ear cartilage piercing
April 19th, 2013
I received a message from a man who experienced healing problems after getting his ear cartilage pierced by a piercing gun:
I on a whim got my cartilage pierced at Clare's Saturday afternoon and it was doing really well up until today. I know the piercing gun is bad. i think I either irritated it or its showing signs of infection. Today when I woke up I cleaned it with theIr solution and I took a shower this afternoon and did the following:
1. After washing my scalp I used the Bronners Lavender to clean my ear (thinks its too harsh for me).
2. After I got out the shower I used their cleaning solution and spayed some h2ocean on it.
3. It felted irritated so I soaked it in chamomile but I put 1/8 tsp of sea salt in the water and let it soak.
Well since then its red, burning, and throbs off and on. I attached a pic and I would value your opinion.
Thanks for your message. You're OVERCLEANING with too many products. You only need one soap and some saline. Did you dilute the Dr. Bronner's? I suggest using their "baby mild unscented" formula.
These are the care instructions I suggest: http://piercingbible.com/piercing-care
Here is information on the saline soaks: http://piercingbible.com/saline-soaks
March 4th, 2013
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?
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.
November 26th, 2012
I received a message from a gal who had ear lobe piercings done with an ear stud gun and she experienced complications:
About 4 weeks ago I gor my ear lobe pierced with a piercing gun, and just recently one of my piercings has started to become very sore, and then today I went to clean it with a spray the piercing place gave me but as soon as I rotated it it starting oozing a lot of green pus, and then bleeding. I don't understand why this has happened as I have followed all instructions on cleaning the piercing, and I can't find any information on why the piercing is bleeding. What should I do? H.
Piercing guns do NOT meet the Association of Professional Piercers guidelines for safe piercing in terms of hygiene nor jewelry style and material. This page of the APP site has information about it: http://www.safepiercing.org/piercing/faq/#guns
Go to a competent body piercer immediately for appropriate jewelry!
All of my piercer referrals are posted on this page of my website: http://piercingbible.com/piercer-referrals
If I haven't personally worked with or trained any piercers in your area, you can check the website for a member of the Association of Professional Piercers who is local to you:
They can insert jewelry that is higher quality and a more appropriate style for healing. You may need to see a doctor but let a professional piercer get a look at you first.
These are the care instructions I suggest: http://piercingbible.com/piercing-care
November 2nd, 2012
I received a message from a piercee who I'd assisted previously. This time it was about an industrial project: two piercing in the ear cartilage connected by a single barbell.
Hi. You helped me clear up an infection last year in another piercing I have so I thought I'd contact u about a new problem I'm having with a new piercing...
I got an industrial piercing a month ago. I cleaned it 4 times a day with saline solution like the piercer advised, didn't sleep on it, didn't bother it. Well, it still hurts to the touch where the barbell enters my ear as well as throbs throughout day/night. I still can't sleep on it. Now I notice lumps at 3 entrance points. I've done a sea salt soak a day and put emu oil on the site at least once a day since noticing these lumps. I still try to clean it with saline 3 times a day. What else can I do? I attached some pics. Thank u
September 7th, 2012
I received a question and photo from a woman who has an ear cartilage piercing that is experiencing problems. Below is a somewhat condnesed version of our correspondence:
I've read your book many times, but I wanted to seek guidance from the author herself! I got my helix pierced at a tattoo and piercing parlor about 3 weeks ago. The piercer put a rather large ring in my piercing with a bead.
He then told me to clean the piercing with alcohol and Dial soap (I knew better after reading your book, so I just nodded and smiled).
Instead, I did nightly sea salt soaks, but the piercing seemed fine after about a week- in fact, it felt and appeared to be fully healed.
However, about 4 days ago, it started to feel warm and red. 2 days ago, the skin around it (basically the top half of my ear) is very warm to the touch, purplish red, and sore (the piercing throbs). However, there is no strange discharge or swelling from it- all of the discharge is clear to light yellow and it's very minimal and there is no swelling. What's going on with my piercing? The bump looks a little more irritated than usual because I just got out of sparring practice and had a good amount of contact with my ear.
Unfortunately, I was unable to go and get the jewelry changed as I left for school a few days after. The piercing is not painful, tender, or warm (although I can't lay on it, that's not surprising as I usually can't lay on my ears in general).
August 4th, 2012
I received a message from a gal who was having problems with an ear piercing:
I can't get a good picture of the piercing so I'll try my best to describe the situation. I got my 4th piercing on my earlobe around the end of May 2012, and I think I may have created another hole next to the actual piercing. The piercing is probably around 90% healed; the front hole is healed and never bleeds, but the back hole (where the earring comes out of) is still healing and sometimes will bleed a tiny bit. I've been cleaning my piercing with salt water and anti bacterial soap, I have not used any creams or lotions on it, it does not hurt or ache and there is no pus. However, I think I may have poked another hole at the back of my ear when I pushed the earring back through the hole after I took it out to clean it. So now, I think I have one front hole, and two holes in the back. The earring can go through the front and out the back in two separate holes, and the two back holes are not connected. Something might have ripped on the inside of the piercing. I'm trying to close one of the holes, and the skin on the new one has already formed over but the area around it looks a bit red. Should I continue to clean it as I have been doing? Or should I get it checked out?
Any information would be helpful, thanks!
Your description is good, but I'm still not going to be able to offer thorough advice without seeing you, or at least a clear, close up photo or two.
Are you wearing body jewelry or a traditional earring? When you wear body jewelry there is NO REASON to take the jewelry out to clean it!
May 25th, 2012
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.
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.
From 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.
February 25th, 2012
Below is a correspondence exchange between me and a woman who had questions about genital (and ear cartilage) piercings for her and for her boyfriend:
I'm sure Atlanta was glad to have you back! Unfortunately for me, I've moved to Oklahoma for a while. I keep up with your schedule so I'm hoping that one of these days, I will have the pleasure and privilege to meet you.
I have two questions and since ladies should always go first, I will ask the question in regards to the Christina piercing. Lol. I've done some research on it and find it very attractive. Can you tell me more about it and is it and ok piercing for a woman to have?
Secondly, my boyfriend wants to get a frenum piercing however, it will be his first and only piercing and his main concern is the placing of the piercing itself. He was curious about, and sorry for being graphic but, masturbation and intercourse. After it's healed, will the placement affect what he does with his penis? I'm also curious myself since I'm the one who suggested it after we looked at several different kind of male gential piercings and he asked me which one I liked. Anyways, that's all I wanted to know.
Thank you. T.