Cartilage Piercing

What is cartilage piercing?

A perforation made on any part of the body that is made up of cartilage is broadly known as a cartilage piercing. The piercing is made in order to be able to wear jewellery. The nose and ear are the most common areas for cartilage piercing.

Method

  • First the piercing artist cleans the area for the piercing with a disinfectant.
  • Marking the spot of piercing with a surgical pen.
  • Sterilized equipments like needle employ to make the perforation.
  •  The jewellery chosen by the person will set in after that.
  • Use a piece of cotton dipped in water to clear the area of the piercing to remove blots of blood that may have dried.
  • Lastly,  apply an antibacterial solution on the piercing and rotate the jewellery so that the antibacterial solution spreads uniformly inside the piercing.

Pain

A cartilage piercing is more painful than other kinds of piercing. Redness, swelling and discharge of pus are common in case of a cartilage piercing. The pain will subdue as the wound heals. But till the wound heals completely it may be especially painful while sleeping. The person must not turn to sleep on the side of the piercing.

Risks

  • The cartilage piercing is more painful than piercing on other parts of the ear or nose.
  • Cartilage piercing takes more time to heal because other areas have more supply of blood as compared to cartilage, which aids in fast healing.
  • Infections caused due to a cartilage piercing entails severe redness, swelling, development of bumps or keloids and discharge of fluids such as pus from the piercing.
  • Most often people find it difficult to sleep after a cartilage piercing is made until the wound has healed completely. It is painful and uncomfortable.
  • People may also have a bacterial infection known as Pseudomonas, the person then has to be hospitalized and given intravenous medication, as they are generally resistant to antibiotics.
  • Use of wrong techniques to make the piercing can damage the cartilage leading to further complications because our bodies cannot regrow cartilages.

Precautions

  • The most important factor that a person should keep in mind while going for a piercing is the piercing salon where the procedure will carry out. It should be clean and hygienic and the piercing artist who will make the piercing should be an experienced professional. A salon that is clean and hygienic reduces the chances of an infection. Also, the technique used to make the perforation is important to ensure that the person does not run at a risk of an infection or any further complication.
  • It is important for the person to discuss the procedure for the piercing in details with the piercing artist to make sure that all doubts are clarified. Moreover, the person must specify that the equipment must be clean and properly sterilized.
  • Use the sterilized equipment to avoid transmission of diseases and chances of infection.
  • The technique used to make the piercing may have serious effects on the person. The use of a needle is preferable over the gun for cartilage piercing. A gun is unsterilized, because of which most places have banned its use for making piercings. Also, the gun is so powerful that when it is shot, it may cause the shattering of the cartilage causing permanent deformity of that body part. The cartilage cannot grow again.

Aftercare

Healing time

A cartilage piercing takes about 3-6 months to heal. Cartilage piercing takes more time to heal than other kinds of piercing. Time taken for any piercing to heal also depends on the technique used for the piercing, the care taken after the piercing and how fast the body of the person is able to repair its wounds.

How to avoid infections?

                                       DOs DON’Ts
  • Keep the piercing clean by using warm saline solution.
  • Clean your hands before touching the piercing.
  • Keep personal belongings like bed sheets and towels clean
  • Use a sterilized needle to make the perforation.
  • Go swimming as it may increase the chances of an infection.
  • Change the jewellery before the piercing heals completely.
  • Use ointments or products that have not been prescribed
  • Make use of a gun to make the piercing as it cannot be sterilized.

 

 How to take care of an infection?

  • Clean the piercing twice daily, by using cotton soaked in the warm saline solution.
  • Use mild cleaning solutions that will not cause any allergic reaction.
  • Do not rotate or take off the jewellery as it will block the gap and restrict the fluids from getting out of the piercing resulting in a bump or a keloid.
  • Consult a doctor if the infection gets worse and itches. In case the allergy is due to the material of the jewellery, replace it carefully with some other jewellery.

Jewellery

In case of cartilage piercing a simple stud is preferable because hoops have a larger surface giving more room for bacteria. Intense care should be taken in order to avoid infection in these piercing as it does not heal easily. However, people may experiment with the jewellery once the wound has healed completely.

Cost

Cost of a cartilage piercing depends on the area of the piercing. Most often the piercing costs between $20 – 60. Cost can vary with the choice of jewellery, the fee charged at the salon and the piercing expert.

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