When you get a new piercing, it is important to pay attention to how it heals so you can look out for signs of trouble from either an infection or allergic reaction. If you are having a hard time distinguishing what normal healing looks like or if you think you have a problem, then read on. The following guidelines should help you determine if you are allergic to your piercing.
What’s Normal After a Piercing
A piercing is a small wound and it needs time to heal. There are a few signs of healing that could easily be mistaken for an allergic reaction. The first day of the piercing you will notice a little bleeding. The area will be swollen and feel tender for up to a week. You might even see some bruising. These are normal reactions from the body after getting a piercing. As the piercing heals, the swelling will go down and the body will produce some fluids that dry as a light yellow crust on the jewelry. There still may be a little discoloration around the piercing site. There will likely be some light itching during healing as well. These are all normal signs of healing.
Signs of an Allergic Reaction
The first major sign of an allergic reaction is a rash. If there is anything that looks like a rash or severe redness around the site of the piercing, you should have your piercer check it out. Secondly, any excessive itchiness around the piercing should be noted. The third major sign is a lot of clear fluid oozing from the piercing site. Some fluid drainage and itchiness are expected, but an excess of either is a sign of a problem. Excessive redness, itchiness, and drainage of yellow or green pus (not a clear fluid) are signs of an infection in your piercing and you should see your piercer right away to address and manage it.
What Causes an Allergic Reaction?
There are two main culprits that can cause your body to have an allergic reaction at the site of your new piercing: the material of the jewelry in place and the cleaning solution being used.
If you believe you are having signs of an allergic reaction to your piercing, find out what material the jewelry is made from. A small portion of people are sensitive to the nickel in steel body jewelry, especially if it’s a lower quality piece of jewelry. However, jewelry made from titanium or gold will most likely not cause an allergic reaction. (*Note: A small percentage of people still might experience a reaction to titanium or gold)
Secondly, look at the cleaning solution being used. If the solution you are using was recommended by your piercer, then chances are it is not the source of the allergy. If you are using any other type of cleaning solution, it is probably too harsh and causing irritation. Switch to warm sea salt soaks or a saline spray like H2Ocean. If you are having an allergic reaction and not using a safe cleaning solution, start there. If the problem doesn't alleviate, then you might have an allergy to the metal, and you will need to see your piercer about what to do next.
If you believe you are having signs of an allergic reaction to your piercing, find out what material the jewelry is made from
The Truth About Being Allergic To Piercings
Piercing allergies are actually very rare. The source of irritation is often low quality jewelry or incorrect cleaning solutions, so when you use body jewelry made with high quality materials and the recommended cleaning solutions, the chances of you experiencing an allergic reaction is very unlikely.