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When Can I Change My Cartilage Piercing

by Annabel Caldwell
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When Can I Change My Cartilage Piercing

When Can I Change My Cartilage Piercing

Usually after 2-3 months this is adequate time to change a helix piercing. Don’t leave it longer, this leaves a window of opportunity open where you are more likely to catch your piercing and then go through all the swelling again and delaying your downsize.

If you have ever had a cartilage piercing, either on your ear or elsewhere like nose, lip, etc., you know that they can be very painful. The pain usually lasts for about two weeks and then subsides in most cases. Once the pain begins to subside, however, there may come a point when you decide that you want to change out your piercing because the hole has begun to look unsightly (or you’re just bored with it). This article will discuss how long you should wait before changing your piercing – if at all – as well as what factors contribute to a speedy healing process.
The main thing to remember is that whenever you make any type of body modification, whether it’s an ear lobation, a tragus enlargement, a tongue piercing, etc., you must take into account several things including your age, medical condition, general health, medication use, piercings prior to the one you plan on having removed, and many other variables. Your doctor can assist you in making these determinations based on his/her knowledge and experience. As such, he/she should always be consulted before you proceed with any type of surgery or procedure.
Also keep in mind that not everyone heals equally well from their piercings. Some people heal faster than others. For example, some people tend to heal better than others who have diabetes, circulation problems, poor nutrition, obesity, smoking, etc. In addition, certain types of piercings may heal faster than others depending upon the material used, infection control procedures, cleanliness, etc. Lastly, even though we hear a lot about “healing” over the course of two weeks, the actual time frame varies according to each person. If you have been told by your physician that you need to wait for six weeks to allow your piercing to fully heal, don’t feel bad if you aren’t healed within that time period. It takes different bodies differently to heal from piercings.
For those of us who are interested in speeding up our piercings’ healing processes, here are some tips:
1) Make sure that the area around your piercing is kept clean and dry. You should also avoid using products which contain alcohol, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, bleach, or abrasives. Also try not to touch the wound itself since touching your piercing could cause irritation. When bathing or showering, wear loose clothing and do not apply oil to the area. Avoid wearing tight fitting clothes or jewelry. Keep away from heavy exercise until the piercing is healed completely. Finally, refrain from excessive consumption of hot food and beverages.
2) Drink plenty of fluids (water or juices) and eat healthy foods. A nutritious diet will supply your body with necessary nutrients. This will help reduce inflammation and speed up cell repair.
3) Wear breathable fabrics which won’t irritate the skin surrounding your piercing. Wearing non-breathable fabric or synthetic materials can trap moisture next to the piercing site and promote increased swelling. Cotton is probably the best choice during warm weather but layers of fleece or wool works great during cold weather.
4) Apply antibiotic ointments only if directed by your physician. These ointments work by slowing bacterial growth and reducing inflammation.
5) Take ibuprofen or aspirin regularly. Ibuprofen is generally considered safe to use while aspirin may interact badly with anti-coagulants so consult your doctor first. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen, acetaminophen, and celebrex slow the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandin E2 stimulates collagen breakdown and therefore slows tissue repair. Acetaminophen reduces fever; hence its use is often associated with fever reduction. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), e.g., indomethacin, diclofenac sodium, fenoprofen potassium, naproxen, piroxicam, tenoxicam, ethenzamide, ketoprofen, nabumetone difluoroacetyl benzoyl methyl ester, and nimesulide are commonly used to treat pain and inflammation. However, NSAIDS can increase bleeding risk so consult your doctor before taking them.
6) Take vitamin c supplements. Vitamin C helps prevent scarring and decreases bruising.
7) Use moisturizer. Moisturizing creams act as a barrier between your skin and air helping to reduce drying and cracking. Creams containing urea, lanolin, glycerol, parabens, petroleum jelly, beeswax, aloe vera, vitamin E, shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba, avocado oil, coconut oil, chamomile, tea tree oil, neem oil, zinc oxide, licorice extract, green tea, rose hip seed extract, calendula extracts, soybean oils, lavender oils, and vitamin K are good choices.
8) Try biofreeze therapy. Biofreezing is a form of compression therapy that uses ice packs to numb acute pain and reduce inflammation. Ice applied directly to the skin surface causes vasoconstriction which results in decreased blood flow near the site of injury. Thus, the underlying tissues are protected from inflammatory response caused by local trauma, infection, or allergic reaction. Biofreezing is most effective when applied in short bursts, 5 minutes of application followed by 3 minutes off, repeated every 15 minutes. There are various methods of applying the frozen gel, including placing it directly on the skin, holding it against the skin, wrapping it in a bandage, etc. One advantage of biofreezing is that it can be done anywhere without causing discomfort.
9) See a professional jeweler. Professional jewelers are trained to properly size and care for your new piercing(s). They are well equipped to handle the delicate nature of cartilage piercings and can answer any questions regarding your piercing. Since they are experienced, they’ll be able to determine if your piercing needs special attention and treatment. They will also ensure proper cleaning and hygiene of your new piercing(s).
10) Wait at least three months after getting your new piercing before attempting to get another one. This gives your piercing enough time to fully heal. Even if you think your piercing appears perfectly fine now, it could still be vulnerable to infection.
11) Be patient! Healing times vary from person to person and depends on several factors including how strong your immune system is, how well you care for yourself, how quickly you respond to infections, etc.

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