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Thread: New forward helix swollen!?!?

  1. #1
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    Default New forward helix swollen!?!?

    I may just be freaking out for no reason, but it has been about four years since my last piercing, so I forgot a bit about the healing part. Anyways, I got my forward helix done five days ago, no problem with the piercing other than I bled quite a bit. The piercer told me to not to touch/play with it, and aside from my cousin jabbing it when I showed it to her ("Oh, is that the new one?" *poke*), I have only touched with a cotton swab to clean and accidentally knocked it a couple of times. I've taken care to keep my hair off of it as best possible, not to get clothes stuck on it, and not to sleep on it.

    Yesterday evening I noticed that it really hurt to smile, chew, etc. and upon inspection saw that the area around my piercing was quite swollen. I cleaned it with my sea salt solution, popped some ibuprofen, and went to bed. This morning I woke up to a throbbing, angry ear. I managed to use a hand mirror and flashlight to get a look at the back of the piercing and noticed some pus, so I cleaned it off, and almost immediately felt relief. As the day has progressed, however, while the swelling has gone down my ear still hurts quite a bit and I have cleaned out some little droplets of pus a couple more times.

    So my questions are, am I just overreacting? Is there anything else I should be doing to help reduce swelling and pain? The swelling has not encompassed the stud (the stud is one that the jewel screws in and out of, or at least that's what the piercer told me), so I don't see a necessity to take it out for that. Should I try to gently squeeze the swollen area to get more pus out, or just let it come out at its own freewill?

    Any thoughts and suggestions would be much appreciated!
    Piercings - Nose, three in each lobe, inner conch each ear, cartilage each ear, and forward helix one ear. Used to have my belly button, but had to take out first due to rejection and second due to a weird pus bubble that formed around the top...

    Tattoos - One on each foot, big toe, rib cage, lower back, shoulder blade, back of neck, behind ear.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kitebunny's Avatar
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    For such a new piercing, it's totally normal to have some swelling and discomfort, as well as discharge that is most likely lymph. Waking up throbbing is not unusual because more blood can get to it when you're lying down. Does it still throb when you're upright?

    You might want to go show your piercer just in case (or post a clear picture here if you can't get to your piercer)
    You could do a hot soak to draw out any gunk, followed by a cold chamomile soak to help reduce the swelling.


    Signs of irritation/early healing are: red, warm to touch, swollen, tender, a bit achy, lymph fluid, possibly itchy as well.

    Symptoms of infection are: red (especially red lines), hot to touch, very painful to touch, aching, throbbing, dark green/brown(/smelly) pus, maybe itchy.
    what's a few seconds of pain for a lifetime of shiny?

    Both lobes 1/2", 5mm, 1.6mm
    Left rook & 5mm helix punch
    Right helix x2 & forward helix
    VCH, 5mm tongue

  3. #3
    Senior Member ~Nox~'s Avatar
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    Yeah that sounds fairly normal for early days. some people swell and ache a lot, others have minimal changes.
    The uber swelling and face-ache after my tragus didn't start to go down for over a month :p then it stayed relatively
    swollen for the few months after that.
    Cartilage can be really pissy,. Id suggest having a read of the Bump thread and prepare yourself incase you get one as they're fairly common, and best to be prepared and know how to deal with them
    Hai, I'm Nox!!

    Current; L&R Firsts @ 1.6mm, L&R Seconds @ 1.2mm L&R Low Auricles, R Tragus, R Nostril, L Rook
    Researching & Planning; R Daith, R Faux Rook, L Nostril, L Inner Conch,
    L Side Labret, L&R 5mm firsts
    Retired; Central Labret, 4 Standard Lobes, Naval, 4mm Seconds

  4. #4
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    I did a warm soak last night, and today the swelling and pain have gone down considerably! Throbbing was also happening mainly when I was lying down, but was not quite so bad this AM.

    You might want to go show your piercer just in case (or post a clear picture here if you can't get to your piercer)
    I was going to post a picture last night, but I kept getting pictures of my hair, and my husband was too "grossed out" to take a picture for me. Ha.

    Cartilage can be really pissy,. Id suggest having a read of the Bump thread and prepare yourself incase you get one as they're fairly common, and best to be prepared and know how to deal with them
    I shall! I had a bump form on my regular cartilage piercing many years ago, but found that was from wearing cheap Wal-Mart earrings/changing my stud too soon.
    Piercings - Nose, three in each lobe, inner conch each ear, cartilage each ear, and forward helix one ear. Used to have my belly button, but had to take out first due to rejection and second due to a weird pus bubble that formed around the top...

    Tattoos - One on each foot, big toe, rib cage, lower back, shoulder blade, back of neck, behind ear.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ~Nox~'s Avatar
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    Can't believe I didn't reply to this, but don't squeeze it!!!
    Stick with the soaks/compresses if you feel it could do with having some gunky stuff drawn out.

    Another good tip is to invest in a travel pillow -Just sleep with your ear in the gap- I bought one that feels like its full of (bean-bag style) beans, so waaay more comfier than the cheapo blow-up ones.
    From the 1 shop too, so bargain! Can't stress enough how much it has helped my 2 latest piercings. It did take me a couple of days to get the hang of sleeping with it right, but I guess that & the added elevation really helped as my swelling went down soooo much faster than it did with my tragus.
    Hai, I'm Nox!!

    Current; L&R Firsts @ 1.6mm, L&R Seconds @ 1.2mm L&R Low Auricles, R Tragus, R Nostril, L Rook
    Researching & Planning; R Daith, R Faux Rook, L Nostril, L Inner Conch,
    L Side Labret, L&R 5mm firsts
    Retired; Central Labret, 4 Standard Lobes, Naval, 4mm Seconds

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