The Piercing Bible

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.

Navel Placement Problem and Jewelry Solution

I recieved a message from a woman whose new navel piercing didn't look the way she had hoped it would:

I had this done yesterday and was wondering if it looks this way because im too fat or did the guy mess up and should of pierced me further OUT of my belly button. I got this in hopes that it would help me feel more confident about myself but instead I feel so much worse. I mean my belly button ate the whole bottom part.

Navel piercing not as expected.

My reply:

Thanks for your message. Did the piercer stand you up to mark the placement? That usually helps a skilled piercer to mark a piercing that will show better when you're standing as the baseline. Naturally, it looks different when your body is in different positions….

Alternative placement suggestion for navel piercing.
If you're not happy with your new piercing, you should consider removing it. You may want to talk to the piercer first about a possible repiercing in a more forward placement for the underside, and the top commensurately further from the edge of the lip (like I marked on your photo).

 

Another option is to change the jewelry to a j-curve.

J Curve Jewelry

 

 

 

 

 

You can get them here if your piercer doesn't stock them:

http://www.bodycircle.com/merchant.ihtml?pid=17&lastcatid=6&step=4

Newly Pierced Navel Got Bumped

I got a message from a piercee who was concerned about his new navel piercing:

Hi! I got my navel pierced ten days ago and it's still really red and tender. I bumped it pretty hard about a week ago and then again just last night. I came home from work last night and there was blood crusted on the bottom and I was really concerned, so on my way home I bought an eye patch and did my salt soak and then slept with the eyepatch on it (I'm a stomach sleeper and the eye patch prevents me from rolling over for some reason) and it felt a little less tender today, but when I came home from work tonight, I sat down to look at my piercing, and there was blood and pus! The lighting in my bathroom is really yellow so I couldn't tell how yellow it was (but it was definitely not green or dark yellow). The top hole is especially tender to the touch. I'm just paranoid about the possibility of it being infected, migrating, or possibly even rejecting! I would love for you to take a look at these pictures (I had just done my salt soak so there's a big ring and it's a little flush from the warm water) and tell me if it looks overly inflamed for being so new, if I should go to the doctor, or if I should just keep doing what I'm doing because it's normal. Thank you so much!

Also, I got it pierced at Club Tattoo and the guy who did it had a really nice portfolio. And is it ok to sleep with the eye patch on or will that hinder the airing out? Thank you!

New navel piercing a little sore from being bumped.

 

 

My response:

Hi Connor,

Given the recent trauma, and how new the piercing is, I'd say it is looking pretty normal.

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