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Ear & Body Piercing/Tragus piercing advice

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Question
I had my tragus pierced about two weeks ago now, and it doesn't seem to be healing properly. I am unable to do salt water 'soaks' on my ear as I am susceptible to inner ear infections, so I soak two cotton balls in salt water and hold over my piercing as well as gently wiping with a cotton bud dipped in salt water and holding a warm salt water soaked flannel over the area. My piercer told me to bathe the piercing twice a day and turn the jewellery (which I know to be bad advice), and said that the healing time would be similar to that of my nostril piercing. When he pierced it he didn't have anything for the needle to hit once it was through my ear, resulting in the needle going back into the entry of my ear drum and causing a bit of bleeding. Following his aftercare advice has left me with an aching piercing that constantly forms crusties mere minutes after bathing. It hurts to touch, and the inside of my ear is ridiculous (unsure if due to the puncture wound or as a result of the piercing). Just wondering if these are signs of an infection or if it's normal, and what your advice would be on how to rectify the issue. Thanks so much in advance.

Answer
Sad to know that your piercing experience sis not go exactly as planned. In some cases, even a skilled piercer can miss their mark.

Consider http://care.safepiercing.org/ for gentler care, and see your healthcare provider if your pain and swelling do not go away soon. Heat, pain, swelling, redness and or discolored discharge are the most common signs of infection. Seek medical attention right away in that case.

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Brian Skellie

Expertise

I can answer questions in regards to and not limited to: jewelry safety, specifically material, shape, proportion, and related issues; aseptic technique and sterilization as it applies to piercing safety; ethical issues of technique and bedside manner; the aftercare and recovery process for piercings. *Available for consultation.

Experience

Body artist and founder of Piercing Experience (1992), http://brnskll.com/ and SciCan Authorized Dealer of STATIM Sterilizers and related infection control products http://statim.us/

Organizations
Currently serving on the APP Board of Directors as President, formerly as Global Media Director 2013-2014, International Liaison 2010-13, Treasurer 1997-99. Over fifteen years with ASTM and APP.

Publications
The Point Journal of the Association of Professional Piercers, USA Today, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing

Education/Credentials
I regularly participate and teach in many APP and related body art educational programs. I keep current certifications for OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens, First Aid, and CPR.

Awards and Honors
APP President's Award, Best Freehand Piercer, Best of Atlanta

Past/Present Clients
Tens of thousands of one on one client experiences as the founder of Piercing Experience in Atlanta, GA, USA http://www.piercing.org/ *Body jewelry design and safety expert: Member ASTM committee F04(www.astm.org)and former Member AAMI (www.aami.org) Research advisor and educator for the APP for over a decade(www.safepiercing.org) teaching advanced studio setup, sterilization and equipment management, freehand piercing, aseptic/sterile technique and much more. Distributor and Body Art expert for SciCan StatIM sterilization and infection control products. http://statim.us/ and http://piercers.com/

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