Cartilage piercing –Any cartilage area of the body is perforated or pierced in order to wear a piece of jewelry in it. Our cartilage contains less blood and it takes more time to get healed. It is very easily get infected if not cared properly.
It is very important to treat an infected cartilage piercing immediately after the symptoms appear. Most common area for cartilage piercing is our nose and ears.
Ear Cartilage piercing types
Nose cartilage piercing types
All of these are the most popular ear and nose piercings that can be achieved by perforating cartilages.
Cartilage piercings are a bit different and a bit difficult to get than any other piercing. And it takes extra time to get healed completely. That’s why it is really important to clean cartilage piercing properly.
Let’s discuss how can you treat infected cartilage piercing at your home.
How to treat an infected cartilage piercing?
Check the quality of your jewelry and change if needed
It is very important to use good quality piercing jewelry during and after piercing. If you are experiencing severe piercing pain, bump, irritation or itching, it may be due to the jewelry you have worn.
Low-Quality metal jewelry may react and rejected quickly. It is always recommended to wear high-quality metal jewelry.
Titanium, Niobium, Surgical stainless steel, Gold and sterling silver are some of the best metal that are recommended for piercing jewelry.
Most of the cheap metal contain nickel alloy in it which cause an allergic reaction. Nickle is known as one of the common metal that causes skin allergies.
How do you know if you are allergic to metal piercings?
- Intense Itching
- Excessive white discharge
- the piercing hole started appearing larger than the jewelry
- tender to the touch
If these symptoms are started appearing immediately after you get your new piercing or started wearing new jewelry.
Even if some of the above symptoms are visible and you are confused whether it is due to an allergy or not, visit your piercer immediately.
How do you stop a metal allergy?
The best way to stop a metal allergy is to switch it with any hypoallergenic jewelry.
You can apply a mild steroid cream to the area when needed. apply nickel guard to the jewelry to create a barrier between your skin and jewelry.
It is really very important to choose the right type of jewelry especially if it is cartilage piercing which takes a bit more time to get healed completely. You can check out the best hypoallergenic jewelry here on Amazon.
Clean more if the symptoms of cartilage piercing infection are visible
1-2 times a day is the usual recommendation for cleaning your piercings. Clean 3-4 time if it is infected. Cleaning is important even after it is healed, just reduce the frequency of cleaning.
Before cleaning your piercing make sure your hands are clean too. Use any anti-microbial soap to eliminate any germs and bacteria from your hands.
Use mild fragrance-free anti-microbial soap. Make sure there is no residue of soap or water in the piercing site. It may cause irritation and slow down the healing process.
Use clean cotton clothes for wiping excess water. single-use wipes are recommended as clothes contain bacterias even after wash. You can also use a paper towel, just pat dry the area with light hands.
Treat with saline solution
Saline solution or sea salt soak removes harmful bacteria and dead skin from the piercing area. It can speed up the healing process and also helps to eliminate the infection.
If you don’t want to spend money on the saline solution, you can make your own sea salt solution at home.
for this, you’ll need a cup or a small glass, warm water and sea salt. This is the simple recipe for you own DIY sea salt soak.
For treating your infected cartilage piercing, you have to dip your piercing into the warm sea salt for 3-5 minutes. And then clean using Q-tip.
Water should not be too hot. Iodized salt may worsen the situation.
Green tea Compress
I recommend warm green tea compress as it reduces stabbing pain and swelling also. Green tea will also help you to remove infection and repair damaged skin.
Chamomile works the best. Warm chamomile compress increases blood flow in the cartilage and promotes healing.
Boil a cup of water let it get cool down a little. Then dip the chamomile tea bag in it, take it out and put it on the piercing. This can be the alternative of saline or sea salt solution.
Gently press the area and refresh the bag by dipping it into the warm water after each compress. Make sure water is not too hot.
Do this for 5-10 minutes and the pad dry the area using a paper towel. the person with ragweed allergy should not try this.
Apply Tea tree oil for eliminating cartilage piercing infection
Now, this is my favorite way to treat the piercing infection. As the 2 applications of tea tree oil, a day can relieve swelling, pain, and redness.
This is the easiest way of treating cartilage piercing infections. You can apply tea tree oil directly after diluting it.
Or add a few drops of the tea tree essential oil into the salt solution. Apply, leave it for few minutes then wipe out the excess oil for the piercing area.
Do not forget to do a patch test before final application. For dilution, you can add coconut oil to it or just mix it with water.
You can also check the best tea tree oil for piercing infection here in this Article.
Use Lavender oil pain relief
Apply diluted lavender oil for pain and anxiety relief. if you are suffering from intense pain and swelling and cannot sleep, just apply a few drops of lavender oil before going to bed.
Lavender oil will relieve pain, burning sensation, and swelling. And also helps to induce a sweet sleep.
When to visit your doctor or piercer?
If the symptoms and problems are persistent even after doing all these. Do visit your doctor or piercer for better treatment.
Cartilage piercing usually takes more time and patience. But if you are experiencing unbearable pain, irritation and bleeding, do not ignore and rush to the piercer as soon as possible.
What are the possible causes of cartilage piercing infection?
Frequent touching with dirty hands, ignoring hygiene at the piercing location and skipping proper aftercare are the possible causes for cartilage piercing.
- The first and most important thing you should keep in your mind is that sterilization is a crucial step to avoid infection. Always go to the reputed expert piercer.
- Before touching new cartilage piercing make sure your hands are clean. Wash your hands each time before touching your piercings. Your hands contain bacteria and harmful germs which can cause infections and create complications.
- Follow all the instructions given by your piercer for the aftercare of your cartilage piercing. Do not avoid or skin aftercare routine, you should follow all the instructions strictly.
Cartilage Piercing Aftercare
- Cleaning is the most important step of aftercare. You should clean your cartilage piercing at least 1-2 times a day.
- Do not touch your new piercing too much
- Make sure your hands are clean, before touching
- Do not move or try to remove jewelry before it is completely healed
- Avoid using public pools
- Wear high-quality hypoallergenic jewelry
- Keep cleaning and removing crusts around the piercing site
- Wear comfortable clothes, so that the new cartilage piercing doesn’t get hurt
- Eat lots of veggies and fruits
- Drink lots of water and juice
- Avoid eating junk foods, and too oily foods
- Do not think about alcohol, alcohol intake may worsen the condition by slow down the healing process
- Adopt good sleeping habit, good sleep helps our body to heal faster
- start washing your bedsheet and pillow cover more frequently as these are the home for bacterias that need extra cleaning
How bad does a Cartilage piercing hurt? It is a bit more painful than other types of piercings. As it is really not easy to stretch cartilage, a dermal punch is used instead of needles. A cut is made using dermal punch then the jewelry is allowed to insert in it. But the pain usually lasts for 2-3 weeks or some times it takes a whole month, after that it will be ok.
What gauge are cartilage piercings? standard size for a cartilage piercing is 16-18 gauge and standard length 3/16”, 1/4” and 5/16”. It is very important to choose the right size piercing and jewelry in order to avoid complications.
When can I change my cartilage piercing? You can change your jewelry after it gets completely healed. Healing time may lie somewhere between 3-6 months. Removing your jewelry out of your cartilage piercing before healing can be traumatic for freshly pierced cartilage.