Cartilage Piercing Afetrcare

The trend of getting the cartilage of the ear and the nose pierced for reasons dedicated towards becoming stylish and cool with a variety of accessories hanging on the nose and the ear has also been the reason for paying visits to the doctor owing to the ill effects of such ornamental practices.

Most youngsters have always liked to flaunt trendy accessories and earrings in order to look cool and sexy. But once they feel the pinch and the pain that follows piercing, they realize the importance of the famous phrase “no pain- no gain”. It has been observed that poor and unhygienic ways of piercing causes swelling and infection of the ears or the nose and causes pain in the affected areas. Extreme conditions may lead to cartilage piercing infections causing the development of abscess containing puss.

Moreover this may be coupled with the development of scars and the formation of bumps in the ear and the nose. So it’s imperative to have the right cartilage piercing information and the knowledge of its procedures as to be away from such problems of pain and suffering.

Daily Care Routine
Do not touch your piercing unless you are cleaning it. Unwashed hands carry bacteria and your piercing is a point where these bacteria can penetrate below your skin and cause an infection.
While healing, your piercing will need to be cleaned once daily.
Cleaning more often than this will harm your piercing.
You will need to use an antibacterial soap that contains either chloroxylenol or triclosan

The step-by-step procedure is:
Wash your hands with antibacterial soap.
Wet the piercing with plain water.
Put a few drops of antibacterial soap on the piercing and work them into a lather with a cotton bud.
Try to loosen any crusted discharge and float it off the jewelry and your skin with the cotton bud.
Leave the antibacterial soap on the piercing for two minutes while rotating the jewelry back and forth, allowing the disinfectant to penetrate the piercing.
Rinse with water and air dry thoroughly. Do not dry with a towel, which may carry bacteria.

Suitable Types:
Captured bead rings
Rings are much cheaper than barbells. Special pliers may be required to remove or replace the bead, especially for thicker gauge jewelry.
Avoid sleepers as the sharp edges at the joint may damage your piercing.
Either choose internally threaded barbells or, if the bar is externally threaded, be sure that no threads are exposed.
StudsStuds can work very well providing there is sufficient room to exose the piercing when cleaning.
Suitable Sizes:
Only 18 gauge or heavier jewelry should be used. Smaller gauges will migrate out through the skin.

Suitable Materials:
Surgical Stainless Steel, 18 carat gold, titanium, niobium, PTFE.
Do not use 9 carat gold, silver (which can stain the tissues permanently), or gold plated jewelry in new piercings. In a healing cartilage piercing the gold plating will wear off the jewelry before the piercing is healed. This is not such a problem in healed piercings.

Changing Jewelry:
You may damage your piercing by changing jewelry during the healing period. This is best done by a professional piercer. Once a piercing is healed you can change the jewelry yourself.

Health Issues

Bacterial Infections
Disinfect, wash or avoid the things in your daily life that can carry bacteria:
Telephone handsets
Mobile phones
Hearing aids
Pens and pencils
Scarves, hats, etc

Include increased pain, increased redness and an increase in the amount and thickness of the discharge. The infected discharge is usually thick and yellow, green or grey and may have an unusual odour. Consult with your physician or piercer and do not remove the jewelry until you seek advice. Removing the jewelry may prevent pus draining and cause an abscess to form.

Infection of cartilage. This is very difficult to treat and sometimes requires plastic surgery for cure. Consult a physician.

Cleaning Agents
Never use alcohol swabs, Betadine, chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide, methylated spirit, or tea tree oil to clean your piercing. These do kill bacteria but they also destroy your healing flesh. The killed flesh then becomes easily infected.

When your hair touches your jewelry it can transfer bacteria into your piercing. Before your piercing procedure you should wash and dry your hair. Consider tying your hair back or cutting your hair if it is touching your jewelry.

The inexperienced piercing of the cartilage may cause harm to the tissues which may lead to the formation of scars in and around the pierced area. This facilitates the formation of a bump or a ridge over the pierced area which may bleed at times. For the cure of an infection caused to that extent you need to consult your physician who shall be able to offer the best treatment for the same. In order to avoid such infections you need to ensure proper piercing and after care measures of cartilage piercing.

Lavender Oil
This essential oil lubricates the piercing and is reputed to reduce scar tissue and prevent tightening. It must be used in its dilute form, a drop applied to each side of the piercing with a cotton bud, the excess removed, and then the jewelry moved back and forth through the piercing. The correct dilution is 10 drops lavender oil in 15mls grapeseed or sweet almond oil.

Piercing Guns
Piercing guns are suitable for use along the helix of the ear as well as on the lobes. The manufacturers are very specific that they are not to be used on other parts of the ear.

Smoking slows healing by suppressing your immune system and blood circulation to the skin. Smoking will increase the healing time of cartilage piercings by months.

Swimming is not prohibited while your piercing is healing, but you should only swim for short periods in pools that are thoroughly chlorine- or ozone-treated. If you swim in the ocean or waterways, do not swim after heavy rain since storm water run-off often contains bacteria and parasites.

Viral Infections
Viruses such as Hepatitis A, B, and C, and HIV can penetrate a piercing that has not healed. These viruses may be present in the blood, saliva, semen, sweat and vaginal secretions of infected persons. Until your piercing has healed avoid any other person's bodily fluids contacting your piercing. Practice safe aural sex!

Studies have shown that vitamin C and zinc promote wound healing. Aim for about 2000-3000 mg vitamin C and 100 mg zinc daily. Note that these amounts are not available in multivitamin tablets. Ask at your pharmacist or health-food store for advice on suitable products. If you are taking any medications, ask your pharmacist to make sure there are no interactions between them and the vitamin C and zinc you intend to take. For example, vitamin C can delay the absorption of the contraceptive pill - they should be taken at different times.