24 Aug 2012

I received a message from a woman who had concerns about her recent tongue piercing:

bruised tongue after piercingOkay so I got my tongue pierced Tuesday and this is how it looks not on Friday. Is that just bruising? Is it normal? It bleeds whenever I sleep so I think I'm just biting it...my boyfriend had his pierced a couple months ago and it healed completely different...do I need to go see the piercer?

My reply:
Bleeding, bruising and swelling are all normal consequences of piercing. I couldn't tell for sure, but it didn't look very swollen, so it seems yours is doing the first of the two more than the last. It is more common for the tongue to swell instead, but your reaction isn't necessarily abnormal.

That said, it couldn't hurt to pay  your piercer a visit. They ca get a lot clearer look at it than I can from here.

Is this the oral aftercare instructions you're following?

Here are some additonal suggestions from The Piercing Bible that could prove helpful to you:


  1. Aftercare for Oral Piercings

    The same principles of avoiding trauma and maintaining sound health habits also apply to healing oral piercings, although lip and tongue piercings are cared for somewhat differently than the rest of the body. For a piercing such as a labret, which interects the mouth, care of the exterior is the same as for any body piercing; additionally, you should follow the guidelines in this section to care for the interior.

    See the tips in “Tongue Piercing: Healing and Troubleshooting,” page 109. Below are several additional things you can do to minimize swelling and discomfort during the first few days of healing:

    • Rest: Don’t speak or move your jewelry unless necessary.

    • Ice: Suck on chipped or shaved ice made from clean water, or small cubes of frozen chamomile tea (big cubes can be uncomfortable and irritating).

    • Elevation: Sleep with your head propped up on an extra pillow the first few nights; keeping your head above your heart helps to minimize overnight swelling.

    • NSAIDs: Take over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication according to package instructions.


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