Mild sea salt water soaks are strongly suggested at least once a day to accelerate healing and increase comfort and remove any crust which may have built up on and around the piercing. This may also help to reduce irritation in the area. Dissolve a pinch (1/4 teaspoon) of sea or rock salt into a clean cup (8 fl oz.) of warm or hot water.(do not use table salt as this has Iodine in it which can slow down healing!) Distilled water is optimal as it is much more sterile from a kettle than a tap! A stronger solution is not recommended as you can burn your piercing with too much salt which dries out the tissue! Invert the cup over the area to form a vacuum and soak directly for fifteen minutes. For certain placements this will not be possible and therefore it is easier to use kitchen roll, gauze pads, or cotton buds soaked in the salt water and applied to the pierced area. This should be done for fifteen minutes. Follow with a clear water rinse then pat gently with kitchen roll. Ensure you use a fresh piece of kitchen roll, cotton wool each time, never cross contaminate the water with used pieces of roll or gauze.
Salt water soaks help to stimulate air and blood circulation which facilitates healing. It is particularly advisable to soak before you do anything active, as it will prevent crust from being pulled inside the piercing as you move around. This will tear and irritate the piercing in which bacteria can enter the wound or cause unsightly lumps of trapped fluid. Trapped fluid looks like a lump/bump on the piercing, this is NOT an infection: drainage is the key here! Draining the fluid out will speed up healing. Again hot salt soaks are the most beneficial. Or even holding a hot camomile teabag on the affected area for 15 mins daily can speed up healing. Most common areas of trapped fluid include ear cartilage & nostrils
As well as salt water, Carex Antibacterial handwash is an excellent cleaning solution for many piercings such as navels, nipples, facial, surface piercings and microdermals. Carefully work up the handwash into a lather around the piercing, you can do this with a clean finger, cotton buds of kitchen roll. Always ensure you rinse the piercing after with clean fresh water to remove any soap residue.
Common problems with cartilage piercings (Ears & Nostrils)
Cartilage piercings have one of the longest healing times in any piercing with most cartilage piercings taking up to 12 months to feel fully healed. Almost everyone will have a series of ups and downs with trying to heal cartilage piercings as the tissue is so delicate. The most common problem we see with cartilage piercings is Granulomas. Most people will get granulomas on a healing cartilage piercing at some point. Granulomas are lumps that appear on the piercing. Usually at the entry and exit hole of the piercing. They arnt painful, just unsightly. A lot of people confuse granulomas for infection. This is not the case! Never attempt to pop a granulomas as this will make the lumps worse
The easiest and most tried and tested way of reducing granulomas is a hot compress. This can be done with either hot salt water or camomile tea bags
If using salt: please use boiled water (from a kettle) and pout into a large mug (8floz) and add one quarter of a teaspoon of rock or sea salt. Never use table salt. This isn't pure and contains bleaches, idodine and preservatives which can do even more harm to your already grumpy piercing. Use kitchen roll submerged in the solution and hold on the piercing/lumps with slight pressure. If that piece of kitchen roll goes cold, please use a fresh pierce. Do not cross contaminate used kitchen roll in the salt solution. (Always wash your hands before handling your piercing!) Everyday items such as money, door handles & phones carry a lot of bacteria, when touching your piercing with unwashed hands can make them very sore indeed. Salt soaks should be done EVERY DAY for 7 - 14 days for 15 minutes. If done every day properly, the sack of fluid will start to drain, dry up and flake off like a scab. Never ever use more than the recommended salt or less/more water. Salt is a preservative and too much will burn and irritate your piercing.
The above instructions can also be done with camomile tea bags. Using the tea bag water (cooled down to a manageable temperature) Camomile is a natural anti-bacterial agent.
Granulomas are often caused by a number of factors: these include: touching the piercing, twisting/playing with the piercing. Changing the jewellery too quickly. Knocking or banging the piercing, sleeping on it, headphones, over cleaning, using the wrong cleaning methods, feeling run down, illness, medication & stress. It's important to clean a cartilage piercing every other day. Getting a good nights sleep, eating a balanced diet, refraining from drugs or alcohol and generally feeling good in yourself will help keep piercings happy. Any slight change in our immune systems will have a detrimental effect on piercings. It's also beneficial to take a multivitamin alongside healing a piercing. Particularly if you're healing more than one. Ensure that the vitamin has a good dosage of zinc in there, this is excellent at helping looking after your Immune system.
The healing time for a Microdermal is approximately 2 to 3 months
Throughout your healing time it is important to clean your microdermal at least once a day. A mild antibacterial soap such as Carex Hanwash or Provon has proven to be beneficial in the cleansing of microdermals and is highly recommended. Ensure that the area is cleaned with distilled water, water is much more sterile from a kettle than a tap! With a clean finger, cotton bud or kitchen roll, gently moisten the area and then carefully massage with the handwash around the microdermal piercing to form a lather, then flush with fresh water. Gently pat the area dry with a clean towel or kitchen roll.
Microdermals can be prone to bouts of trapped fluid underneath the disk. This can be cause by undue pressure, knocks, bangs, catching the dermal or if you are generally feeling rundown or unwell. A very mild salt soak using¼ teaspoon of rock/sea salt to a large mug of warm water is the best way to remedy this. After you have made up your solution fill a shot glass and invert this over the piercing to form a vacuum, soak for 10/15 minutes, then with a clean finger massage around the area. You may notice a clear fluid around the dermal, this is the trapped fluid. Flush with fresh water and pat dry. Or soaking kitchen roll, a fresh cloth or gauze in the solution and holding over the dermal for 15 minutes. Ensure you have enough kitchen roll or gauze as once the kitchen roll/gauze has cooled down, soak another piece and continue. It important not to overdue salt soaks (no more than twice a week!) as this can dry out the tissue making it sore, dry or discoloured.
A healing microdermal usually swells for a few days after insertion, ensure you drink plenty of water, keep bedding clean, and be very careful of clothes, belts, bags, bras etc catching the piercing. Try not to get any makeup, moisturisers or cosmetics in or around the piercing as this will clog up the piercing making it very sore and red.
If you have any questions about your microdermal, you lose the disk, want to change the disk, or decide that you want to take out your microdermal. Please contact us or pop in to the studio where we will be more than happy to help.