce a helix on both ears. No problemo. However he has "cauliflower ear" in both. I've been doing some research about specifically what causes it, also I've talked with him about it. He told me that he used to be a boxer, which is somewhat common. But he never had them drained.

I have never pierced a cauliflower ear, and honestly I've never been presented with this question. So I'm curious to know if its something that I should or should not do ? I'm also curious to know what your experience is, and what you think. :) Thanks.

My reply:

That's an awesome question! It is one I have never been asked before. And in all my years of experience, I've never had a request to pierce an ear that has been injured in this way.

Cauliflower earFrom my understanding of the situation, I'd be very wary about piercing such anatomy. As I imagine you know, the condition itself results from the surface tissue being separated from the cartilage, and is a problem that is caused by a lack of vascularity. To me that would indicate that the healing capacity of the area is even worse than usual (and we all know cartilage is rather finicky when it comes to healing).

If he can bring you a doctor's note that says piercing is not medically contraindicated in his case, I'd consider it. Short of that, I'd personally stay away from an area that is highly likely to be problematic healing.

Labret (Lip) Piercing Problem--Excess Scar Tissue Formation

I got this message from a piercee who is having trouble with  a labret (lip) piercing:

I got my labret pierced on the 3rd of december, and in the last couple days the skin on the inside of my piercing has grown (like a white flap on the bottom of the disc about 1mm tall) that rests next to the disc. i don't know whether it would be growing over it, i have a 10mm long stem which i thought is long enough, but i would still like your opinion

I told her that if she thinks the tissue is growing over the jewelry, she should should see her piercer IMMEDIATELY for a jewelry change! I also explained that I couldn't really evaluate a piercing without seeing it--or at least a photo or two. I requested that she send some clear, close up images, and I received these (below). They do show that the post is long enough so she is not in danger of the jewelry becoming embedded (which is a risk when a piercing is healing if the jewelry is too short).

Labret piercing with sufficient extra length for safetyLabret piercing: scar tissue on interior 

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