4 Common Piercing Aftercare Myths and the Truth Behind Them August 2, 2021 – Posted in: Informative

The internet is a pretty cool place. It provides us access to endless information in just seconds. Questions that might have taken hours to research ten years ago can now be answered on a whim. 

The downside to this is that anyone can post anything online, leading to tons of misinformation. The piercing community, especially, sees quite a bit of false information floating around. We’re here to clear some of that up.

Here are some common piercing aftercare misconceptions and the truth behind them.

Myth #1: Tea tree oil is safe to use on healing piercings

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that does have some antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This has led people to believe that it can be safe to use on a healing piercing.

Unfortunately, tea tree oil also dries out the skin. In a healing piercing, this can cause complications because the skin around your piercing is already delicate; putting a harmful substance around the piercing is the last thing that you want to do.

A piercing aftercare saline solution is the only product you should put on your healing piercing. You should even stay away from using lotions, soaps, and other products that may have irritating chemicals.

Some have said that tea tree oil can be used to treat piercing bumps in a healed piercing. This may or may not be true—there’s not much research to say either way—but if your piercing has fully healed, and a piercer has confirmed this, then it may be safe to try diluted tea tree oil. However, you should first seek the advice of a piercing professional before trying your own methods at home.

Myth #2: Keloids are the same thing as piercing bumps

We see the term “keloid” get thrown around quite a bit in the piercing world. The term seems to be synonymous with piercing bumps. However, keloids are quite different than piercing bumps, and it’s probably best that you stay away from this term when referring to the small bumps that appear around your piercing.

If you start to form a piercing bump, it’s almost definitely not a keloid.

Keloids are an incredibly rare condition that’s actually quite serious. Those who suffer from keloids see massive growths surrounding any minor wound they might receive, including small scratches or bug bites. These growths are large, discolored, and often require surgery or other extreme measures to remove them.

Referring to the small bump next to your piercing as a keloid is much like saying you have a terrible wound when you’re suffering from a minor papercut. Piercing bumps might be annoying, but they often go away on their own. Those who suffer from keloids aren’t so lucky. 

Myth #3: Piercing infections are common

We keep our healing piercings clean to avoid infection, so it would seem as though infections are something that happen quite frequently, right? 

Actually, piercing infections are pretty rare. You have to seriously neglect your piercing and make some really bad choices for your piercing to get infected.

The reason why we tend to believe that piercing infections are common is because infections share symptoms with other issues, and sometimes it’s easy to confuse natural healing—like swelling or light discharge—as an infection. 

If your piercing starts seeing excessive discharge, swelling, or bleeding, then it is a good idea to see your piercer or your doctor. Chances are, however, that you’re probably just experiencing normal symptoms of healing. 

Myth #4: You should rotate your jewelry as your piercing heals

If you got your ears pierced a couple of decades ago, then your piercer may have given you this piece of advice. Back then, it was believed that rotating your jewelry aided in healing by breaking away crusties and ensuring that the skin wouldn’t grow onto the jewelry.

This has since been proven to be a damaging practice. Your skin won’t grow onto the jewelry, and constantly moving the jewelry within your piercing damages the skin which encourages piercing complications. 

While your piercing is healing, try not to touch it, and leave the jewelry alone as much as possible.

Instead, you should leave the jewelry alone as much as possible. To avoid buildup of crusties, you can gently dab at it with a piece of non-woven gauze soaked in saline solution until the crusties wash away on their own.

It’s convenient that there’s so much information about piercings available online, but you always have to be careful about what you read. The best thing that you can do for your piercing is to find a reputable piercer and adhere to their aftercare strategies.

If you experience an issue with your piercing, your (reputable) piercer will be happy to take a look. Everyone heals differently, so it will be nearly impossible for you to self-diagnose your issue based on general information that you find online. You’ll need the expert eye of your piercer, and they will guide your treatment from there.

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