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Medical personnel have tremendous knowledge of the human body but often do not have specific training about this unique form of body art. As a piercee, you may have more information about the suggested care and maintenance of piercings than they do. It is up to you to make certain that your chosen medical professional has access to facts that will facilitate your treatment. To save yourself from a bad experience, ask the following questions before settling on a doctor or other practitioner. Is this healthcare professional:
If you experience a problem that is beyond the scope of your piercer, the following facts can assist you and your healthcare provider in decision-making about the best care and treatment.
If the jewelry moves closer to the surface or the tissue gets narrower between the openings of a piercing, this is termed “migration.” If the piercing migrates past a point of remaining viable or comes all the way to the surface, this is termed “rejection.” For safety and longevity, a piercing should have at least 5/16” inch (almost 8 mm) of tissue between the entrance and exit holes. A body piercing should be abandoned if the tissue between the entry and exit progressively gets smaller or thinner over time plus any of the following:
A piercing is a unique type of wound because it is intentional, and healing must take place around a foreign object. This information is intended to familiarize you with piercing complications you might encounter, and the treatments found to be most efficacious.
A skin sensitivity or allergy can be induced by a cleaning product or inferior jewelry that contains too much nickel or other irritating alloy SYMPTOMS:
A single pustule occurs adjacent a piercing—often in a recurrent cycle SYMPTOMS:
Excess granulation tissue is most common on piercings of navels, nostrils, outer labia, and the mucosal surface of lips--though it may also occur on other piercings TREATMENT:
Any one of the above problems can make additional or secondary problems more likely; i.e. an allergic reaction to a particular jewelry material or care product can make a piercee more vulnerable to secondary infection. Multiple causes are sometimes responsible for complications; i.e. ill-fitting jewelry and poor aftercare. In addition, overall health and stress levels can impact the healing process and should be evaluated and dealt with as a potential cause for piercing complications.
Disclaimer: The suggestions contained in this brochure are not to be considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor; they are simply intended to assist you and your healthcare provider in troubleshooting problematic piercings. The information is based on a combination of vast professional experience, common sense, research, and extensive clinical practice, along with input from piercing-friendly medical professionals. Your local piercer may be able to refer you to a piercing-friendly medical professional if necessary. Use of this brochure does not imply membership in the APP. A current list of APP members can be found at safepiercing.org. False claims of membership should be reported to the APP. The APP logo is the trademark of the Association of Professional Piercers. This brochure is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/
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