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Help, my piercing has a ‘bump’ on it!

My piercing has a ‘bump/lump’ on it, what should I do?

There are three different kinds of ‘bump’ that can form on or around a piercing.

1) CYST

The first and also the most common type of ‘bump’ is a cyst. Mostly seen on Tragus, Nostril & Eyebrow piercings and more often than not on the upper/outer edge of the piercing

Cysts form a sack like pocket under the outer surface of the skin and tend to hold a small amount of lymph or other fluids. In the case of cysts on piercings, the cause is usually blockage in the glands of ducts in the skin. These blockages are usually caused by soap or shampoo residues left behind after washing, a build up of dead skin cells or even dirt or other pollutants lying on the surface of the skin if the person works in a dusty or dirty environment.

In common with all problems, prevention is better than cure; always make sure that the piercing is kept clean and properly rinsed out after washing / showering and then thoroughly and carefully dried with a clean dry tissue.

There’s no ‘quick fix’ to get rid of cysts. The most common method to break the cyst down is the use of a hot saline compress 5mins morning and evening for a good 2-3 weeks (as we said, no quick solution).

2) ABSCESS

The second type of ‘bump’ is an abscess and is without doubt the most series.

Similar in construction to a cyst, abscesses tend to form behind the piercing and are usually painful and larger in size than a cyst. Often heavily swollen, hot to touch and filled with puss, an abscess holds infectious fluid and can be a major threat to your health and wellbeing.

Do not ignore your problem: if you think you have an abscess it’s best to consult a doctor or physician as soon as possible.

3) KELOID

The third type of ‘bump’ is a keloid scar. This is the least common but most mis-diagnosed.

A keloid scar is basically a scar that has overgrown the wound it should have repaired, spreading both outwards and upwards. In some severe cases the scar covers an area 2-3 times larger than the original wound.

Keloids are most commonly caused by friction on the piercing and / or jewelllery and are mostly seen in nipple and navel piercings.

There appears to be a direct correlation between the likelihood of keloid scaring and the amount of melanin (pigment) in an individuals skin. As rule of thumb, people who’s ancestors are of African, Southern India or African Caribbean are much more likely to suffer from this problem than fair skinned people.

In some severe cases keloid scarring may have to be surgically removed although it should be noted that this is extremely rare in keloids resulting from piercings.

Sub-Dermal Anchors

Sub-Dermal Anchors (also referred to as Dermal Implants) are without doubt the most revolutionary development to hit the body piercing world in the last decade. To put it in simple terms, placements that seemed almost impossible even ten years ago are now being seen as the norm with high healing success rates being reported for most areas of the body.

Slightly more difficult to perform and instal generally than most other piercings, Sub-Dermals should only be carried out by an experienced piercer who should be able to perform them successfully in a matter of only a few seconds with very little pain or discomfort.

The Sub-Dermal itself is manufactured from Surgical Grade 23 Titanium and features a small plate that sits around 1.5-2mm under the outer surface of the skin completed by a small internally threaded post that protrudes (at a right angle) through the skin allowing any one of a number of a great selection of ‘flat-headed’ Screw-in Accessories to be fitted.

The biggest single advantage to choosing a Sub-Dermal over the more traditional Surface Barbell is practicality; Sub-Dermal heads have a much lower ‘profile’, sitting close and parallel to the skin surface whereas Balls and other Screw-On Accessories fitted to Surface Barbells protrude out much more. So, by using Sub-Dermals, the chances of catching, bumping, twisting or snagging the heads is greatly reduced, which in turn increase the likelihood of an easy healing period and diminishing the possibility of problems.

Although some Sub-Dermals may be rejected by the body, the scar left behind will usually be tiny in comparison to the large and unsightly scar that can more often than not be left behind as the result of a failed Surface Piercing.

Sub-Dermals are also fairly easy to remove and as just mentioned, will leave a small mark/scar that will fade through time.