Vertical Clitoral Hood (VCH) Piercing Quesstions about Aftercare and Risk of Scarring

I received this mssage from a reader:

Hi Elayne,

First and foremost, you deserve a big "thank you" for writing your book and sharing your knowledge about body piercing and aftercare.  I was concerned that one of my piercings was infected; after consulting your book, I learned that it was merely plagued by dermatitis, and changing to a milder cleanser solved the problem in a day! Thanks for saving me from an expensive (and unnecessary) trip to my nurse practitioner (who is, bless her, non-judgmental and piercing-friendly)!!

And now, on to my questions... I am eager to try a VCH (again, something I NEVER thought I would do before reading your book -- but when you talked about genital piercings in the context of celebrating our bodies instead of regarding them with a sense of shame, as our modern culture often teaches us to do, it suddenly seemed that this experience might be worth a small moment of discomfort to me). 

Keloids and scarring are, of course, a risk that any piercee must accept, but I was wondering whether you could tell me how likely they are to occur with a VCH. Obviously, strange-looking growths on one's girly bits are not something anyone wants to have to explain, so I want to know what the chances may be of developing scar tissue due to a VCH piercing before I have it done.  (If it helps you to gauge my risk, I have successfully healed my navel, 3 pairs of earlobe piercings, and 3 pairs of helix piercings without any scarring -- I also have 3 microdermals which seem to be doing fine... my sternum bar does have a little bit of hypertrophic scarring, but I expected that from a surface piercing, and most people don't even notice the scar because they're too busy noticing the jewelry!).

I was also wondering whether standard feminine hygiene products (such as those deodorizing/cleansing "Summer's Eve sensitive skin feminine wipes" and the like) should be used or avoided during the healing period of the VCH. (Obviously, anything with a strong fragrance is something I should avoid, but I am not sure whether using "wet-wipe" style feminine-care products if I happen to be at work -- where I don't have the opportunity to indulge in a sea salt soak -- would be either harmless/a good way to cleanse the healing piercing, or a wound irritant waiting to happen!) What is your opinion?

You must receive an overwhelming amount of correspondence, so, once again -- THANK YOU for using your time and knowledge to help the "modified" community.  Personally, I have found that my piercing experiences have made me a more open-minded, understanding, appreciative, and tolerant person. The advice in your book has helped me to respond to questions about my piercings from those who have no body art with maturity and grace. I wish you and every member of your family all the best!

Sincerely, J.

My reply

I'm happy to hear that my book has been useful to you, and I really appreciate the positive feedback. Navels and ear cartilage piercings are much, much more likely to have excess tissue growth or healing problems than the VCH. It is a very small amount of tissue that gets pierced, and it is in an area that usually heals very well. It is a vascular area with a good blood supply, which is good for healing. Also it is not subjected to the same to the same risk of exposure to environmental contaminants and casual contact like ear and ear cartilage piercings, for example.

I would suggest you avoid using wipes or "feminine specialty products" during the 4-6 weeks of initial healing. You don't really have to do much for a VCH other than maintain normal hygiene (wash once a day with a mild soap). Some women like to do saline soaks, but there's nothing you could do that would make me say it heals sooner than 4 weeks. More recently I've been suggesting the use of Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap in the baby forumula (diluted according to package instructions) for genital piercings, and I've gotten a lot of positive feedback about it.

Have you checked your anatomy to be certain you are suitably built for the piercing? Did you try the q-tip test as pictured on my site? Feel free to send photos if you want me to evaluate your build.

I have a simple quick question! I recently got my hood pierced and I am looking for a way to clean it after I use the bathroom. I'm so scared of getting a infection. So I'm wanting to know the best way to clean it while I'm not at home? I have read that sea salt works good...But can I put that in a sqeeze bottle and use it after I use the bathroom? Will it clean it good enough til I can get home? Thank You for everything....