Bad jewelry and crushed aspirin?

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Wednesday October 10th, 2007 @ 10:08 PM

Filed under: Ear, Piercing

This is sort of a two-part question.

I have a 14ga helix spiral that’s about three months old. It’s still giving me a little bit of trouble and seems like it has a little while to go before healing completely. When I asked a local piercer about it, he told me my piercer should have never used the spiral for the initial jewelry and that there was no way I could heal it correctly. Would you agree?

Also, this same piercer told me that to treat the little bit of hypertrophic scarring forming around one of the holes, I should apply a paste of water and crushed aspirin every night directly to the piercing for three weeks. Thoughts/opinions? I’m not sure if that’s good advice or not. Thanks!

The thing surrounding these spiral projects is that they absolutely require precise angles, so not to apply pressure to the pathways.

I bet if you removed the jewelry and put barbells or labret studs in instead, the hypertrophic scarring will go away. Once they are gone you can then consult with a qualified piercer who can establish the angles of the pathway and custom order jewelry with the angles needed.

As for the piercer who advised you to crush aspirin and mix with water, I truly hope he is not an American. As by stating that he is putting himself at risk by giving such medical advice to people. In theory it could work due to the acetylsalicylic acid, but it’s not ideal for this problem. The reason being if the angles are off, they’re off, and nothing will help. As there will always be pressure applied to the area, causing the scar tissue to form every single time.

As I said the best option is to just convert the spiral into individual piercings with either barbells or labret studs. Do warm sea salt soaks and allow the hypertrophic scarring to go down. Once it’s gone you can then have a piercer analyze the angles and figure out a custom made spiral piece suited specifically for you.

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19 Responses to “Bad jewelry and crushed aspirin?”

  1. Also as a PS: I’d advise the use of products like Neem Oil to do massages to the area, as they have been known to help occasionally with this as well as many other things.

    Warren Hiller on October 11th, 2007 at 12:20 am
  2. The Neem Oil, would that be for the scarring itself? I have a lobe piercing that touches (nicked?) the cartilage and I stretched it. Though I stopped at 12g, it has a bit of hypertrophic scarring on the lower edge of the hole (cartilage pushing it out of original position?) Would Neem Oil be recommended for that sort of situation also?

    Kiera on October 11th, 2007 at 9:08 am
  3. That’s such a bad idea to recommend using medicine for a use it was not intended for. He’s opening himself up for a lawsuit, regardless of whether the aspirin paste method works or not.
    But think about this, using aspiring paste on your ear, or even on your daith and rook… If it’s strong enough to eat away the “hypertrophic scarring”, what else is it strong enough to eat through? Such as when it goes in your ear while doing this procedure?

    Cody on October 11th, 2007 at 1:38 pm
  4. It’s funny, all the people that come into our shop wanting spirals and they have no idea what it really involves.

    We don’t even do them with the actual spiral jewelry for the initial piercing, we use labret studs and then once it’s healed, we make custom orders for the spiral.

    Even if the piercings were done at perfect angles, at the perfect distance, there’s still going to be a lot of pressure- especially if the spiral has 3 or more holes. Your ear is soft, it bend and moves- the jewelry doesn’t!

    I definitely, definitely agree with swapping the current jewelry for well-fitted labret studs and wait at least 4-6 months before attempting to put the spiral back in. And as always, sea salt soaks are your best friend.

    Leah on October 11th, 2007 at 2:03 pm
  5. Hmmm, see here’s the thing: we ordered the piece from a repuatable supplier with each curve being exactly the same. In theory, no matter whcih way it turns, it’s the exact same piece. He then spent an extremely long time measuring and marking and rechecking to make sure the holes he pierced lined up exactly with the jewelry. (All the holes were pierced at that time.)So let’s say I do have jewelry with the right angles. . .is this just not meant to work out or should I put it back in after healing it with seperate jewelry? Thanks again

    fireship on October 11th, 2007 at 2:18 pm
  6. Even if the angles and everything were perfect, that jewelry is going to cause a lot of pressure and movement on the piercings. Definitely a “wait-until-they’re-healed” piece of jewelry, like Warren said. It’s just too bulky and large for healing a piercing, not to mention if any of the piercings are even the tiniest bit off either spacing-wise or angle-wise that’s going to cause problems.

    Alan on October 11th, 2007 at 3:24 pm
  7. “If it’s strong enough to eat away the “hypertrophic scarring”, what else is it strong enough to eat through?”

    The idea behind aspirin isn’t that it’s supposed to EAT THROUGH the scar tissue chemically, it’s supposed to make the swelling go down cos it’s an anti-inflammatory. o_O (jeez, nonscientists. just because it has the word “acid” in the name…)

    Xenobiologista on October 11th, 2007 at 5:25 pm
  8. Exactly what Alan stated. Here at Vogue Body Piercing we pierce the pathways and put individual jewelry in. However we do purchase spiral jewelry shortly after it’s done based on the measurements of how the piercings have been planned out.

    When the person comes back after they have had the piercings for awhile, we fit the jewelry for them and make any minor adjustments to it that might be required.

    Kiera: you could try, however you might need to simply downsize the jewelry to relieve pressure from the cartilage.

    Warren Hiller on October 11th, 2007 at 9:18 pm
  9. Hey,
    Ive developed hypertrophic scarring on my nasal stud and my tragus stud. Ive had them for two months and I cannot get rid of it (even though I warm sea salt soak twice a day)! Its actually my second time getting this scarring on my nose. I took out the piercing the first time the scarring appeared and everything healed beautifully so I went ahead and got it pierced again and unfortunately the scaring reappeared.
    I worked with two AAP piercers and both shops told me to use crushed aspirin or hydrocortisone cream to get rid of it. Neither worked.. which was a big bummer. And then I looked on BME and had one of the piercers tell me that using a salt soaked chamomile hot compress would work. No results yet.
    I am using the standard stud for both my piercings. What could be causing my scarring? And can anything get rid of it?

    Chelsea Parise on October 11th, 2007 at 11:21 pm
  10. Xenobiologista: Yes its an Anti-Inflammatory but it is also:

    analgesic (to relieve minor aches and pains), antipyretic (to reduce fever), and it also has an antiplatelet (”blood-thinning”) property to it.

    Also undesirable side effects of aspirin are gastrointestinal distress—including ulcers and stomach bleeding—and tinnitus, especially in higher doses.

    Anti-inflammatory are used to reduce swelling of the body not to get rid of scar tissue formation. If it was irritated and swollen sure take aspirin (although I’d say Ibuprofen would be better)…But what the aspirin paste does is dissolve the scar tissue.

    Why do I say this? Because I was given this method to try out on my tongue and low and behold the aspirin paste made the scar tissue start to dissolve and become very red and irritated. I simply know by experience.

    Chelsea Parise: What do you mean by standard? Unfortunately in this industry, there’s no such thing as standards. As various piercers use different techniques/jewelery,etc. Are you referring to labret studs in both your nostril and your tragus? 18ga? 16ga? 14ga?

    Do you have any other piercings? If so do they experience this problem as well? It could be angles, it could be jewelry (steel vs titanium or mirrored polish vs non-mirrored polish, etc). It could even very well just be your body as well as your regional location (heat & humidity,etc).

    These could also be occurring due to the types of showering products you’re using. What type of detergent you’re washing your clothes/bedding in,etc.

    Warren on October 12th, 2007 at 9:37 am
  11. Im pretty sure both are 16ga. I had my nose pierced in this same spot a year ago when I was in Spain and had absolutely no problem. I dont have any other piercings at the moment besides two ear lobe piercing per ear, which are sensitive to any metal besides real gold and silver, but show no sign of scarring. Im really careful with cleaning and contact for my jewelry. I just moved from Arizona to Boston, but I dont think this has anything to do with it, because I had my nose pierced in Arizona for the second time four months ago and that one developed scarring and continued to stay scared while I was in my home sate. (the one I currently have is my third attempt at piercing my nose. confusing, I know).
    Thanks so much for replying. This has been really frustrating. Its awesome to get some really honest feedback.

    Chelsea Parise on October 14th, 2007 at 7:10 pm
  12. P.s. Would a picture help?

    Chelsea Parise on October 14th, 2007 at 7:17 pm
  13. the asprin is to thin out the blood which is causing that little healing problem on the nose.

    jana on January 27th, 2009 at 3:42 am
  14. jana: in order to “thin out the blood” it needs to be taken orally.

    Warren Hiller on January 27th, 2009 at 9:26 pm
  15. i was told that the aspirin paste would absorb through the skin then open the blood vessels to help it heal faster

    tina on January 6th, 2010 at 12:13 am
  16. I used crushed aspirin on a bump on my belly button piercing and the problem went away fairly quickly after having used soaks and tea bags for months with no help. I also used it on a bump on a cartilage piercing….I didn’t have any strange side effects….it may dry out the skin a bit, but that’s the worst I ever came across.

    ashley on January 26th, 2011 at 6:14 pm
  17. I have experienced the same thing as well on my nose I took out the original jewelry and replaced it with 14 k following with sea salt cleaning through the day and crushed asprin by knight I must say I began seeing results in two days the only side affect is it dries out my nose .but it works well. Combined

    Bacon Girl on December 30th, 2011 at 11:35 am
  18. I have my nose pierced on the left side for about a month now and I clean it regularly and I. Have the keiloid on my nose. I had my right side pierced wheni was in 8th grade and I got one and took it out. I have angel bites and this didn’t happen with them. Even when I had my septum pierced it got keiloids on both sides on the inside of my nose. How can I get rid of them? I did sea salt soaks and I even washed it with anti bacterial soap. And every place I go to its something different. Can someone help me? Pretty please!

    chelsea g on January 9th, 2012 at 7:15 pm
  19. I’ve had my navel piercing in for almost 3 months now, and it just seems to keep getting worse. I went and talked with my piercer (she was AAP Certified) and was given excellent reviews from many different sources. I was initially pierced and had a 14g nickel rig out in… Evn though I’ve always had problems with nickel, they refused to put the titanium ring in until there had been a definite reaction.

    This is where problems begin.

    After the first week, I noticed a green/yellow, snot-like goo coming from my piercing even though I was doing SSS once a dy, and cleaning it 3 times a day with dial antibacterial soap (it came in the kit that the piercer gave me!). When I went in and worriedly asked about the problem, my piercer told me that I was cleaning it far too much. So, I cut it back to once in the morning and once just before I went to bed while continuing the SSS every night.
    About 3 weeks after having it pierced, the red area around my ring became even bigger and began to develop a raised, almost volcano-like skin flap growing around the ring. so I (again) went back to the piercer. This time, a different piercer took a look at it and told me it was the beining if a keloid.
    Now, everywhere I’ve looked online has said that keloids are almost never seen in white females. Well, I am an acception - it runs in my family to get keloids after an ‘invasive’ procedure.
    The piercer told me, this time, to make a paste out of 2 aspirin pills and a minimal amount of hot water. I have been using his concoction every night for the past 2 weeks, and although the keloid has gone down almost completely, it looks as though the ball on my navel ring has been getting stuck to the inside of my belly button, where the aspirin has then (literally) burned through the skin on my inner belly button….
    Not only is it painful, but it looks awefull! I now have dry skin peeling off my belly up to 1in around my piercing, as well as 3 burned-in holes in my skin from where the ball on my ring is sticking to my skin while I sleep….
    I’ve tried using tea tree oil and water, but that just burned and made it even dryer.
    I hve since stopped using both the tea tree oil and the aspirin paste, but the keloid is oming back again! There Is no more oozing of any sort, and it occasionally itches but not too badly.
    It’s less than 25 days till I’m out or summer vacation, and I can’t let people see my belly! It’s red, irritated, peeling, ad the peelin skin is starting to turn brown, as if its a sunburn starting to peel.


    What should I do? I’d like to keep the piercing in, if I can help it, but I’m worried about the keloid. Also, since its a nickel ring, should I hangs it (myself) to a stainless steel, non-dangly barbell? My piercer (who I go in to speak with and had seen 3 people, l of which have told me the same thing) keeps telling me to continue with the aspirin paste. I’m not okay with it, and neither are my other fiends with thir bark piercing.
    It appears that I am an acception to any ad all problems associated with this damn belly button piercing /:

    Jen on April 26th, 2013 at 11:16 pm

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