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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Infected Cartilage piercing--what to do? - November 14th 2011, 01:13 AM

I got it pierced "professionally" about three months ago, I guess. I left the original stud in that whole time, and cleaned it some, but probably not as much as I should have. I've noticed my ear being a little red for some time, but I thought it was just the piercing healing? Stupid, I know. I took it out just now, and it's really red, and there's a thing that looks like a pimple on the inside of my ear. It's pretty small. I know that you're supposed to keep something inside the pierced hole, but I can't find the hole now. Help? And what else should I do?
   
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Re: Infected Cartilage piercing--what to do? - November 14th 2011, 01:22 AM

That bump that looks like a pimple is probably a keloid, and its normal. I used to get them a lot while my cartilage was healing. I would start cleaning it again 3 times a day with sea salt soaks. Take a glass of water as hot as you can stand and put in about a pinch of sea salt and then soak your piercing in it for a few minutes. The sea salt will help clean the piercing and sooth any pain you might have.
If you keep up with cleaning it and don't bump it, the bump should go away in a week or so.


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Re: Infected Cartilage piercing--what to do? - November 16th 2011, 01:05 AM

Is the stud made of surgical steel?

I found that my piercings healed much better when I put bioplast/bioflex studs in instead.

You can buy one from http://www.bodyjewelleryshop.com/ and it should arrive within 2 days.

What BJS says about bioplast/bioflex:
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.bodyjewelleryshop.com
Bioplast is an incredible material with excellent biocompatibility and flexibility. It moves with your piercings, reducing stress, swellings and healing times.
In the mean time, do what Nicole said and up the number of times you clean it.

Also, don't clean the piercing with cotton wool, use something like kitchen towel because the fibres won't break off and cause further irritation to the site.

If you still haven't managed to get the stud back into the piercing, I would either go back to the piercing place where you got it done, or another one. They will be able to put it back in for you.


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Re: Infected Cartilage piercing--what to do? - November 16th 2011, 04:53 AM

It is a cartilage piercing, they take a while to heal as they can get irritated very easily. Even gently bumping it can irritate it enough to delay healing time. Same with sleeping on it funny. Use NON-IODIZED sea-salt and mix some with warm water, not hot. Soak your ear in this solution around 2-3 times a day. Especially when you wake up/after you shower if you do so in the morning.

As for the bioflex materials mentioned by the previous poster, never ever ever use them in a piercing that isn't fully healed. They can harbor bacteria and cause infection making the problem worse and potentially life threatening. Always use them in a healed piercings only since they are not sterilized. Don't get me wrong here, I love bioflex pieces and use them myself in piercings of mine; but always use surgical stainless steal in fresh piercings until they are fully healed.

Chances are that because you took out the jewelry the piercing closed up since it wasn't fully healed. You'll have to wait for it to heal fully then get it re-pierced. Always, always, go to a professional piercer and have them do it. The environment is sterile and they use needles which cause less trauma to the area.
   
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Re: Infected Cartilage piercing--what to do? - November 16th 2011, 01:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefirstlady View Post
As for the bioflex materials mentioned by the previous poster, never ever ever use them in a piercing that isn't fully healed. They can harbor bacteria and cause infection making the problem worse and potentially life threatening. Always use them in a healed piercings only since they are not sterilized. Don't get me wrong here, I love bioflex pieces and use them myself in piercings of mine; but always use surgical stainless steal in fresh piercings until they are fully healed.
Really?

Fair enough.

I did clean mine in surgical-grade alcohol before I put them in which is probably why I had no problems.

OP, if you find that you can't get on with surgical steel, the only other thing I can suggest is pure gold (9ct+).


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Re: Infected Cartilage piercing--what to do? - November 17th 2011, 12:19 AM

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Originally Posted by Fairy Poppins View Post
Really?

Fair enough.

I did clean mine in surgical-grade alcohol before I put them in which is probably why I had no problems.

OP, if you find that you can't get on with surgical steel, the only other thing I can suggest is pure gold (9ct+).
Yep, since the material is porous the bacteria gets in all of the little pores which can be bad. The alcohol would help sterilize them but you'd have to continue to keep them clean while healing which is a big hassle and not worth the risk in my opinion. Especially since taking out the jewelry to clean it all the time will only severely irritate the piercing and can create bad scarring. We had a girl come into the shop yesterday who wanted to take her belly button piercing out after 3 months to put a bioflex retainer in for surgery. We had to refuse because it wasn't fully healed yet.

You could also try pure titanium pieces (not ones coated in titanium because that wears off) if you can find them somewhere. If there's a tattoo & body piercing studio near you that sells Industrial Strength or Neo-Metal's jewelry use one of those. It's the only thing the guy I go to uses for piercings uses for ears, facial piercings, etc.
   
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Re: Infected Cartilage piercing--what to do? - November 18th 2011, 01:05 AM

Oh geez... it was like thirty bucks or something at claire's. :/ I'm pretty sure it'll have to come out of my own pocket if I have to do that. Could I maybe get it done at wal-mart instead, and just have them re-pierced the original hole then put the ring I want in it?

But do all that sea salt stuff first?
   
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Re: Infected Cartilage piercing--what to do? - November 18th 2011, 02:30 AM

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Originally Posted by iLikeToMoveIt View Post
Oh geez... it was like thirty bucks or something at claire's.
Did they use a gun? That could be why it didn't heal properly.


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Re: Infected Cartilage piercing--what to do? - November 18th 2011, 03:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by iLikeToMoveIt View Post
Oh geez... it was like thirty bucks or something at claire's. :/ I'm pretty sure it'll have to come out of my own pocket if I have to do that. Could I maybe get it done at wal-mart instead, and just have them re-pierced the original hole then put the ring I want in it?

But do all that sea salt stuff first?
That's part of the problem. Since you got it done at Claire's it was done by a piercing gun. That creates so much trauma to the ear, especially with cartilage. Next time please go to a professional piercer at a tattoo shop. It will be a lot cleaner procedure, not to mention a needle causes far less trauma, leading to faster healing times. Instead of pushing the tissues to the side of the jewelry like the gun, it will just take that section of tissues out. Not to mention it's a sharp single use needle over a dull earring stud being used to pierce it. It will be around the same price you paid before. I know our shop charges $40 for the piercing and jewelry which is pretty standard and the quality of jewelry is better than places like Claire's. I mean would you rather have someone with barely any training use a piercing gun that just get's wiped down with alcohol wipes and does more damage than anything, or someone with lots of training in something they do for a living with sterile, single-use, equipment? You know what I mean?

If you still have an earring in it, continue doing the sea salt soaks. If not, just keep it clean and let it heal fully before getting it re-pierced.
   
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Re: Infected Cartilage piercing--what to do? - November 24th 2011, 11:10 PM

Thanks for all the tips, guys! I didn't know that it was such a mistake to get it done at a place like claire's :/ All the information's appreciated should I decide to get another piercing, however, I wasn't too enthralled to go get it re-done and pay forty bucks, so I treated the infection with sea salt, alchohol, rubbed neosporin on it (xD), the little bump deflated and I kind of scraped it off (gross, I know, but it looks MUCH less gross now actually xD). After that, I could see the hole, so I put neosporin on it for another day and tried to get the stud through--It bled, but I got it all the way through, though my ear's still kind of red, I'm just going to keep doing all that good stuff until it's completely gone.

I understand now that I really should have gotten it done at a more refutable shop, but now my question is, will this do? Say, I keep treating the infection, and that goes away, is it all going to be peachy keen?? Or is that business with the tissue (how it got "pushed aside" instead) going to keep this from ever healing properly?
   
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Re: Infected Cartilage piercing--what to do? - November 25th 2011, 12:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by iLikeToMoveIt View Post
I understand now that I really should have gotten it done at a more refutable shop, but now my question is, will this do? Say, I keep treating the infection, and that goes away, is it all going to be peachy keen?? Or is that business with the tissue (how it got "pushed aside" instead) going to keep this from ever healing properly?
Keep treating it with sea salt soaks and baby-ing your ear should take care of the infection. Just clean it around 3 times a day and you should be good! Once it's healed everything should be fine.
   
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