Piercings are fun body jewelry, but how come those holes smell so funky?
The scent is a mix of skin cells, bacterial and natural oils that accumulate there. Smells like rotten cheese, some call it ear funk! Luckily there is a simple way to prevent this. Just wash your piercing while showering and rinse warm water over your piercing hole.
You could also occasionally clean your tunnel / plug with antibacterial soap, as skin cells can also gather on your tunnel/plug.
If you have an infection or itchy feeling with a fully healed piercing, you might be allergic or sensitive to the material in the piercing jewelry. Nickel is the most common material many people have a reaction from, without knowing!
So, if it's red around your piercing, sensitive and itches like crazy, remove your jewelry and choose stainless steel, titanium or a hypoallergenic jewelry.
Redness, swelling and light scabs are normal in the healing of a fresh piercing. But if you need to touch the piercing, make sure you do this with clean hands!
Some piercings, in the healing phase, can be protected with a bandaid. When you do sports or on your belly button piercing before bed, if you know that you are a restless sleeper. But don't forget to take it off afterwards! This is just to prevent irritation at too much friction.
Also be careful in your healing phase with lotion, hairspray etc and avoid your piercing spot.
Irritation? Try saline soak, clean regularly, but don't over do it! Is your skin swollen, or is there a bump forming around the piercing and it will not cure? This is your body telling you it's not happy with your new addition and in order to avoid re-growth or scaring, it's better to get the piercing out.
Most importantly, follow the aftercare instructions you get from your piercer. Every piercing needs time to heal, some take longer than others and divers per person. When in doubt, you can always contact your piercer, and he/she will take a look at your piercing and advise you if necessary.
-Text and photos Angie
-Published Tattoo Planet E magazine 106/ February 2016