Allergic or scar tissue ?

Wednesday May 23rd, 2012 @ 6:24 AM

Filed under: Lip/Cheek

Hi so I got my lip pierced on the right side with a hoop and it was healing fine and I was using the sea salt regularly. I noticed this weird white piece of tissue under the piercing about 2 weeks after being pierced. I tried getting rid of it but it wouldn’t go away. At like 3 weeks it started forming a hard lump under the piercing on the inside of my lip. It then grew into a lump almost growing up my hoop so that the entrance hole wasn’t even visible anymore. It would go down in size some days and after eating it Would be more agitated and get bigger. I was really concerned and went to my piercer and she told me she had never seen anything like it and that it was scar tissue from moving the jewlerey around while healing. I went to the walk in clinic after and seen a doctor but she didn’t seem to know much and told me it was normal but I know it’s not cus know one else’s looked like mine: and she did tell me it was not infected. I switched to a stud which was a huge challenge because of the way the lump had grown over the piercing, the stud did make the lump go down in size a bit but it was still there and hard and irritating to feel with my tongue. Finally after 4 months of no progress I took the piercing out and got the left side done the next day. I got this one done with a stud because i thought maybe the ring was the cause of the problem. It was healing so great up till 3 weeks I felt it getting hard under and around the piercing on the inside again. I thought I was over reacting and switched to a ring again cus I like them better. The bump was there again but very small. After a week of having the ring in the bump is slightly white in color and surrounding the piercing on the inside of my lip. I don’t know what the problem is. Am I allergic to some kind of metal or is it scar tissue ? But I was sure not to play with this one while it was healing. I don’t think it’s the ring that causes the hard lump because it started forming before the ring. The ring just makes the lump noticeable cus it doesn’t

It sounds like you have developed a hypertropic scar on the piercing, this is quite common with lip piercings - especially with rings in them initially.

It could also be the jewellery you have in, I would suggest to go to a professional studio and get a titanium post for it - just to be safe to make sure it isn’t a metal allergy.

I have had clients develop the scar tissue from playing with the jewellery during the healing, even a small amount of regular irritation can cause the scar tissue to develop. Make sure that you aren’t ever ‘tonguing’ at the jewellery or sucking it in/pushing it outwards - these are definite scar makers!

You can also purchase Asprin tablets (Aspro-Clear) and put 1/4 of a tablet on the offending tissue twice a day for a couple weeks, it will ‘bubble’ and fizz away the scar tissue and leave your healthy normal tongue tissue just fine. I usually only suggest this for FULLY HEALED piercings, but I have seen people use it with success on healing piercings too.

If it continues to grow or doesn’t go away after that, go into a professional piercing studio and ask them about removing it. Some piercers will and have great results (myself included), some think it is dangerous and will not offer it as a service.

This will only fix the scar, not fix the reason why it started in the first place. Make sure you don’t play with it and be very careful not to bump or knock it - or it will just keep lingering.

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Dahlia piercings

Wednesday May 16th, 2012 @ 2:24 AM

Filed under: Lip/Cheek

I want to get Dahlia piercings in a few months, when I’ll finally be 18. I was wondering how the healing process is, like what’s normal and what I should watch out for. Also, would I be able to wear retainers or clear studs in them for school? And are there any extra risks other than the usual infections or scarring?

I have done a few sets of Dahilas in my studio before and find that they are more like cheek piericings in many ways. They do take longer to heal, require longer (and thicker) jewellery than labrets and can be more problamatic during the healing.

I wouldn’t suggest wearing any plastic (clear) jewellery in it for at least 2-3 months to let them fully heal. Often plastic jewellery will cause irritation and sometimes scar tissue to form. Perhaps you could get them while you are on a break so they are healed and happy for retainers when you go back.

As always, ask the piercer you found if they have HEALED photos in their portfolio and ask what length/gauge they used on them fresh and healed. Being a much rarer piercing than a normal lip, make sure you see someone that is familiar with the tissue and the correct inside placement.

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Frenum Trouble

Wednesday May 16th, 2012 @ 2:18 AM

Filed under: Male Genital

I got my second frenum about 8 months ago. (its the red mark below the barbell) When i got it, the piercing was deeper (farther) in the skin that my first one, so when it was healing it was red and a little swollen, did the normal sea salt healing solution during the healing process. Everything healed nicely and well, but a couple of weeks ago i noticed my frenum jewelry started to migrate. Did not worry too much as my first one migrated a little and eventually stopped and hasn’t moved since. Yesterday i noticed that the skin above the jewelry for my frenum has drastically reduced (rejection?) there is very little skin left holding the piercing in. Also i hope my picture is clear enough, but there is hard white skin on the little skin remaining that would be covering the jewelry if it was in. Any clue as to what this is? Going to make a doc appointment for next week, but curious as to what steps to take before the appointment… On a side note there is no pain at all. Also in the pic i use to have a barbell in my second frenum, and it was agitating my skin because it was so tight (switched to a captive bead ring, and the agitation ceased) but it left a grayish skin color where the barbell was rubbing against my skin. Any clue how to get the skin color to return to normal? (All the jewelry I use/have used is surgical stainless steal which is cleaned then sanitized before use.) Thanks for the help.

What you are experiencing is refereed to as migration, when a healed piercing moves shallower through the skin. It often happens when a piercing is done in an incorrect placement or with incorrect thickness (gauge) jewellery.

I nearly never do shaft-frenum piercings as they quite often do this same thing, however on the odd chance that a customer really wants it - I personally don’t do them thinner than 8g to reduce the chance of it occurring (really anything 12g or thicker is fine).

My suggestion would be to either downsize the bar so its snug when you are erect, basically reducing the chance of getting it snagged or irritated further, or remove it and get a ‘traditional frenum’ piercing. They are piece just behind the glans pierced and usually have a much higher success of happy healing, without migration or rejection.

Also using titanium will help with migration as its 1/2 the weight of Surgical Steel and Hypoallergenic, meaning your body won’t see it as a foreign object.

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stretched lobes

Wednesday May 16th, 2012 @ 2:13 AM

Filed under: Ear

hey i had my lobes stretched to 00G a few years ago. i took them out and they shrunk up most of the way and i put 2 12 g rings in on each side and i pierced 2 more 12 g rings behind the previous holes. i was wondering if it would be possible to re-stretch the holes back to 00G? do the new rings not leave enough room?

You can totally stretch your first holes back up, however I would suggest to take out the second ones during the process.

They can put nu-necessary pressure on the stretching piercing causing it to potentially ‘change direction’, but more importantly I don’t know if there will be enough room to allow for the flare(s) of a tunnel.

You could always stretch them back to your desired size and then if you feel there is room, you could stretch the second ones back to 12g.

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Wednesday May 16th, 2012 @ 2:08 AM

Filed under: Lip/Cheek

I have had a vertical labret piercing for about 6 years now. I am getting a little bored of the jewelry available for it. Is it possible to put a hoop in a vertical labret? Or will it look awful.

Thanks a lot.

Although there is nothing stopping you from wearing a ring, however it will look kinda silly and will get caught on nearly everything!

If you want to try something different, you could put a curved barbell in with a jewelled disc on top or a spike on the bottom. Both will look sweet and give your old piercing a new splash of life!

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Nipple piercing issue?

Wednesday May 16th, 2012 @ 1:49 AM

Filed under: Nipple

I got both of my nipples pierced about two months ago and they keep giving me issues. I don’t wanna remove them because aside from the trouble i’m having, i really like them. My right nipple keeps having disgusting discharge on both ends. I’ll clean them in the shower and they’ll look okay but when i wake up the next morning it’s full of crust and dried blood and nasty white liquid and it’s just.. gross. My left one seemed to be doing okay until last night when i went to clean it. I noticed that the hole on one end looked kind of…big? It wasn’t like that before. I’m not sure if i need to switch the size of the ring to a smaller size for both nipples to stop acting up so bad (especially the right one) or… idk. i really don’t wanna remove them.

The ‘extra skin’ can be caused from a number of different things. Its generally called the ‘hammerhead effect’ where the nipple (during normal healing) will grow in size in the direction of the piercing. Often this stays for ever, but it can also go down over time as the piercing settles in.

It appears that the piercing may be too deep, passing through the aerola rather than just the nipple itself. I would suggest to go back to your piercer and let them check it out.

The discharge is totally normal during the healing of a peircing, its a build up of dead skin cells and lymphatic fluid. You should clean the discharge off with warm saline solution soaks, make sure not to pick them or turn/move the jewellery at all during healing.

You should also make sure that you aren’t sleeping on them or bumping them on a day-to-day basis, both of these will greatly slow the healing and cause more hypertropic scar tissue.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | 5 Comments

Is this normal for a healing tongue piercing?

Wednesday May 16th, 2012 @ 1:42 AM

Filed under: Tongue

I got my tongue piercing done 2 weeks ago by a professional. By the 2nd week, swelling and pain had completely gone down and everything was great. I’ve yet to change to a smaller size. But now, if you can see by the picture, there’s a raised, swollen ring forming around the bottom of the piercing. It hurts a bit too. A wet cough also started around this time, and I still have it, and I’m taking medicine for it & cleaning my mouth thoroughly. I just want to know if this is a result of my tongue being irritated by my cough and what exactly is happening?

Thank you. :)

At two weeks, this is relatively common with oral piercings as the jewellery will be quite large and its nearly impossible not to bump or irritate the piercing during the healing. The bad news is that it is most likely too early to downsize (usually its done around the 4th-6th week) however the good news is that it normally goes down once you do get it downsized.

It can also begin to form if the piercing has been done off center, passing through more tissue than normal. It does appear that the piercing is slightly off to your left, however I feel it may be caused from playing with it. Make sure you leave it the hell alone so it can fully heal up.

If it does get worse, make sure to see your piercer so they can check it out and make sure its nothing more serious.

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Posted by Joeltron | Permalink | 2 Comments

Piercing a Mastectomy Scar

Wednesday May 16th, 2012 @ 1:30 AM

Filed under: Surface/Unusual

I have a severe scar from failed breast reconstruction following bilateral mastectomies. One local studio is willing to try, the other said no.

The scar is really a hole in my chest surrounded by thick scar tissue. The area has also been subjected to radiation therapy, which is why I’m getting differing opinions.

I’d like a pair of flexible barbells if that’s possible. Pictures and much more info to professionals who have advice or comments. I need your help folks!

I don’t think that a curved (or flexible) barbell in that area would really be a good idea - even without the scar tissue.

I think your best bet would be to get two dermal anchors either side of the indentation, giving the appearance of a surface bar. That way nothing has to pass through the scar tissue and they will have a significantly reduced chance of migration and rejection.

Although I have no experience with post-mastectomy pieircings, I have done this same thing a number of time on clients with fantastic success. Any experienced piercer will be able to perform it for you, but as always make sure you check out their portfolio for similar HEALED work and make sure you are fully satisfied with all of your questions before you decide on a specific artist.

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Unintentional VCH Stretching?

Wednesday May 16th, 2012 @ 1:24 AM

Filed under: Female Genital

I am interested in getting a VCH and am “suited” for it, given the Q-tip test results. However, when I was asking a friend who is a piercer about the intricacies of such a piercing, he informed me that the piercings should be performed with a minimum jewelry size of 14g and that often the top ball will pull through, stretching the piercing. He also stated that unlike the earlobes, the hole remaining doesn’t shrink up at all. I planned on keeping the piercing for at least a couple of years, but don’t want it to become stretched past a 14g, or 12g at the absolute most due to aesthetic reasons. Is there any truth to the information he gave me? And if so, is there any way to avoid it?

My suggestion would be to get pieirced (and continue to wear) a correctly fitted titanium barbell. It’s light weight will nearly totally eliminate the natural stretching of the piercing.

I often put a 12 (or 10g) curved titanium barbell in a VCH with a disc on top, giving it more surface area and stops any indentation that can occur from a small ball.

Correct placement is also important with a healthy and happy VCH piercing, too shallow and it will have more of a chance of ‘opening up’ the hole.

As always, make sure that you find an EXPERIENCED artist to do your piercing. Check their HEALED portfolio for multiple examples of the piercing and make sure you are happy with how they look.

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Polymer Plugs

Wednesday May 16th, 2012 @ 1:08 AM

Filed under: Ear

I’m a metalsmith who has been asked to design a line of Teflon plugs to replace an entire case of acrylic jewelry. The intent is to provide higher quality affordable jewelry that doesn’t degrade, become porous, and off-gas like acrylic. According to the APP, PTFE is safe as long as it meets ASTM F754-00.

My question is more of an ideological one. I’ve noticed that folks (once they are serious about their bodies) often seem to align on one side of a the aisle: Organics vs. “Industrial” materials.

I design custom work in precious metals like niobium and titanium, but also understand that we all sometimes need a ‘throwaway’ pair just for a good stretch, especially on the smaller end of the scale (up to 20mm ish).

I’m curious what you think about implant grade “synthetic” (ie. PTFE) materials, or if you have any comments about the “nobility” of certain materials versus others. I’d also just like to hear whether PTFE in the real world is sufficiently hypoallergenic, or if people continue to report reactions similar to acrylic.


Ryan Holandes

PTFE (aka Teflon, aka Polytetrafluoroethylene) is a fantastic material for body jewellery. It is bio-compatiable, hypoallergenic and its soft texture makes it also great for large gauge oral piercings.

The only thing that I would say while making it is be VERY careful, teflon fumes are carcinogenic and can really mess you up.

Make sure you are using virgin-grade PTFE and try to stay away from ALL other polymers (such as Delrin) as people can have reactions to them. I personally wear Delrin in nearly all my large gauge piercings, however just as acrylic it can work with some and not with others.

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