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Ear & Body Piercing/What happens if you leave crusties on a healing piercing?


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My ear  

I got my daith pierced about a month ago, and it's doing great, but the thing is that there are a lot of crusties that form on it. In the past, many of my piercings have not done well and have developed bumps, and the common factor in all of my aftercare with these piercings has been that I have q-tipped them quite a lot. I really want this piercing to be healthy and bump-free, so I'm trying this thing with it where I literally don't even put a q-tip near it. I just clean it by either running it under the shower head and letting the water/water pressure run over it, or I soak sterile gauze in saline solution.

But this results in a lot of crusties forming, and though they soften up with getting wet, the pressure of the shower water never seems to make them go away, so it's kind of like a gross volcano of crusties that's constantly building on both sides of my piercing. What should I do about this? And is it okay that I'm leaving the crusties on there?

Scabs are good for your healing.
Large buildup is not.

Soaking sterile gauze with sterile saline wound wash, and putting that against the area for ten or more minutes should progressively help you break away the dried discharge from the jewelry as it softens. Repeat until it is gone, and try this in addition to the hot shower, as a second step.

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Brian Skellie


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.


Body artist and founder of Piercing Experience (1992), and SciCan Authorized Dealer of STATIM Sterilizers and related infection control products

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.

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

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 *Body jewelry design and safety expert: Member ASTM committee F04( former Member AAMI ( Research advisor and educator for the APP for over a decade( 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. and

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