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!
Given the recent trauma, and how new the piercing is, I'd say it is looking pretty normal.
If you're a stomach sleeper you probably are best off sleeping with the patch. You can get a vented patch and use a gauze 2x2, which should minimize the air restriction.
Stress is very bad for healing piercings, so try to relax. Have you read my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing?
If not, here's an excerpt for you:
What to Expect
Immediately after being pierced, some bleeding, swelling, and tenderness or pain are standard consequences. Bleeding may continue—usually intermittently—for a few days. Localized bruising is normal, though not typical for most piercings. Heavy blood flow or bleeding that continues for longer than a few days may be cause for concern, and you should contact your piercer or a physician. The placements that routinely bleed freely are discussed in chapters 10–13.
If a piercing bleeds or swells substantially right after the piercing, an ice pack should be applied as soon as possible. Prepared piercers keep disposable instant cold packs ready for use. They can be wrapped in a clean dental bib or paper towel to maintain hygiene. Occasionally, a piercing will swell so much that your piercer needs to swap out your jewelry for a larger piece before you leave the studio. An adept technician will use an insertion taper to change it for you without causing pain or trauma to the area. Internally threaded jewelry is safer and easier to deal with in these situations.
Piercings that bleed under the surface can leave a colorful bruise. Arnica montana (a natural herb) may help to diminish the discoloration. Arnica is available in cream or gel form at health food stores. Apply it on the bruise, but do not put it directly into the wound.
On occasion, some localized swelling of a fresh piercing can impinge upon a nerve, causing temporary numbness or tingling, loss of taste in oral piercings, or diminished hearing in ear piercings (rare). However, barring an unusual placement or healing complications, these are transient troubles.
You can expect slight swelling, redness, and oozing of fluid to persist for a prolonged period of time. You might not have bleeding or tenderness immediately afterward, but a few weeks or months later it might happen. This is normal, and in the absence of other problems, there is no cause for concern. Any time a piercing has a flare-up, treat it as if it were new by resuming or accelerating your aftercare regimen.
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