A bump is an annoying but common complication with piercings. There are a number of different bumps such as irritation bumps, hypertrophic scar tissue, granuloma or keloid and it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference. In the vast majority of cases it is an irritation bump that can be fixed without losing the piercing.
The most important thing to do is to contact your piercer so they can have a look at it. Your piercer will ask you a number of questions to try to figure out the cause of the bump and what can be done about it. It’s always important to find the cause of the bump because only by removing the cause you will get rid of a bump permanently. Sadly, sometimes there is nothing you can do about it and it is better to have the piercing removed. When the angle of the piercing is not correct, for example, it is sometimes necessary to remove the piercing. A piercing that is not perpendicular to the tissue can cause a bump because the jewellery puts uneven pressure on the tissue. That angle can not be fixed so the cause of the bump can not be removed and the result is a bump that will not go away.Other cases can only be resolved by a doctor. Your piercer will advise you to seek medical attention if necessary.
What you can do yourself:
- Don’t touch it! Touching it with your hands is the number 1 cause of problems with healing piercings and can be a cause of bumps. Bacteria can enter the piercing through your hands and also the friction and pressure of movement can cause a bump. So just leave it alone!
- Prevent the jewelry from moving or experiencing pressure in any other way. Tight clothing on the piercing, headphones and sleeping on the piercing, just like touching your piercing with your hands, cause pressure, friction and can bring microorganisms. Your piercing needs a rest.
- Clean the piercing with sterile saline solution. Do not make this yourself because the ratio, quality of the salt and water and sterility are all very important. A professional piercing studio sells this. Make sure that there are no other ingredients in it, you only need saline solution. Furthermore, do not use harsh chemicals such as sterilon, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, etc. as these can damage the skin and the delicate cells in the piercing and thus cause all kinds of complications and can also be the cause of bumps.
- do not scrape off crusts, this just keeps the wound open, damages the tissue and can lead to infections. Use the saline solution to soak crusts, they will soften and come off completely, after which you can wipe them off with sterile gauze with minimal force.
- Ensure well-fitting jewelry. If you still have that long bar which was used during piercing, it is wise to have it downsized after a few weeks. Wearing a ring during healing (as the first piece of jewelry or changing it before the piercing has completely healed) is in many cases also a cause of bumps. Only a few specific piercings can have a ring as the first piece of jewelry, for most piercings however it is better to wait until the piercing is completely healed.
- Keep the wound dry! After grooming, but also after showering, it is very important to dry the wound well to prevent bacterial growth.
- Provide good quality jewelry. Jewelry with a poor finish (scratches on the surface), protruding threads, made of unsafe materials, damaged jewelry or jewelry with a coating can cause bumps as they irritate the skin. Have your jewelry changed with a high quality jewelry by a professional piercer.
- Beware of home remedies, there are many different methods on the internet claiming to remove piercing bumps. Many of these remedies do not work or only work in some cases, some are downright dangerous. As long as the cause of the bump is not found and remedied, a bump will keep coming back. Make sure you follow the above points very strictly and contact your piercer, together you have the best chance of suppressing the bump!