Many piercings will form bumps during their healing process, some are common and others extremely rare. This guide is designed to help you identify the bump and how to help it. Usually a lot of patience is involved. Please remember this is for guidance only and does not replace sound, professional medical advice.

Hypertrophic Scarring

  • What is it? - Skin coloured bumps, very common on ear cartilage piercings and nostrils, sometimes appear red/pink at first. They do not contain anything, so cannot be popped and don't produce any pus.
  • Why does it happen? - Sometimes these bumps just happen for no reason but they can also be a result of poor quality jewellery, ill fitting jewellery, irritation (sleeping on it, hitting it, catching it, playing with it). So look to these before treating it.
  • How to treat it - Various methods can be used, frequent saline soaks, corticosteroid cream (or Fucidin H - prescription only), 3% hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil. If the piercing is still healing, please only use soaks or natural oil massages. These bumps can take a long time to do so patience is a key factor here.


What is it? - A lump of tissue that protrudes above the skin surface, often looks like raw meat, bleeds easily, can produce clear fluid. When present, healing is delayed so you'll have to sometimes be very patient with this one.
What causes it? - More commonly seen in moist areas such as the navel, nostril, outer labia, it's caused by an overproduction of cells whilst healing.
How to treat it - Frequent sea salt soaks or hypertonic soaks (more salt than usual) be wary of these as they can dry out the skin. Cortisone cream. Some use a styptic pencil to help dry it out. Asprin paste only to be used very carefully and as a last resort and removed after 5-10 minutes.


What is it? - A very obvious lump protruding far from the piercing, can be very sore and itchy.
What causes it? - This is again a form of hypergranulation where very broad bundles of collogen are heavily overproduced. The person will usually know they are prone to keloid production, they are rare in piercings.
How to treat it - Prevention is better than cure here, if you know you're prone to keloid then avoid piercings. Other than this it's best to consult a medical professional.

Chemical burn

What is it? - A burn from chemicals such as ethyl chloride. They can also cause excessive bruising and temporary or permanent scarring.
What causes it? - Piercers who use "freeze spray".
How to treat it - Cold compresses and medical advice if needed.