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Thread: Advice on "The Bump".

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    Senior Member spike's Avatar
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    Default Advice on "The Bump".

    Ok... one of the issues that a lot of people have with piercings especially cartilage piercings is bumps. Probably the most frequently asked or said things are “I’ve got a keloid what do I do” or My piercing has a “bump” on it...
    I’ve heard many weird and wacky methods of getting rid of these bumps from old wives tales like crushed aspirin to placing a hot onion on it...really I have spoken to someone who has done that cos thats what his nan said was good for a brusing – No Joke!!

    So I thought it might be useful to write a little note on what the bump could be and how to go about dealing with it.



    “So Spike, I’ve got a keloid on my piercing”


    Actually no, I’d be surprised if you did. Keloids are actually very rare in piercings, they do happen but not very often. Keloids are more prominent after surgery and with people with dark skin.

    What is a keloid then out of interest? A keloid is actually a type of scar tissue and it starts to form after a deep wound. What happens when you cut your self is both skin cells and connective tissue cells (fibroblasts) begin multiplying to repair the damage. The fibroblasts form a framework upon which the skin cells can migrate and fill in the wound. This is basically a scar and how it is formed. A healthy ratio of cells to fibreblast results in a normal scar. Sometimes though the fibroblasts work at a quicker rate than the skin cells and after the scar is formed the fibroblasts continue to multiply. This causes a mass to develop above the skin. This mass is what we commonly call a keloid.

    It is important to note that a keloid doesn’t usually form at the site of the original wound, or in our case piercing. It’s always nearby (next to, above, below) but not actually formed at the piercing.

    So what is it... it’s actually a type of benign tumour that can grow very large, itchy and sometimes panful.


    So how do I get rid of one? The simple answer is surgery of some form. Some people have success in covering them with silicone sheeting that is meant to speed up the maturing and healing of them, some people run a course of steroids but the only real way of getting rid is surgery.

    I will stress again keloid scaring in piercing is very rare!

    Ok Spike, I hear you! So I probably don’t have a keloid... but I do have a bump – what’s the deal?


    Well that’s a good question, in truth there are a number or bumps and a number of causes. One of which I will mention, as it’s more common than people think. A lot of the bumps you come across on piercings especially on the ear can often be attributed to a minor Staphylococcus infection and not hypertrophic scaring (more on hypertrophic scars later). Side effects of a Staphylococcus infection can be a small angry red lump at the site of the piercing (basically a boil). To look at the bump it is very similar in appearance to hypertrophic scar. You can usually tell them apart by a Staphylococcus infection will come up fairly quickly after the piercing, hypertrophic scaring can usually appear weeks later, boils are usually soft as well.

    So wait your telling me my piercing is infected?? I don’t believe you... it’s not got yellow puss, its not really hot or it’s not got green goo firing out and it doesn’t smell funny... Yes, I know all that but this is a different type of infection.
    So how do I get rid of it? The fastest and recommended way is to go to your doctor – They will usually drain the bump and prescribe you fucidin H. Ideally you want a cause of antibiotics as well. A note on fucidin, if you do get a tube of it, don’t go nuts with it. Once the bump has gone down stop with the cream. As you may or may not be aware, your body is very good at sorting things and one thing it can do is become resistant to things – antibiotics being one of those things. The more serious staph infection is commonly known as MRSA which is a lot harder to shift – you don’t want your body becoming resistant to one of the cures. So just go easy with it. I’m also not suggesting every bump is the start of MRSA, I’m not but, minor skin infections are a bit more common than people think. This is why a lot of the time when I give out advice I suggest hot compress etc for a week, if it’s showing no signs of going after a week, then its best to get a doctor (doctor NOT a piercer) to take a look.


    So what is this hypertrophic scaring you mention and I keep hearing been batted around the forum?? Hypertrophic scaring is usually the biggest bump causer out there. A lot of the time when you get a bump on your piercing it will be hypertrophic scaring.

    So what is it? Basically it is very similar indeed to a keloid... there are some differences though. As the scar tries to heal the body creates collagen, this is basically what the bump is made from. Unlike keloids a hypertrophic scar starts at the site but will usually only grow and mass around the site. They do not spread out like a keloid would and they stay fairly small in size, usually no larger than a small pea often much smaller. Everyone assumes they are caused by irritation, knocks bangs, poor jewellery and this may very well be the case as far as piercing is concerned. If there is something not right or bothering the piercing then it will complain and let you know it isn’t happy. The truth is no one actually knows why they appear there are still studies out to try and determine why they (and keloids) pop up when they do. They just do... Hypertrophic scars usually in time, providing you have well fitting jewellery, and you are not swinging from your piercings they start to go pale and flatten.



    Things to try should your piercing get a bump. First thing, is jewellery - is it the right material? It should be titanium or a bio compatible plastic (such as ptfe, bioplast etc). Steel is not really any good for initial jewellery. There can be traces of nickel in steel jewellery which a lot of people can be allergic to. This will cause irritation to the piercing. Yeah but Spike I’ve worn steel in loads of piercings, I can’t just develop a nickel allergy... Well yes you can actually develop one at any point... so humour me and change your jewellery. Acrylic is also not very great for annoyed or new piercings. If you are not confident in changing your jewellery get your piercer to do it. Also you need to make sure you have appropriate fitting and the correct type of jewellery for that particular piercing. Jewellery that is the wrong type i.e. a labret stud in a nipple piercing, jewellery that is too long or short will all cause irritation and will need to be rectified.


    So we have good fitting, appropriate jewellery in – Now what? Leave it alone! Give it a couple of days, without pulling it, pushing it, prodding it, poking it, bashing it, swinging from it. If possible try not to sleep on it as well. See how it looks, if it’s showing signs of improvement carry on leaving it alone.

    So this leaving it alone malarkey is doing sweet FA, it looks no better... now what? Ok things like chamomile have proved to be good at soothing annoyed piercings, it won’t make it go away but is a good soother. Do hot compress with a chamomile tea bag as and when really, they won’t do any harm.


    What I normally suggest is a hot compress, using your salt water (1/4 tea spoon sea salt to one mug of boiling water). I normally suggest getting 8 – 10 cotton balls. Dip one in your water as hot as you can manage without hurting or burning yourself, hold it on the bump until it cools. Repeat this process until you have used all the balls and do it each day for a week. Don’t scrub, squeeze, dab... just hold it on. After the week, if it’s looking better... good stuff! Leave it alone again and see how it goes. If it flares up start again with the hot compress. If you want to mix it up a bit and try a cold compress then give it a go, again it won’t make it any worse and some people get on better with them than hot... my preference is hot though.

    Last edited by spike; 10-25-2011 at 10:25 PM.
    SPIKE
    spike_bodyjewelleryshop@hotmail.co.uk


    Piercings: 16MM Lobe, 5MM PA.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member spike's Avatar
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    This annoying little blighter is still here... now what? This leaves you with a few options. If you remove the jewellery from the piercing then the bump will normally shrink and go, you will loose the piercing though.

    I don’t want to remove the piercing though!!!... Ok go to the doctors, see if you can get the magic cream... Well how would that help, you said that’s for staph infections... I don’t think this is a staph infection...? I know that’s what I said, but I said you’re likely to get fucidin H. The H stands for Hydrocortisone. The Hydrocortisone acetate will help break down the “bump” by stopping certain chemicals being released. So usually fucidin H is prescribed as it’s a good all rounder to “bumps”. If it is a staph infection then the fusidic acid will clear it up, if its hypertrophic scar then the HC will help, and you are getting the benefits of the antibacterial in the fucidin cream.



    No Way... no doctors... they scare me! Bear with it then... if its hypertrophic scaring and you have the correct jewellery in it... keep at it, compress it and try not to bash it... it “should” eventually go... you could be in for a long haul though. Personally I’ve tried on 3 occasions to heal a snug piercing... can’t do it. My body won’t have it no matter what I try... typically its one of my favourite piercings as well... booo!



    My mate said I can put *insert rubbish here* “crushed aspirin, tee tree oil, savlon, bactine, bleech, petrol, peroxide, custard, acid or any other magic concoction” on my bump... it worked for them! Don’t put anything onto your piercing like that... All it will do it burn away at the top layer of skin, it’s too harsh and not necessary and in most cases will prolong the healing of it and also destroy healing cells.


    Hope this is useful – It’s not a definitive, as said there are lots of bumps and conditions I’ve not mentioned, just trying to help with common ones.

    Now im off to put custard on my keloid!...
    Last edited by spike; 10-25-2011 at 10:29 PM.
    SPIKE
    spike_bodyjewelleryshop@hotmail.co.uk


    Piercings: 16MM Lobe, 5MM PA.

    Retired Piercings: Lots, removed over 25 piercings in a momment of madness!

    Facebook: http://facebook.com/Bodyjewellershopspike

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    Member dreadknots's Avatar
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    thank you for a very useful thread I'v had bumps on my snug for ages now, they don't bother me (not painfull or anything) just don't look too great, I'll ask my doctor about that fucidin cream next time I see her, fingers crossed it'll help a bit
    Nat x

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    central lower lip, scaffold, snug, philtrum, both nipples and 10mm stretched ear lobe

    had: nostril, bridge

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    Senior Member Coraz0ndeOro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spike View Post
    Now im off to put custard on my keloid!...
    Ha!

    I've had a several bumps on various piercings, and the best thing for me has always just been plain SSS with the occasional chamomile compress. Just out of curiosity, why do you recommend compresses with cotton balls instead of soaks? A soak involves less touching of the piercing and the water stays pretty hot so it seems like that would be better.
    I'm Lindsay.
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    Other: Both nostrils, septum, VCH, navel
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  5. #5
    dpack_1
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    The most likely cause of 'The Bump' is because you didn't come to me to get pierced.

  6. #6
    Senior Member spike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coraz0ndeOro View Post
    Ha!

    I've had a several bumps on various piercings, and the best thing for me has always just been plain SSS with the occasional chamomile compress. Just out of curiosity, why do you recommend compresses with cotton balls instead of soaks? A soak involves less touching of the piercing and the water stays pretty hot so it seems like that would be better.
    It's just easier for some piercings, also the compress part of it being a hot compress is the good bit, light pressure is actually good for raised scar tissue. Pressure treatment is often used in the first instant of treatment for keloids etc.
    Last edited by spike; 10-25-2011 at 10:30 PM.
    SPIKE
    spike_bodyjewelleryshop@hotmail.co.uk


    Piercings: 16MM Lobe, 5MM PA.

    Retired Piercings: Lots, removed over 25 piercings in a momment of madness!

    Facebook: http://facebook.com/Bodyjewellershopspike

  7. #7
    Senior Member spike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpack_1 View Post
    The most likely cause of 'The Bump' is because you didn't come to me to get pierced.
    This as well... Darren does make a good point.. good placement of jewellery in the first place will help, a good piercer will also use the correct jewellery that is right for the piercing. As said this will all help but no matter how good the piercer or piercing you can still get bumps im afraid.
    Last edited by spike; 10-25-2011 at 10:31 PM.
    SPIKE
    spike_bodyjewelleryshop@hotmail.co.uk


    Piercings: 16MM Lobe, 5MM PA.

    Retired Piercings: Lots, removed over 25 piercings in a momment of madness!

    Facebook: http://facebook.com/Bodyjewellershopspike

  8. #8
    Senior Member Drynwhyl's Avatar
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    Very useful thread spike! I'm sure it'll help lots if people. Plus, I learned some more bump-details so I can spread the knowledge.
    Although I wish more newbies would actually read the stickies than post 6 threads saying "lawl so me gots a bump what DO I DO?!?!"
    Last edited by spike; 10-25-2011 at 10:32 PM.

    26mm both lobes, 6mm second lobes, 6mm left inner conch, 8mm septum, 2.4mm inner labia, 1.6mm nipples, 1.2mm nostril
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    Senior Member Addicted's Avatar
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    Nice work Spike. Love it.
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    Failed: Navel (rejected x2) | R tragus (migrated) | L collar bone dermal (rejected)
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  10. #10
    Senior Member spike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drynwhyl View Post
    Very useful thread spike! I'm sure it'll help lots if people. Plus, I learned some more bump-details so I can spread the knowledge.
    Although I wish more newbies would actually read the stickies than post 6 threads saying "lawl so me gots a bump what DO I DO?!?!"
    Thank you, you are right - suppose it saves a job if all the info is here, just direct people to the thread.
    Last edited by spike; 10-25-2011 at 10:35 PM.
    SPIKE
    spike_bodyjewelleryshop@hotmail.co.uk


    Piercings: 16MM Lobe, 5MM PA.

    Retired Piercings: Lots, removed over 25 piercings in a momment of madness!

    Facebook: http://facebook.com/Bodyjewellershopspike

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