Why does my piercing have a lump/bump/pimple?
A fluid build up/ irritation bump is a collection of sebum (dead skin cells, sweat, and lymphatic fluid) that is unable to drain efficiently. They are not usually sore - but soreness can be one of the direct indicators as to why the bump has formed. (Sleeping on it, ill fitting jewellery, etc). They are caused by irritation, and the usual contending culprits are one or a combination of the following:
Movement from twisting/turning/ sleeping on the jewellery.
Jewellery that isn't appropriate material, thickness, length, or style for the area (a prime example would be a nostril ring that's too small and thin), or a super long conch barbell that hasn't been downsized at the appropriate stage.
Using an aftercare alternate to saline solution. A lot of people turn to the internet to find all sorts of lotions and potions that hinder healing rather than encourage.
Not drying the area properly after cleaning / sleeping with wet hair
Oftentimes by removing the source of irritation and some *LITHA treatment (Leave it the hell alone!) they often disappear, but there are some steps we can take to help them along.
If you have a fluid build up, and LITHA isn't working for you, then be prepared to be disciplined with daily hot compresses and of course committing to removing the source of irritation. There are two types of compresses that can be tried, but we suggest trying out dry compresses for a few weeks first. Dry compressing: Microwavable heat packs/glove warmers are an ideal and handy (no pun intended) method to promote draining.
Simply follow instruction to heat up the pack and wrap it around the piercing for around 5/10 minutes twice daily. This should help increase the circulation and encourage drainage, similar to applying steam to a pimple. Chamomile Compressing: Chamomile is a daisy-like plant that is commonly suggested for this use due to it's anticoagulant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.. or just to enjoy as a herbal tea.
Chamomile Compresses may not be suitable for everybody - if irritation occurs, stop immediately and revert to dry heat compresses. 1. Steep a teabag in boiling water for a few minutes, remove it and let it cool ever so slightly so you do not burn yourself. 2. Check it on the inside of your forearm to ensure it's not too hot. 3. Wrap it around the piercing and hold it there under gentle compress until the teabag has gone stone cold. Repeat. Do this instead of your daily cleans. 4. Pat gently dry with some cotton tip applicators or some gauze,
5. Repeat 2x Daily.
Within a few weeks the fluid build-up should have gone, or at least started to reduce. Neither compress methods will work if the cause is not removed. Please note that your bump may also start to look worse before it looks better as the fluid draws to the surface – do not pick, scratch it, or apply make up, or you increase the risk of scarring, discolouration, and potentially infection. Is it a keloid?
Probably not! Keloids are a result of overgrowth of tissue and collagen at the site of a healed or healing wound and tend to be firm, rubbery in feeling, and sometimes shiny. They can vary in appearance from one skin tone to the next, anywhere from a dark brown to red in colour. They are believed to have a genetic component, so they tend to run in families, and are genetically disposed. If your mother or father don’t keloid, the chances of you forming one are slim. They are unlikely to occur from a piercing unless you are already prone to keloiding. Keloid has become one of the catchall terms that have been given to any bump around a piercing and it's really important to understand the difference so that effective treatments (if any) can be given. If you have a true keloid, then only a dermatologist will be able to assist with a series of ointments and steroid injections and following other advice can actually make things worse.
In summary, if you are having any issues whatsoever with your piercings or are concerned about a bump beginning to form, never hesitate to get in touch and we can schedule you in for a check up or to assist with any necessary jewellery changes. Pierce & Love,