Ear & Body Piercing/Tragus piercing

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Question
I got my tragus pierced around 2 and half months ago. After first month my tragus developed a bump just above the piecing. It has been bleeding and scabing over ever since. It is a very raw bump that bleeds at night and forms a complete scab over my stud in the morning. I try not to sleep on it. I clean it twice a day with h2ocean but it does not seem to be getting any better. Any advice would be appreciated.

Answer
Hello Elena

The ear cartilage can be more sensitive to irritation from bathing, hair and facial care products than an earlobe piercing.

In your case, try gentle protective care with http://care.safepiercing.org/ and http://piercingexp.com/faq/aftercare.html suggestions.

The spray product you use should not be a big part of the problem, but make sure to rinse the area after bathing, and to avoid cotton swabs, as the fibers can tangle in the wound.

Often a piercing done at an angle to the tissue other than perpendicular, or with a slightly irritating shape or material like steel or an alloy of gold (usually including copper, silver and trace metals) can cause irritation and prevent complete healing. You can have a qualified professional switch it to an implant certified piece of anodized titanium jewelry for better success. http://jewelry.piercing.org/ can explain more about selecting a safe piece.

Other notable cofactors the irritation could be related to:
*cleaning products you use; chemical or particulate irritation
*the shape and size of the jewelry; a piece out of proportion to your body
*mechanical friction/motion of the jewelry; moving it around too much
*sleeping on the piercing; putting pressure on the jewelry
*tap water/moisture not dried off completely; fluid causing ulceration of the wound bed


>> The shape, friction and your sleeping habits could be the big issues, and for this reason I avoid overly loose fitted or ring shaped jewelry for healing most piercings.

Stop by for a free consultation if you are in the area, or let me know where you are so that I may refer you to someone qualified nearby to take a look at it.

I can refer you to colleagues at http://find.safepiercing.org/ who can provide you an appropriate, attractive piece of jewelry if you can not make it in.

In the meantime, try to follow simple sensible care described above
See your physician or dermatologist if symptoms get worse or do not clear up in the next few days. This could be an infection from streptococcus pyogenes or other germs.

I do not suggest any of the common home remedies [tea tree oil, vitamin E or aspirin paste] because they are either useless or can make it worse. Some people in your situation have success with a judicious application of antiseptic or antibiotic products at this point. Others try to focus on great nutrition [like a balanced diet with additional garlic, vitamin C and minerals like zinc]

What seems to help the most and harm the least is gentle care as mentioned above and to apply a dry hot compress such as a heat pad set to medium or a hot washcloth in a Ziploc bag for a period of ten to fifteen minutes as frequently as once an hour up to bedtime, to increase circulation and build immune response. Make sure to put something absorbent such as sterile gauze in between you and the compress for a clean barrier.

It may disappear as quickly as overnight if the irritation or infection is dealt with, or it could take a few days.

Ear & Body Piercing

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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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