So, you’ve recently had a cartilage piercing. There are lots of different locations this includes; tragus, helix, forward helix, rook, snug, conch, anti-tragus, daith and scaffold. While this blog post may not be directly aimed at ALL of these piercing locations, it’s a good bit of info to take into consideration if you have one of these/want one of these piercings..
Your initial jewellery will be appropriately sized to cater for any swelling that will occur with your new piercing – the size/diameter depends on the location and how much they tend to swell. Some, such as snug piercings swell more than others, such as helix piercings.
We understand this can be super annoying for some people, but trust us when we tell you – it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re a lucky bugger, you may not swell all too bad and only need a few millimetres of the initial jewellery when it’s fully swollen. Some piercings can fluctuate during the first stages of healing (generally the first week or two) meaning it can be more or less swollen from day to day.
It’s important to keep an eye on your swelling – if you’re an unlucky one (this isn’t all that common) and swell to the length of the jewellery and it becomes tight, come back and see us immediately. Ibuprofen (if you can take it) and ice compressions can drastically reduce swelling for most people and can prevent excess swelling before it gets to the point where you need longer jewellery. Of course, proper aftercare and TLC with your new piercing also decrease the risk of over-swelling!
So, your new piercing is well into healing and the swelling has subsided – this usually occurs within a few weeks for most people, although some locations and individuals can take longer! Once your new piercing is settled and the jewellery is now annoyingly long again, it is important to come back for a check-up and downsize.
Prime time for downsizing is a hard one to get right. Ideally, as soon as the swelling has comfortably subsided, shorter/snugger jewellery should be put in instead to eliminate any problems that could occur in the final stages of healing.
Above left: fresh anti-tragus piercing with a 10mm curved barbell.
Above right: healed anti-tragus now fitted with an 8mm curved barbell.
Jewellery that is too long can cause problems for your healing piercing and is a common cause of piercing bumps (hypertrophic scarring), as your piercing is more likely to get caught and distorted whilst sleeping – which can cause a nice, straight piercing to become crooked/wonky over time. This is a common problem for; helix, forward helix and tragus piercings!
Luckily, we now stock the official No-Pull Piercing Disks to combat these bumps! (as seen in the left hand photo) More info can be found on our Facebook page: @Taattoobodypiercers.
As soon as your swelling has gone down, come and see us! We will be able to tell you if you are ready for a downsize or not – if you are, we will happily downsize your jewellery for free*! It’s also a perfect excuse for us to get healed/partially healed pics of our piercings!!!