Piercing Problems: Hypergranulations

HypergranulationOne of the most common problems you may have with your piercing is a red bump forming around the piercing. These bumps, called hypergranulations, can form even if you take a good care of your piercing, but are more common with neglected piercings.

One more reason to perform adequate aftercare and to take a good care of your piercings!

Hypergranulations form around the piercings in healing, though it is not unheard of to have one formed around an old piercing, particularly if it’s infected. That being said, most of hypergranulation bumps form around piercings in healing, which is one of the reasons to always take a great care of your new piercing and to observe it closely to notice any problems.

Keep in mind that a piercing is essentially a wound in healing. Hypergranulations form around wounds, and piercings are no different. These growths can form quickly around a piercing in healing, particularly if the piercing is subjected to significant level of moisture. Another common problem that can lead to development of bumps is infection – infected piercings often produce hypergranulations. Finally, keep in mind that trauma and other injuries to your piercing can lead to the development of hypergranulation tissue.

There are two ways in which hypergranulations manifest around a piercing. The first one is a reddish bump at one side of the piercing. It is typically formed on the side, but it can appear almost anywhere around a piercing. Many of those bumps look puffy and like they are filled with fluid.

The other common form is a red, puffy tissue around the piercing. These hypergranulations without a bump are more common around surface piercings, but it’s not a rule.

Hypergranulations always have a raised appearance and tend to be reddish in color. Often times, they resemble keloid scars, but are less extreme and usually much easier to remove. Keep in mind that a hypergranulation is always localized around the piercing and doesn’t spread much in other directions. It is an aesthetic problem but easier to control than keloid scars and it’s also less problematic for the health. That being said, some hypergranulations can get out of control so it’s always important to seek medical attention in the case of hypergranulations. While some cases can be successfully treated at home, sometimes there is nothing you can do. If the hypergranulations persist or if they grow and cause further problems, it is vital to seek medical attention.

As with many other problems with piercings, it is best to treat hypergranulations as soon as they start forming. This gives you the best chance to treat them completely and without much hassle.

How to Treat Hypergranulations

Oftentimes, hypergranulations form as a result of the pressure jewelry makes on the piercing. This is why changing jewelry to a more comfortable piece is typically the first thing to do if you wish to treat and stop hypergranulations. In this case, you may need to change jewelry for a smoother, lighter or longer jewelry piece. It is best to switch to jewelry made of hypo-allergenic material such as titanium or BioPlast.

If this happens during the initial stages of healing, make sure to consult your piercer to change the jewelry for you. Never attempt to change jewelry by yourself unless the piercing is healed or at least pass the initial stages of healing.

In order to get rid of the hypergranulation tissue, you need to use sea salt solution soaks several times per day. Alternatively, you may use specialized aftercare sprays made for piercings in healing, provided that they are not too harsh. The gentlest way to go is to make your own saline solution. If your piercing is in healing, use the solution you’d apply anyway as part of your cleaning regime. This time, however, make sure to add one or two more saline soaks per day than your usual amount.

Other than saline soaks, it is important to keep your piercing dry. Keep in mind that moisture makes the matters worse, so your piercing should be kept clean and dry.

You should see an improvement within a few days to a week. While he hypergranulation might not disappear completely, it should be smaller and your piercing should show signs of improvement. In case this doesn’t happen even after a week, you should seek advice from your doctor.

Do not wait – hypergranulations can turn into infections or scars, and you want to avoid that at all costs.

Additional Info and Tips

  • Do not mistake hypergranulations for other problems, such as piercing infections, acne or keloid scars. If in doubt, consult your piercer. However, keep in mind that it’s vital to talk to your doctor to get true medical advice and help.
  • Typically, hypergranulations form around navel and nostril piercings, but can develop anywhere. Do not assume that you are risk-free if you get a piercing that is not commonly known for causing hypergranulations.
  • To improve healing, make sure to get plenty of rest. Eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water.
  • Do not disturb your piercing. Make sure it doesn’t get caught on clothes or during your sleep. Never touch your piercing and don’t twist or turn the jewelry.
  • If you cannot treat a hypergranulation or if it gets worse, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
  • One of the best ways to prevent hypergranulations is to perform adequate aftercare for your piercing in healing and to observe your piercing regularly to notice any changes.
  • In some extreme cases, hypergranulations cannot be treated while the jewelry is still in and while the piercing exists. In this case, you will need to retire your piercing. However, if it’s done properly you may be able to get re-pierced when the tissue is rested and healed.

Ashley Piercing

AshleyAshley piercing is a lip piercing that is a variation of a more common vertical labret piercing. That being said, since vertical labret is also a relatively rare piercing, Ashley is considered a lesser common type of lip piercing. That being said, this is a very effective piercing type so there is no reason not to get one if you like how it looks.

Piercing and Placement

Technically speaking, Ashley piercing can be seen as an “inverse vertical labret”. With Ashley piercing, one of the ends of the jewelry (one bead) sits on top of the lower lip, while the other end of the piercing is inside the mouth. This is a variation of vertical labret piercing. With typical vertical labret, both ends of the jewelry sit outside of the body: one in the middle of lower lip and the other under the lower lip.

In this sense, Ashley is both a facial and oral piercing, similar to other lip piercings in which one end of the jewelry sits outside of the body and the other one is inside of the mouth.

Ashley is very effective and attractive because there is only one bead visible on the lip, while the other one is hidden.

Since the needle goes through relatively much tissue, Ashley piercings tend to be painful, but it’s manageable. However, they are definitely considered one of the more painful lip piercings, so keep that in mind if you wish to have this piercing done.

You can expect some swelling after the procedure, but it should go away in the following days. Just perform aftercare as instructed by your piercer and you should be fine. That being said, if the swelling persists and you encounter other problems, it would be for the best to consult your piercer.

Jewelry

Typical jewelry for Ashley piercing is a curved barbell. This one seems to work the best and provides the best comfort. It is also a very safe choice in terms of piercing health and preventing infections and other problems.

Another common jewelry type for this piercing is a Captive Bead Ring. If this jewelry type is used, the bead should be positioned to sit comfortably in the middle of the lower lip.

However, some other jewelry types are also possible, such as straight barbells or labrets (labret studs). When choosing jewelry for Ashley piercing, it is important to make sure that the jewelry is long enough to accommodate the piercing.

Straight barbells might be more comfortable if you choose to have your Ashley piercing off-center (and to the side). Some people choose to wear these side Ashley piercings in pairs, so it’s a very attractive choice.

Because of the swelling, some piercers recommend longer initial jewelry that has to be changed after the first swelling is gone. In this case, make sure that your piercer is the one to change your jewelry – never attempt to change initial jewelry on your own!

Additional Info and Tips

Ashley piercing is also known as Inverse Vertical Labret, so this might be the name your piercer will use.

The healing time for Ashley piercing is similar to that of the vertical labret: 8 to 10 weeks.

Ashley piercing is typically done at 16 gauge or 14 gauge, though there are some cases of piercings done at a bit larger gauges. Some piercers even use an 18 gauge needle for this piercing, but this might be too small to be comfortable for most users.

Ashley piercings tend to close up fast when the jewelry is removed. They will start to shrink after 15-20 minutes if you take your jewelry off, so keep that in mind.

Piercing Care for New, Healing and Old Piercings

Healed Tongue PiercingIn order to enjoy your piercing to the fullest it’s important to take a good care of it. This goes without saying. Piercing care is important. Most of the problems associated with piercings, such as infections, migration or rejection can easily be prevented if you are responsible and know how to take care of your piercings and body jewelry.

My Piercing is New!

Aftercare is a crucial component of any piercing experience and should not be overlooked. Just because your appointment with your piercer is over doesn’t mean you should forget about your new piercing.

Because many people are scared of needles and fear the procedure might hurt they may feel completely relieved once it’s over. While you may relax a little keep in mind that the most crucial stage of any piercing process starts right after the procedure is done. Yes, it’s aftercare. Your new piercing will begin to heal immediately and you should take appropriate care of it to avoid any further problems.

This is why it’s crucial to listen carefully all of the aftercare instructions your piercer may give to you. Do not disregard anything and do not think you’re “smarter” than a professional. Don’t be shy: if you have some questions or if some steps are unclear, ask. Also, many reputable studios offer printed aftercare instructions you can take home with you. Make sure to read carefully and perform every aftercare step as instructed.

Cleaning your new piercing with a saline solution (or another approved cleaning product) is the most important step, but you should also follow other instructions. You must ensure that your piercing is not disturbed, so you might adjust the way you sleep or you may wear different type of clothes during the initial healing stages. Also, keep in mind that you should keep your hands away from your new piercing! Never twist or turn your jewelry: it will only bring more problems.

Piercing in Healing

Keep in mind that the healing process can be long and, for many people, tedious. Once the first few weeks are gone you will feel much better and you may think that your piercing is fully healed. In most of the cases, this is not true: piercings take weeks, months or even more to heal properly.

What does it mean? Do not abandon aftercare just because you think your piercing is healed. Do not try to change jewelry unless enough time has passed after you had your piercing. It is a good thing that your piercing heals nicely, but you should not disturb this process.

Once it’s Healed

Congratulations! You have a fully healed piercing. If you followed the aftercare instructions carefully and if you are careful about your piercing chances are that that will be healed nicely and without a problem.

This is a fun stage, because now you can change jewelry, use jewelry made of organic materials and other non-initial jewelry. However, keep in mind that infections and other problems are possible even on this stage. It means you should regularly check your piercing for any warning signs and react quickly if you spot a problem. This is the only way to avoid serious issues with your piercing.

Piercings: What to Expect

Piercings What to ExpectThere are some normal things you can expect from your piercing after getting the procedure done. All piercings go through several phases: initial healing time (right after the procedure), healing and healed piercing.

In order to take a good care of your piercing and avoid any problems it’s vital to know what to expect from your piercing at each of these stages.

After the Procedure

It is normal to experience some pain and discomfort right after having your piercing done. Swelling (localized on the spot around your new piercing), some bleeding, tenderness and light bruising are all normal and are not a cause for concern.

If you experience pain and other discomfort during the first hours after getting your piercing done, you can take a painkiller to ease the pain. Do not be concerned: this discomfort, swelling and tenderness should pass quickly.

In case the pain persists or becomes more pronounced, it might be a sign of a problem. However, it’s vital to understand that some discomfort right after getting the piercing done is normal and to be expected.

During Initial Healing

Your piercing should not cause further pain or serious discomfort, but your piercing will be sensitive during the entire healing time. During the initial healing time and beyond, you may expect to experience some itching or discoloration on the area of our piercing.

It’s also vital to know that you may notice some whitish-yellow fluid coming out of your new piercing and forming crust around the jewelry. The crusts are not dangerous but it’s important to perform regular cleaning to remove it. Do not twist or turn your jewelry to remove these crusts! You should try to touch your jewelry as little as possible.

Keep in mind that this fluid is not pus. It is easily distinguishable from pus, so you won’t make a mistake there. In case you do notice pus, it’s a sign of a trouble and you should seek medical help immediately.

Healed Piercings

Once a piercing is healed properly it is considered fully established. However, it’s important to make sure that the piercing is truly healed. Keep in mind that most piercings look healed much before the process is actually completed. The tissue tends to heal from the outside, so it takes additional time for it to heal on the inside. This is why it’s so important to keep cleaning and performing aftercare during the entire healing period.

A healed piercing should not pose any problems or discomfort. With a healed piercing, you will be able to change jewelry and try many different jewelry pieces. Depending on the piercing type, you may even be able to stretch your piercing to a larger gauge, if this is what you want.

At the same time, keep in mind that even an established piercing can develop a problem, such as an infection, migration on rejection. It means you should never forget about your piercing: make sure to observe it to notice any potential changes.

Keep in mind that jewelry should sit comfortably inside a healed piercing but it may not move much inside it. This is for the better: you don’t want your jewelry to sit too loosely in the piercing. However, it also means you should not force it to move, either.

Another thing to remember is that even older, well established piercings may accumulate some bodily secretions if you don’t clean them properly. These secretions may become smelly if you don’t clean your piercings regularly.

Also, keep in mind that even old, well-established piercings will shrink once the jewelry is removed. This is why it’s important to keep your jewelry inside at all times.

Cleaning Solutions for Your New Piercing

H20cean Piercing Aftercare Spray

H20cean Piercing Aftercare Spray

Cleaning is an integral part of piercing care. When you get pierced, your new piercing will start to heal, and the healing process is crucial for the future of your piercing. If you want to have beautiful and attractive piercing (and, even more importantly, if you want your piercing to be safe and healthy) you need to follow aftercare instructions carefully and take a good care of your healing piercing. It’s also important to keep your body jewelry clean.

Cleaning is one of the most important things you need to perform during the aftercare. It’s very important to keep the piercing hygienic. It’s therefore important to have a quality, body safe cleaning solution for your piercings. You need to be careful: many commercial cleaning products are just not suitable for piercing care.

Good Cleaning Solutions

There are some body-safe cleaning solutions you may use:

Saline Solution. Packaged sterile saline solution is probably the easiest product to use. It’s important to check that it has no additives, so you need to read the label. It’s very gentle to the skin and it does the job perfectly. This solution is not expensive and it’s very easy to use, so it’s a handy choice for people who want to keep their healing piercings clean and healthy.

Non-Iodized Sea Salt Mixture. This is a mixture you can prepare all by yourself. Take about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt (make sure it’s iodine free) and mix it with one cup (about 8 oz) of water. It’s best to use warm, distilled or bottled water. Make sure not to make your saline solution too strong – it can irritate the skin and your healing piercing.

Anti-microbial soap. You may use a liquid, anti-bacterial soap but you need to be careful with it. Make sure it doesn’t contain any strong chemicals. Also, keep in mind that you should not use a lot of it on your healing piercing (don’t apply it too often and in large quantities).

The H2Ocean Spray. This is a commercial product we can recommend because it’s safe and contain chosen body-safe ingredients. It’s specially formulated and it uses ingredients natural to your body. This spray is made to prevent infections in your healing piercing. The spray uses purified water, sea salt, Lysozyme and Sodium Benzoate. These ingredients not only clean the piercing but also help with the healing process. Just keep in mind that the spray is designed for external body piercings (don’t use for oral piercings).

Scarification Part 2: Branding

Scarification can be created by using many different methods. Branding is one of the most common methods used in creating a scarification body modification. There are different ways branding can be done by a professional.

STRIKE BRANDING: Strike branding is commonly used in livestock branding but practitioners of scarification sometimes use strike branding to create the body art scar. Heating a piece of metal up to the point that it burns the skin with generally second degree burns is how strike branding is done.  Although it is easier to have the design made out of a single piece of metal then heated and pressed on at once, the scar appears better in custom designs done using smaller metal sections with multiple burns. Strike branding does not leave the best scarring because sometimes the scar can be inconstant and the outside tissues surrounding the body modification are damaged causing a “spread” look when healed.

COLD BRANDING: Far less used and known then strike branding, cold branding or freeze branding has been done in the world of body modifications. Liquid nitrogen is the key element used in cold branding; it freezes the metal instead of heating it up to cause a burn. The outcome of cold branding is much like strike branding, except that when the hair grows back it will be white.

CAUTERY BRANDING: Cautery branding uses cautery iron equipment to burn the skin to create the body art modification. Cautery branding is the least used of all the branding methods.

LASER BRANDING: Most commonly used for scarification is laser branding. Laser branding or electrosurgical branding uses electricity to cut and burn the skin. This type of branding gives the professional more control over the overall design of the body modification. The professional can use laser branding to control somewhat how the modification scars over by changing the depth and damage done to the tissues. The electrosurgical device that is used for this type of branding not just burns the skin, it vaporizes it. With the skin being vaporized at a quick rate it causes less damage to the surrounding tissues which in turn makes the overall healing process less painful and much quicker than with strike branding. There are lasers that are used to remove tattoos or body hair; these types of lasers are not the same as an electrosurgical laser. The tool used in laser branding is much like the tool used by arc welders. An electric current flowing through electrodes to the “pen” type device creates the burn on the skin. Laser branding is a much better method for very detailed art work then strike branding.

For any kind of information on body modifications, keep glued to The Chain Gang blog

Scarification: Part 1 of 3

There are different spectrum’s of body modifications from the not so extreme like body piercings to the way extreme like scarification. Scarification is considered on the extreme side of body modifications because of its nature in intentionally scaring the body using different methods. The people who chose to do this use their human body as a live canvas to display a piece of artwork, thus scarification is not considered harming oneself.

 

In many cultures for many of years scarification has been used for spiritual or rite of passage purposes. In modern day cultures, some people still practice this ritual for spiritual or rite of passage purposes but most people use it as a pronounced statement about themselves. There are far more tattoo artist than scarification specialist because tattooing is more popular then scarification. Finding a professional to do the scarification procedure is very important in the end result of this body modification.

 

The point of scarification is to create a scar on the body that will be there for life in which ever design was picked out. The scar can be created using many different methods by a professional. The 3D raised effect that scarification causes is best achieved by the correct kind of scar tissue. Hypertrophic scarring is more common in most people. The best kind of scarring that would give the best raised look would be keloid scarring. This type of scaring does not happen for everyone, it has a lot to do with ones genetics and skin tone. Darker pigmented skin usually heals with a keloid scar. As with any other body modification, the healing process is the most important in getting the perfect body art scar. Once the professional has done their part in the scarification process, it is up to the body to create the scar. Most professionals will recommend irritating the wounds to help create a larger more raised scar.

 

The longer the wound is unable to heal completely the better the scar will be. It is still recommended to keep the area cleaned to avoid infection. Irritating the area can be done by removing the scab that is formed during the healing process, by either picking it or rubbing it off completely. Some people use chemical agents to help irritate the open wound to make the scar more predominate. Toothpaste and citrus juice are the most commonly used irritant. Even though it is recommended to irritate the open wound to make a better scar, it is okay to allow the scarification to heal naturally on its own. With this type of body art modifications, infection is not uncommon. Keeping the wound cleaned, bandaged, and allowing to heal on its own is the safest way to prevent infection from happening. The scar that is created from the body naturally healing the body modification will not be nearly as impressive compared to irritating the wound to help create a better scar. The healing time will vary from person to person but it can take up to six months to completely heal a scarification the correct way.

 

Make sure to keep reading The Chain Gang Blogs for the continuation of this subject; methods scarifications are done.

 

Scarification Part 3: Cutting

Another way to do a scarification body modification is cutting of the skin. This cutting style is not to be confused with self cutting to deal with emotional pain; scarification cutting is only done for cosmetic purposes. Surgical blades are used to cut the skin in this type of scarification. When the professional uses the sterilized surgical blade to create a body modification, the lines are generally thin. The thin cuts that were done might not leave the desired scar the person was hoping for. Removing a portion of the skin in the body art is usually required to create a larger more predominate scar. Depending on how big the art piece being done is and how big of a scar is being desired, will determine how much skin will need to be removed.

 

Other Scarification Methods

 

Skinning is usually part of the cutting method in scarification because of the different sizes of designs and the size of the scar that is trying to be achieved. A surgical blade is used to make the outside lines where the skinning is going to happen in the art design and then the skin is peeled away, leaving an open wound to scar over.

 

Hatching is another method used to create a scar; it’s much like skin removal or skinning. The motion an artist uses to sketch a picture is the same motion used in hatching, a surgical scalpel is used instead of a drawling utensil. The skin is then removed.

 

Along with cutting, there are other techniques that are used to create the perfect scar. One of the most heard of is ink rubbing. After the cutting of the scarification has been done some body art enthusiast take a sterile coloring agent, usually tattoo ink and rub it into the open wounds. As the healing process begins, the ink remains in the skin. It is important not to pick the scabs because it will pull the sterile coloring agent out. The end result of ink rubbing maybe very disappointing. Most people view this body modification as a shoddily done tattoo instead of a scarification.

 

Another techniques used along with cutting is Packing. Packing is done mostly in Africa. A diagonal incision is made and either a form of clay or ashes are placed inside the open wound. The natural healing process of the body will form a scar and slowly push the ash or clay out, leaving a bigger scar then without a substance in the cut. In the United States, it is not unheard of for people to use cigar ashes or ashes of a deceased loved one in the packing scarification process.

 

Abrasion is another process that can be done to do a scarification body modification. This method basically uses friction to remove layers of skin to create a scar. The friction needed to create this scar can be caused from using a tattoo machine without any ink, sandpaper, or a dermal tool tip to grind away the layers of skin. The type of scar that is usually left from abrasion is not as raised as other methods. Chemical abrasion can also be done to create a body modification, although this is a far less known and explored form of scarification.

 

Body piercing and modification needs a lot of care to prevent infections. H2Ocean Spray is the most effective product to cleanse and heal the external body piercings.

 

 

Popular Body Piercings and Their Healing Periods

What is the one thing that you really, really need to have if you are a piercing lover or considering getting one? Patience that’s what! There is no definite answer to how much the healing period is for you, but it is, in no way, a day or two. Different piercings have different healing time periods. While oral/facial piercings heal sooner, others take some time. It also depends on the piercee’s body and skin type and lifestyle.

The healing period is generally divided into two phases – Primary Healing and Full Healing. Full healing Continue reading