One 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.