Saturday, April 7, 2012

Piercing Problems

I like piercings, but piercings don't like me.

When I was in the 7th grade, or 12 years old, I got my very first ear piercing, which were my first two holes in each ear. My mom had always offered to get my ears pierced earlier than that, but I was always so afraid it would hurt a lot because I pictured it feeling like an injection.

The date was May 30, 2006, which I remember because of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome post, actually. (click "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" to read!)

Anyways, here's the rest of the story, then you get to see the lovely photos of what happened with my latest piercings!

After getting my first holes pierced, I think it was a year or two later that I wanted to get my second holes pierced. After minor begging, my mom agreed and we went to get them pierced. Mind you, I got these pierced at Icing by Claire's in the mall. That will be important to remember later. Any other piercings after that, my mom wasn't having. Remember too, I was in my early teens at this point.

A few years later, as I progressed through high school, I started really wanting a third hole in each ear and it started growing on me that I really liked how they looked. So many girls had them and I wanted them too. Long story short, it took a whole lot of begging and quite a few months, if not maybe around a year, to convince my mom to get them pierced. So I finally did - this was the very beginning of my senior year of high school. I also got them pierced at Icing by Claire's in the mall, but the lady who pierced them pierced the one on my right ear too low, so it always looked bad.

I was so happy I finally had them pierced, though. But it only took a few months for them to start getting infected. I did everything I could to try and heal them and got really upset at the thought of having to take them out, especially after how hard I had worked to get them. But the time came, when I had to get my wisdom teeth out. (Read about that post here!) The doctor said I had to wear no nail polish and wear no jewelry around and above the neck, which also meant taking out all my piercings. I wasn't worried about my first two holes, as I have had those for years and can leave them out for a few days at a time and they still won't close. But the third holes were maybe a little over 6 months old. Well, I did it because I had to, and because of the complications I had that day, I didn't put my earrings back in until the next day. It was already too late. I couldn't manage to get the normal looking one back in, but ironically enough, I could have put back in just the demented looking one. But I didn't want to - so they both had to close. It was a good thing, because they really were infected and just weren't getting better, but it still made me pretty sad.

Now let's fast forward to Summer 2011, just after I graduated high school. More ear piercings had been growing on me steadily, but my parents weren't having it. I'll tell you all the other piercings I've wanted since then. I would have loved to re-pierce my third holes, keep the three holes I got (shown in the pictures below), get an industrial piercing in the cartilage of my right ear, along with a tragus piercing also in my right ear. But after the pain I experienced getting the 2 cartilage piercings pierced, I gave up hope for the industrial. Even after all I've been through with piercings, I may still try to get my tragus pierced someday.

Anyways, the pictures below speak for themselves as far as how bad the infections in my three cartilage piercings got. (2 next to each other in my left ear and 1 mid way up the ear in my right ear) Basically, I still have a little bump left in my right ear, even after a month or two of the hole being closed. My doctor said to continue putting warm wash cloths on it twice a day and it should show little to nothing left.

As far as the two left ear cartilage piercings go, the lower one remains in while I just closed the top one a few days ago. The bump has gone down at least about half way I'd say, and doesn't hurt as much anymore. I'm still sad I only have one out of three left, though. :(

Basically what ended up happening is I got all three pierced on my 18th birthday, August 27, 2011. Because it was my body and my money, my parents couldn't stop me since I was finally of age. So I went and got them all pierced at Piercing Pagoda in the mall because I wasn't going back to Icing after the lady messed up my third holes. But looking back, I wish I just went to a tattoo place where they pierce your ears with a needle instead of a gun, because maybe they wouldn't have gotten infected, or at least so easily, again. I have vowed to definitely get whatever piercings I want re-done at a reputable tattoo and piercing place, because the gun just hasn't worked out for me most times. And it just stinks, because I did everything I could to prevent these from getting infected this time. I did a salt-water mix twice a day, everyday, for 4-5 months and applied Neosporin when it felt more sore. But they still got infected. Oh well - I guess the lesson here is to give up if my ears just don't like being pierced - or keep trying, but at different places, with different piercers, and different methods of sterilization and protection. I'd appreciate if someone would tell me if I'm doomed to have more piercings than two in each ear or not, because at this point, I really don't know.

Below are pictures of what happened with the three piercings I got done on my 18th birthday. Sorry in advance if they gross anybody out, but they're basically just big, red, painful bumps - no puss or blood, I promise!

Actually, thinking of puss - when I took out my top left cartilage piercing for the final time, puss came oozing out right away. I just knew it couldn't stay in any longer. :(

This is what it looked like right before I decided to take it out.
Ain't that big, red, painful bump purty?
This was when I took both my cartilage piercings for the first time since I put the non-piercing earrings in to clean them. I shouldn't have put them back in after seeing this, but after much pain and prying, I did. Also notice the bump on the side of the ear, towards the front? That's hot. (sarcasm)
This was right before I took them out for the second time to clean them. I had a feeling it would be the last time for my top piercing.
Here's what the piercings looked like after removing both earrings once again. See that huge bump on the back of the top piercing? Yeah, it hurt SO bad.
Here's a close up of what the top one looked like after removing it. I was able to put the bottom one back in because the bump didn't appear huge or painful, but the top one had it. It had to close. :(
Remember to have a positive day! :)



  1. Lauren that looks so painful!!! I've only had 1 piercing and I can't even remember it because I was a baby, but I feel for you! To work so hard to get them pierced and then your ears don't like it ): It's like my body and dairy, I love cheese and can't eat it *tear*

  2. It definitely was very painful! And yeah, it was definitely not a happy time having to force myself to remove them. :(


  3. Well, needles are definitely better than guns for all piercings. (even ear lobes) That said, it's possible that your cartilage will get infected no matter what. Every cartilage piercing I've ever had (ear stud, industrial, and nose) has got horribly infected. My industrial was so bad that we had to cut it out with a wire cutters.
    That said, your bumps could easily be keloid scar tissue if they refuse to go away. To get rid of those a professional piercer told me to crush up aspirin (not tylenol or advil, actual aspirin) and make a paste with water. Apply that to the bumps and they'll gradually shrink. I know this post is from 2012 but pretty much all of this will apply to any future piercings you get.
    Anyways, a reputable tattoo/piercing shop is always best for any sort of piercing. They use hollow needles and autoclave sterilization. Hollow needles are a lot less stressful to the piercing and autoclave is the top of the sterilization line. Hospitals use it. Good luck with any future piercings. :-)

  4. I got three cartilage piercings at once on my birthday which happened to be May 30th. I went to a professional piercer who used fresh needles and they still ended up looking exactly like yours. I have one huge bump on my ear and it has been growing and releasing stuff for months. Because of how painful it is my doctor has recommended me to a plastic surgeon to get it fixed.