March 26, 2010

Body Piercing Dangers, Side Effects, and Aftercare

Posted in Category : General Health

Body piercing infections are a nearly inevitable part of getting body art done. Apart from just infections, there are major problems that can arise from piercing parts of your body like allergic reactions to the metals in jewelry, improper healing, trauma after getting the piercing done, and worst of all a keloid scar developing. In terms of infections, one of the most common infections agents are the normal skin bacteria called streptococcus in its two variants. These bacteria reside on the skin and usually survive on scant resources like skin secretions and the like but once the skin is punctured, these opportunistic bacteria will then move in and cause an infection.

Body Piercing Care

When a piercing is performed, the skin is wounded and is similar to any other wound on the body. However, the difference is that when this wound heals, there will be a piece of metal embedded within the skin and the skin will have to heal around the metal in a structure called a fistula. This healing time is a time when the skin is the most fragile and can be broken by even the slightest trauma. If the initial piercing procedure did not cause an infection then the repeated trauma of pulling and washing can definitely cause it. One of the other really scary prospects is the development of a scar called a keloid scar. This is a situation in which the collagen fibers that make up skin uncontrollably grow to cover the wound and end up causing a growth of skin tissue that can sometimes resemble a tumor. The growth is benign but there are really no guaranteed ways of removing a keloid scar and even surgical removal cannot totally eliminate the problem or stop it recurring. There is a major hereditary component to this problem and therefore, is not a major worry when performing body piercings.?

To ensure that the body piercing does not get infected, do not remove the jewelry in the primary healing phase, which is usually a month or more. In this time, you should also ensure that you do not end up moving or pulling the jewelry around as this will definitely cause the wound to reopen. Avoid swimming in public pools during this time because protozoan infections can also occur on any open wounds. Avoid using harsh cleaning materials like hydrogen peroxide and tea tree oil that tend to leave the area sterile but inflammed for a long period of time.