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Ear & Body Piercing/Navel Piercing Infection?

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I got my navel pierced about 10 months ago and it's still healing. Lately a lot of discharge and/or puss has bern coming out and crusting over on the bottom only. When I clean it after soaking it in a sea salt solution the puss is white with some blood mixed in but when it crusts over it's often a golden yellow color that worries me. I think my belly button is a little swollen because when I feel the inside it's kinda hard and hurts. It hurts when something lightly touches it which hasn't happened in quite a few months. The skin on the top seems to be healing fine in that the circumference of the hole seems small and when the jewelry gets pushed up it looks like my skin, but the bottom hole looks raw, like the skin around it looks like I got a rug burn that took a layer of skin off and is white. Plus it's only draining through the bottom nothing has come up from the top. I've been doing sea salt soaks twice a day along with washing it with Dial antibacterial soap. I've also taken the jewelry out a few times, but put it back in within five minutes, so that might have something to do with it. What I guess I'm asking is is it infected, rejecting and/or migrating? Does it sound like it's healing correctly? And is there something I should be doing to prevent or take care of it better? I would ask the piercer, but I feel a little weird contacting someone I haven't talked to in 8 months. I've attached two photos of the best clarity I could get and of the best view of the bottom.

Answer
I'd strongly suggest that you follow up with a piercer in person. The placement does not appear ideal from the photos, and jewelry with a smaller bottom end or a J curve seems more appropriate for the placement you have.

Taking the jewelry out yourself tends to put you at risk for infection and could injure the delicate healing tissue inside. Soreness would be a common result of this if you noticed it right after.

A piercing should not experience an excess of heat, redness, pain, swelling or discolored discharge. I encourage you to seek the advice of your healthcare professional and reconsider gentler aftercare as described at http://piercingexp.com/faq/aftercare.html

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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