Cartilage Piercing – How to pierce, infections, healing, risks

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Cartilage or Ear piercing is a trend since ages and seems to be catching up with even the present day youth. A trend that used to be looked upon as a feminine act is now fast becoming a guy-thing too. Wide range of metals are being used for piercing including gold, platinum, silver, stainless steel, crystal, diamond studs and precious or semi-precious stones.

Cartilage piercing involves piercing the external upper parts of the ear like daith, helix, tragus, antitragus, conch, snug and rook whereas ear piercing is the term used only for piercing of earlobe.

Contrary to what it looks like, cartilage piercing is complicated as it involves various risks of developing infection, scars or bumps. It takes about 6 times more time for a cartilage piercing to heal than compared to other body piercing as very less amount of blood is supplied to the cartilage. Hence, cartilage piercing should be done only at reliable sources as any case of infection may take days to heal and also involves a course of antibiotic drugs.

How to Pierce your Cartilage?

Medically sterile needles and piercing guns are the specialized equipments for cartilage piercing other than various basic self-help tools and methods. To prevent infections, sterilization of the equipments used is quite necessary as the same equipment used on various customers can be a source of germs.

Following some basic steps while piercing can help prevent cartilage infections. This involves using anti-bacterial cleanser for washing hands, cleaning the piercing area with cotton, using enough lather while penetrating and avoiding the use of towel for drying.

Cartilage Piercing Healing

The pierced area could heal in 3-12 months depending on the piercing method and magnitude. Thought the cartilage irritates, touching it should be avoided. Tea bags, diluted tea tree oil and lemon juice dabbing helps in faster healing. Avoid changing the jewelry until the healing process completes. Vitamin C and Zinc opens the blood vessels thus facilitating the healing process.

The first of the cartilage piercing healing stages involves start of development of the fistula while the second phase involves its full development and strengthening. A lymphatic fluid discharge is noticed which shouldn’t be misunderstood as pus. A yellow crust formation follows which indicates the beginning of healing process.

Cartilage Piercing Infections

Improper care or a bad piercing could lead to cartilage infection. This can result in pain and bleeding. Some other signs seen include swelling, redness, bumps and pus discharge.

Infections are more commonly seen on using unsterilized needles, wearing tight jewelry that limits the blood flow and also frequent touching.

Cartilage piercing infections can be avoided by using gold or silver jewelry, diluted alcohol solution and anti-scarring creams.

Cartilage Piercing Risks

The risks involved in cartilage piercing involve allergic reactions, traumatization, keloids, perichondritis, scarring and bumps.

Choosing the right jewelry, giving utmost care, getting it done by trained professionals and handling the pierced part carefully and sensibly keeps the cartilage piercing infection at bay.

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