Whether your piercing is a month old or 6 years old you can still have random flare-ups. This can be caused by a variety of things . .
*NO Touching!! 100% Hand-Free Aftercare is best! Touching your piercing with your fingers is the #1 cause of irritation, increased chance of infection and bumps forming. NEVER touch your piercing with your bare hands, whether you think your hands are clean enough or not. If you need to switch out or adjust jewelry, it is best to buy some nitrile or latex free gloves and always use them to handle your piercings. The use of a tightly woven qtip, gauze or cotton balls can also be used to adjust jewelry or to relieve any itching that may be occurring. Better yet, take a trip to your piercer and most studios will help you with a thorough cleaning, check-up or switch jewelry for free or a small fee dependent on supplies & tools used.
*Piercer: Was your piercing preformed correctly? Done in the correct placement, at the right angle and with the best quality of jewelry possible? If the jewelry they used was not a high quality metal then your jewelry may have tiny microscopic scratches or dings that are causing bacteria to build up and then piercing bumps (Not keloids, we promise), irritation and swelling can occur. This is due poor quality or plated metals being used for body jewelry, which is mass produced overseas and is not polished properly. The use of the improper gauge or length of jewelry can also cause major healing issues, along with if it was pierced at a bad angle causing the weight distribution to be uneven and will lead to bumps and the piercing migrating from it's original position.
Also, what did your piercer suggest as aftercare?
*Proper Aftercare is crucial to a successful healing process and far too many times we come to learn that clients have gone weeks on end using the wrong products and wonder why their piercing is not healing and still having endless complications.
*Feeling under the weather? The flu, common cold or other illnesses can cause your piercings to be unhappy until you’re back to full health. During this time start to do your old piercing aftercare routine, be sure to drink lots of water and get plenty of rest.
*Swimming in contaminated water such as lakes, pools or hot tubs can irritate piercings and if not treated could lead to more serious infections. Always be sure to ask your piercer for the recommended time to wait before submerging your piercing in any body of water and be sure to actually follow their instructions! (8-10 weeks is commonly the minimum but it's recommended to wait longer if possible.)
*Hormones Ladies it sucks but that time of the month, being pregnant or other hormone changes can cause a flare up in piercings of any age. Be sure to pick up your piercing aftercare routine again until the flare-up subsides, slow down and show yourself a little self love by doing a face mask, taking a bath, drinking a lot of water and getting some beauty sleep. Doing these things along with a few hot water soaks should calm your piercing(s) down quickly.
*Hair-dye/ Beauty Products: Having hair dye or other harsh beauty products come in contact with fresh piercings is extremely harmful. This includes keeping make-up, face-wash, lotions, perfumes and hair spray off any of your piercings.
- Overall hygiene is a major factor in order for piercings to fully heal, showering helps ensure you're keeping your body and the piercing area clean and enables you to do your hot water soaks.
- Ear/Cartilage Piercings: Be careful when styling your hair, and let your stylist know if you are healing a piercing.
- Hot water soaks are extremely important for the next week or two following a hair cut or color! Tiny hair particles from a hair cut can be like fiber glass and if they get trapped in or around the piercing channel, they will cause extreme swelling and irritation. Same for immediately after having your hair colored, most colors will bleed out while showering over the next few washes, so it's important that your piercings are the last thing you rinse before stepping out of the shower. Hot water soaks for the last few minutes of showering will ensure that all loose hair particles and color is rinsed away from your piercings.
*Have Pets? Most of us do and whether we allow them on the furniture or not, hair and dander have a way of winding up all over everything! You do not want your kitty walking inside of their litter box and then walking and laying on your pillow where your fresh piercings are going to be touching, this is when infections can occur! Changing your bedding and especially your pillow cases is crucial to speeding up the healing process and eliminating chances of irritation or infections.
- Use the T-Shirt trick: Dress your pillow in a large, clean T-shirt and turn it nightly; one clean T-shirt provides 4 clean surfaces for sleeping. After 4 nights change to a new T-shirt!
*Medications Certain medications, especially Accutane cause major delays and complications while trying to heal a piercing. Always ask your physician if any of the medications you're on can cause issues or delay the healing process of a piercing or tattoo.
*Trauma, one good snag can double healing time! Be super cautious with your piercings and try not to let anything come in contact with them. If you have facial piercings be careful when washing your face, cloth towels could snag on jewelry and they can harbor bacteria. With surface piercings, belly or nipple piercings be careful when using loofahs in the shower, cover or hold your piercing with your hand while you clean the area surrounding your piercing so you don’t snag the jewelry.
*Living Conditions & Environment:
- Whether it’s at home, work or out on an adventure, the environment we are in can affect our piercings! Be aware of your surroundings and make sure your piercing is covered and well protected.
- Sweat, dust, dirt, money handling,
- Your work environment, camping, riding ATV’s, swimming, working out, sports, hobbies etc. are things to take in to account when it comes to healing your piercings
Are you taking the proper precautions?