General Healing Guide & FAQ

Questions related to piercings

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sidelvar
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General Healing Guide & FAQ

Post by sidelvar » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:23 am

Below you find a general healing guide for piercings as well as some common problems people run into with their piercings. Understand that this is simply a guide and no person on the internet can be 100% sure of what is going on with your piecing due to the fact we can not physically look at it.

If you have a time sensitive or a serious problem then the best solution is to go to a professional piercer and have them look at it.


General Healing

Keep your hands Off! The amount of germs and bacteria on your hands is not going to be good for your piercing. When you do handle your fresh piercing make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap before and after.

DO NOT USE: Alcohol, Peroxide, Hibiclens, Beta-dine, or any petroleum based products such as Bacitracin or Neosporin. Also tea tree oil and Aspirin paste should not be used. There are members on here who endorse these as a last result however they should not be used for your piercing whatsoever.

All piercings should be cleaned and soaked twice a day in a saline solution. The solution for soaking should be as warm as you can handle without causing burns to your skin. I suggest doing this after your shower in the morning and night. Once you have completed your soak be sure to rinse the piercing with water. The saline solution that should be used is as follows:

Dissolve a 1⁄4 of a teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt in a cup (approx. 400mls) of boiled water. ALLOW TO COOL. Immerse piercing in saline solution and allow to soak for 5 - 10 minutes. For oral piercings, gargle solution for 60 seconds. Iodized sea salt will cause the piercing to dry out and not allow for proper healing.

You will more than likely notice "crusties" around the jewelery while your piercing is healing. Do not remove this by picking at it, you should instead use a q-tip after your shower (before the soak) and gently remove the buildup. It is also important not to twist your jewelery while the buildup is around the jewelery as you do not want to push/pull the buildup into the fresh wound.


Two-Tier or Industrial Piercings

The only thing special about these is that for the best healing results two pieces of jewelry should be used instead of one while healing. If the piercing is not pierced perfectly straight then the pressure caused from the single bar will cause a longer heal time and more discomfort than necessary. Once fully healed you can return to a single bar.


Oral Piercings

Your piercing will typically swell for 1-3 weeks. Take ibuprofen, suck on ice, drink cold water to aid in reducing the inflammation. For the first 3 weeks rinse your mouth with an alcohol free mouthwash after anything that enters your mouth aside from bottled water. The outside of your mouth around the piercing should be cleaned twice a day with an antibacterial soap. It's also very important to avoid drinking alcohol during the initial healing process as alcohol induces swelling.


Jewelry and Swapping Jewelry

All piercings should be pierced with minimum of a 316L Surgical Steel however there are better options out there. Naturally your body does not like nickle however some people have a more adverse reaction then others. Due to this I suggest getting pierced with Titanium as it has a lower nickle content. Gold has even less however it can be pricey as well.

Swapping Jewelry for the first time should ALWAYS be done by a piercer and the reason for this is simple. They will show you any tricks to making the jewelry swap but more importantly they can see if the piercing is healed enough to be swapped out. This is critical as some piercing look like they have healed after a few weeks but wont heal for months. Nipple piercings and cheek piercings for instance can take over a year to heal before the jewelry should be changed.


Stretching/Gauges per Antler

Stretching is the process of taking up slack in the fistula by inserting an item with a slightly larger circumference/diameter, waiting until the cell walls strengthen & more elasticity is gained, then taking up the newly gained slack by again inserting something larger.

When taking that into account it becomes apparent that waiting longer between stretching is more beneficial & that if you don't give the fistula enough time to strengthen between stretches then you are actually increasing the risk of tearing the skin and producing scar tissue.

As you gradually increase the diameter of the jewelery, the circumference/wearable area of the jewelery increases greatly (wearable area = pi X diameter of jewelery) so it also becomes more important to wait longer between stretches to avoid rupturing the fistula. Typically I'd recommend waiting 6-8 weeks between stretching between sizes 18g to 00g and then 12-14 weeks from that size up to about 18mm & then from there at least 6 months to a year, because after that the gaps between sizes start to get quite large.

Finally, after about 00g the best method of stretching is by wrapping layers of PTFE tape around the jewelery (one or two layers every 1-3 days) which results in a far easier & more gradual stretch.


Common Problems/Questions

Gauges
Some like to know how big can I go? Well, typically a 2 gauge is a safe bet if you want to (mostly) ensure that the piercing returns to normal once jewelry is removed. Some can go larger some can't, it all depends on ones own body. I always suggest starting at a 14g however it is not an unreasonable request to be pierced at a 10g.

Stretching
Do not skip sizes, this can cause a tearing of the fistula also known as a blow out. This will cause scar tissue and make future stretching to become less uniform around the jewelery. Take your time, do it slow and make it look good.

Discharge from piercing.
Typically this is what is known as lymph and you should not try to squeeze this out. This is a build up of white blood cells and skin that your body creates and discharges as part of its natural healing process.

Infection
Do NOT take the jewelry out, this will only cause you more pain and hassle. Keep it clean, do the proper soaks and head to the doc and get some basic antibiotics.

Keloid Scar Tissue
More common in blacks and Asians this is an overgrowth of tissue at the site of a piercing or wound. They are not life threatening, don't panic just speak with a specialist. There are few things you can do about these. One option is to have it removed but there is risk that it will grow back and be even larger. Speak with a dermatologist about your options and whether or not this is actually a keloid and not a hypertrophic scar.

Hypertrophic Scar
Around here it's commonly called "the bump". This is different than a keloid and are much more "treatable". Hypertrophic scars appear as a small red bump on the surface of the skin and will be tender to touch. Once again just keep it clean and do the soaks.

Rejecting
Sometimes ones body just does not want to have a piece of metal in it and it will begin to push it out of your body. One sign of this will be a red line where the barbell will be. There is little you can to do salvage a rejecting piercing. Your best bet is to take it out and let it heal and re-pierce it later. Make sure you check with a piercer to ensure that it is rejecting before you waste your money and pull out the piercing.

Guage to MM conversions:
# 20 gauge- .8mm
# 18 gauge- 1mm
# 16 gauge- 1.2mm
# 14 gauge- 1.6 mm
# 12 gauge- 2mm
# 10 gauge- 2.5mm
# 8 gauge- 3.2mm
# 6 gauge- 4mm
# 4 gauge- 5mm
# 2 gauge- 6mm
# 1 gauge - 7mm
# 0 gauge- 8mm
# 9mm
# 00 gauge- 10mm
# 7/16 inch- 11mm
# ½ inch- 12.7mm
# 9/16 inch- 14mm
# 5/8 inch- 16mm
# 11/16 inch- 18mm
# ¾ inch- 19mm
# 7/8 inch- 22mm
# 15/16 inch- 24mm
# 1 inch- 25mm
People hear what they see - Oddisee

htmlpro
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tdmotion
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Lindakic
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Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:34 am
Location: Moldova
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General Healing Guide FAQ

Post by Lindakic » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:07 pm

Love the guide, hope everyone reads and remembers.

How much do bandages heal for nowadays? Not leveled it in cataclysm due to playing the char that can hardly ever use them.

Image ;-)

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