FAQ: Troubleshooting

Irritation vs Infection

  • Piercers cannot diagnose infection 
  • If you suspect an infection seek medical attention immediately 
    • do not remove jewelry as an infection could become trapped inside the closing piercing and become an abscess 
    • ask your provider to swab / test the area of concern to see if it is truly infected

Common Causes of Irritation 

  • One time trauma 
    • a bad hit to the pierced area will cause a delay in healing and is a common cause of piercing irritation bumps 
    • if a trauma is significant enough to cause a tear or migration of the piercing it may need removed and allowed to heal. Repiercing may be possible depending on how the area heals and how scar tissue forms 
  • Repetitive trauma 
    • sleeping on your piercing every night 
    • constantly snagging your jewelry (hair, clothing, blankets, etc.) 
  • Due for a downsize 
    • excessive length after swelling has subsided leaves extra room for snagging, debris build up, and excessive movement through the piercing tract 
    • downsizing is crucial for many piercings (especially cartilage, eyebrows, and all oral piercings)
  • Lifestyle Hazards
    • sports trauma 
    • motorcycle / bike helmets 
  • Improper Aftercare 
  • Moisture build up 
  • Stress / Sickness
    • your immune system can affect your piercings (new and old) so if you're stressed mentally and/or physically your piercings may flair up
  • Poor quality jewelry 
    • sensitivity to a metal 
    • poorly polished jewelry even if it is better material 
    • externally threaded jewelry 
    • coated or plated jewelry 
  • Poorly performed piercing 
    • incorrect angle 
    • improper anatomy that should not have been pierced 


  • The internet loves to call all piercing related irritations keloids 
  • Keloids are actually very uncommon and are typically genetic so you would likely know if you were prone to them before being pierced
  • Keloids do not come and go like irritation bumps and will need surgically removed. If you have a bump that is changing size or goes away with troubleshooting it is not a keloid 


 Treating Irritation 

  • Patience is key! Irritations may pop up easily and quickly but will take much longer to go away
  • Identify the source of irritation and do your best to remove it
    • For sleep trauma try a travel or donut pillow 
    • For moisture keep wet hair away from your jewelry and blow dry the area on cool after showers
    • Schedule for a downsize or jewelry change 
  • Schedule a "Problem Visit" to assess other factors that may be affecting your healing
  • There are many unreliable and outdated resources online so do not follow any at-home remedies without thorough research. If you are unsure about a method contact your trusted piercer first.