Getting Piercings with Skin Allergies
There were a lot of things that my granddaughter couldn’t do when she was little. Certain foods, fabrics, and scents were taboo. I remember her asking to get her ears pierced. A lot of girls in her class at school had adorable tiny earrings, and there came the day when she asked for them too. Her mother did some research about getting piercings with skin allergies.
We ended up at a jewelry store in the mall where the technicians were trained, and sterile items were used. Once settling upon titanium studs, which were the most hypoallergenic available at the time, we all made the trip to watch. Titanium is like surgical steel, and rarely are there any problems. Jill got her super cute earrings put in. After that, she helped her skin heal by using the following steps to avoid a skin flare-up.
Skincare for new piercings
- Wash your hands before touching your ears.
- Turn and twist the earrings morning, afternoon, and just before bed. This keeps the holes open. Resist the urge to “finger” the new earrings this will help to keep the area germ free.
- Use a cotton ball or cotton swab to rub alcohol on the area morning and evening. You may also use a mixture that your technician gives you that is an alcohol solution.
- Rub a little bit of petroleum jelly to help to keep scabs or crusting away.
- Keep the area clean by washing with simple soap and water. Shampoo running across the area wont’ hurt a bit either.
- Wear the same earrings they were pierced with for 6 - 8 weeks.
- A little redness, swelling, and tenderness is normal for a newly pierced area. As you get close to the 6 weeks mark, the skin should begin to be healed.
If you are experiencing any problems, you have a few options. If you experience any signs of infection, contact your family doctor or dermatologist. At the end of 6 weeks, it’s is a good time to replace the piercing studs with your choice of posts.
Signs of an allergic reaction and infection
It may be as simple as a green mark at the earring hole. That is a good clue that your body is allergic to the metal. Burning, swelling, redness, and soreness that lasts beyond 3 weeks can mean that your body is not healing well. If there is any pus or oozing fluid coming from around the hole signal infection or allergic reactions. An allergic response is usually because of nickel in the metal. Small blisters forming around the hole are an indication that the earrings need to be replaced.
Best metals to avoid allergic skin reactions
Sterling Silver is usually considered a safe choice. Some silver jewelry may contain traces of nickel and trigger an allergic response. 14 K Gold is another safe metal. Be aware that some jewelry may be gold plated and once the thin plate wears down, allergic responses can occur.
In our case, we used only piercing studs for the first few years. Then she graduated to 14K gold, or Sterling Silver. Occasionally, she uses costume jewelry from discount stores with no problems. If there are any problems, we always go back to the beginning to eliminate them. You can definitely have success in getting skin piercing with skin allergies if you know what to do.
Click here for Part 2 for information about choosing jewelry when you have skin allergies.
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?