Safepiercing Inbox Question:
I’m submitting my question because my message is way too long for an ask, and I figured a picture of the piercing in question would help some. So. Hi.
I plan on seeing the guy who pierced my rook tomorrow (and yes, he is an experienced piercer working at a local tattoo/pierce shop whom I trust wholeheartedly), but I figured a second (or, well, first) opinion wouldn’t hurt.
On the “top” of the rook, the obviously visible part of the piercing, a small bump formed. I do know it’s a typical (albeit sad) thing to happen with cartilage piercings and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was because of bad cleaning on my part, but I also wonder if the jewelry I used was part of the problem—I was pierced with a curved barbell. If the bump is from pressure of the piercing (more often than not the ball of the bar pressed down against my ear, right where the bump has grown) would having the piercer switch out the jewelry with a hoop work out better? I’ve had the piercing for exactly eight weeks, the estimated healing time if I’m correct, but the swelling hasn’t gone down like my tragus piercing previously had. (My tragus, same ear, was pierced in late July and by mid September I noticed that the swelling was gone so I assumed the same thing would happen with the rook)
Again, it may very well be a combination of my own cleaning habits and the pressure from the jewelry, but I thought asking wouldn’t hurt.
The first photo is from when I initially had my rook done (for comparison purposes, I suppose), and the second is how it looks now. The bar isn’t short by any means, but with the swelling it is a rather tight fit so it’s another reason why I’m thinking a hoop might be better suited.
- Well, first off that jewelry is way too long for the size of your rook. It looks like maybe a 3/8” or 7/16” long curved barbell to me. Typically 5/16” is a good fit for most new rooks. With excessively long jewelry like that you’re going to have pressure and snagging problems pretty frequently I imagine.
- It’s also hard to tell from that picture but it looks like the bottom hole exits almost on the ridge of the rook itself rather than underneath the fold. If that’s where it’s actually placed the jewelry will naturally add pressure to the tissue. I would guess pressure is one of the main problems since the lump seems to be focused on the front of the piercing. The scar seems to be almost bracing in one direction which makes me think there is outward pressure.
- That kind of bump can also be a sign of allergic reaction. Do you know what grade of material it happens to be, or who the manufacturer is? If it’s a cheap grade of steel rather than F-138 implant grade steel, or F-136 implant grade titanium you might be having a sensitivity or allergic reaction from the jewelry material.
- My first suggestion would definitely be a better fitting piece of jewelry. Try something shorter. You still want a little wiggle room to avoid pinching, but you can downsize the length of your jewelry by at least 2 millimeters. High grade jewelry would also be a smart move. Try something from one of our APP corporate sponsors. Some of the names you can look for are LeRoi, Industrial Strength, Anatometal, and Neometal. You’ll still want a curved barbell. Rings or hoop style jewelry will just stick out and cause even more irritation.
- If your regular piercer can’t seem to help you with the new jewelry you need there’s never any harm in getting a second opinion from another experienced piercer.
- You can also check out these APP informational brochures for troubleshooting and aftercare info.
- Good luck with it, let us know how things work out for you and we’ll do a follow up post.
- Ryan Ouellette, APP outreach