a captive ring in a conch piercing with a hematite gem from Anatometal

Assuming the piercing was performed well, that the jewellery fits adequately and the individuals health is not to blame: piercing wounds can still become very unhappy for a number of reasons.

Take a close look at how you are feeling in general:
Sleeping well?
Eating a balanced diet?
Not too stressed?
Staying hydrated?
Exercising adequately?

More often than not: there is something more going on.

Most initial swelling can be explained by the trauma of being pierced, your piercer should have predicted it and allowed enough room on the jewellery to safely compensate.
However if you feel the jewellery is too small it is important to correct the problem promptly by switching to more suitable jewellery. (normally a minimum of 2mm is allowed for initial swelling, possibly more for oral piercings)
Your jewellery should not need to be removed if it can still be seen on both sides. However we do recommend attending the studio immediately just to be safe. A very effective method for controlling inflammation is by using an ice/cold compress and elevation technique. Where you apply a clean and very cold ice pack (protectively wrapped in a thin clean towel) against the effected area. Or place crushed ice in your mouth for oral piercings. Also, consider consulting with a pharmacist for over the counter anti-inflamatory’s.

Infections are few and far between but possible with any injury. As with anywhere else on the body: puss, excessive redness and pain will most likely indicate infection. As professional piercers we feel there is often no need to remove the jewellery to treat infection. Doing so may result in an further complications as jewellery often allows the infection site to drain, giving an exit for fluids. Unfortunately if the jewellery can be seen through the skin or nearly so, removal is essential. With correctly fitting jewellery and prompt proper wound care infections can be dealt with without the need to remove the piercing.

When first suspecting an infection, the most immediate action would be to call your GP or arrange a visit to your local walk in centre. As antibiotics may be required. Between now and the appointment clean thoroughly with sterile saline every 3/4 hours. Use sterile gauze to dry the area. Call or message the studio for further advice.

Healed bumps have become scars, refered to as keloids. The best method of treatment appears to be compression and massage with a natural oil such as jojoba oil. However this does not always require permanent removal of the jewellery. Treatment can only begin if the wound itself is healed, in many cases this is months after the initial piercing (consult with your piercer) and it therefore becomes a priority to heal the piercing before treating the scarring or the further irritation will likely make it worse. The jewellery must again be large enough to comfortably allow for the extra tissue growth associated with scarring so therefore may require changing at a piercing studio. Keloids are most commonly caused by excessive movement of the jewellery, for example: sleeping against the piercing, cleaning to vigorously or too often, touching the piercing during the initial healing, changing to soon or to ill fitting jewellery.

In cases where the growth tissue has an open wound top (hyper-granulation) it is considered still unhealed the priority is to encourage good an natural healing without causing further irritation to the site,

Soaking in warm to hot shower water for a full 10 minutes, or steaming your face should that be more suitable, Encourages good blood flow and wound drainage. Therefore aiding the natural removal of fluids causing the bump. Done twice a day for nostrils (2 weeks) and once a day elsewhere (often a month or more) this will likely bring good results.

Healed tissue: scar/keloid

Healing tissue: irritation bump

a nose piercing wearing a ring, there is an angry bump of flesh above the ring (disclaimer this was not pierced here)

There is unfortunately a lot of poor quality jewellery available to wear in body piercings. Initial jewellery must be complient with UK regulation and as such be implant grade titanium, 14k gold or higher, niobium or glass. After healing other metals are available. Surgical steel, Wood, Silicone, Teflon, Acrylic, Gold,  PTFE to name a few.
We strongly recommend avoiding silver if you have any sensitivities to metals. Jewellery must never flake or scratch on impact, if a sensitivity develops changing the material should rectify the problem again without any need to permanently remove the jewellery. If you can attend the piercing studio right away: the jewellery should be left in place for that short while.

Also: If your jewellery is too long you will catch it and cause more irritation. If its too small, it can embed, cause irritation lumps, swell and generally hurt. Too thin jewellery can migrate or cut the skin.
Jewellery material and fit are very important to a happy, healthy and healed piercing

Upon occasion we see allergy’s to cleaning solutions. With the appearance of burnt/orange or weeping surrounding skin. We advise our clientele to clean when needed with a mild sterile saline solution. When a stronger solution has burnt the skin switching to saline should rectify the problem. Jewellery removal should only be needed if the effected area has blistered or if the jewellery is visible through the skin.

Bleeding, although unsightly, is completely normal within the initial few days for any piercing. As we heal a scab covers the wound almost immediately. A scab is formed when proteins from white blood cells that help coagulate blood come out of the blood stream to protect the wound-and actually accelerate the healing process. However when a scab is knocked off or your piercing is caught or picked at; the site may begin to bleed.

  • Apply direct pressure on  wound with a clean cloth, tissue, or piece of gauze until bleeding stops.
  • If blood soaks through the material, don’t remove it. Put more cloth or gauze on top of it and continue to apply pressure.
  • Only clean the surrounding area and not the actual scab off the piercing for 12-24 hours.

Repeat this process as often as is required and contact the studio if you would like extra reassurance.

We are dedicated to your piercing experience and are always happy to assist. 
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