Modify always suggests seeing a piercer first in the instance of a irritated piercing
Swelling is the accumulation of fluids in tissues. Swelling can be generalized or local. In regards to piercing, it is usually localized swelling.
Some swelling after getting a fresh piercing is normal! Your body has recognized that there is a new, fresh wound in the area and is rushing to help heal it. If you feel that you are experiencing more swelling than normal, please go back to your piercer so they can assess the situation.
Some piercings will naturally swell more than others. Anything in the mouth will swell naturally to begin with for around 3-5 days. Oral piercings will usually need a shorter piece of jewellery within the first 2-4 weeks of healing to prevent tooth and gum damage. This is important as you are more likely to chew and play with the long bars.
Things like ear piercings are not usually piercings that swell largely when done but most piercers will put in jewellery to accommodate for it anyway just to be sure. The jewellery wont be quite as long as jewellery used for oral piercings but still may need to be downsized within the first 4-6 weeks of healing.
Some piercings may not need to be downsized at all during the healing time BUT may need to be upsized if large amounts of swelling occurs. We suggest seeing your piercer asap if this is the case.
Dealing with a swollen piercing asap is important because the swelling may not reduce if the jewellery can not accommodate the amount of swelling and lead to embedding. Which is not what you want!
If your piercing is swollen, try to avoid cleaning it with anything warmer than room temp. Using cool water to rinse the area or cool saline is best. Using warm or hot solutions to clean a swollen piercing wont help or could make it worse. This is JUST if your piercing is swollen. Once it has gone back to normal warm cleaning solutions is fine.
Tips to reduce swelling:
Rest Is usually in regards to sports injury, not piercings. However, taking a short rest from extremely rigorous actives while you and your piercer figure out what is causing the abnormal swelling can't hurt!
Compression Cool compression's are relatively simple. Get a clean make-up pad or cotton ball and soak them in room temperature water. Place the pads/cotton balls onto a clean plate and put them into the fridge until cold (5~ minutes). With clean hands, gently place onto your piercing(s).
Elevation When sleeping/laying down/resting, keep your head/the location of the piercing(s) elevated.
ICE Take some ice, put it into a ziplock plastic bag (sandwich bag ect) and apply it to the area for 3-5 minutes, then 3-5 minutes off. Putting the ice in a plastic bag will help contain the ice, prevent dripping ect and could be refrozen if needed. Crushing up the ice in the bag can also help as it will conform better to the area.
If you have permission from a doctor to take anti-inflammatory medication (E.g Nurofen) then it MAY help but as we are piercers and not doctors, we can not safely determine if medication should be used, especially over the internet.
Drinking slushies is a tasty way to help control swelling in the mouth.
Trouble shooting for swollen piercings: Is the jewellery moving a lot or to tight? You may need a longer piece of jewellery to help allow the piercing to breathe and to prevent embedding. Have you knocked the piercing? Have you slept on the piercing? Have you changed the jewellery before the proper healing times? You may need to insert the originally jewellery back in Have you recently changed over from a straight bar to a ring? This can sometimes cause discomfit for a few days but if the jewellery becomes swollen, put your original jewellery back in Have you recently consumed alcohol or eaten spicy foods? These things can cause blood thinning or irritate a piercing, leading to swelling. Have you been playing with it? Playing around with your piercing can irritate it and then lead to swelling If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may have the reason why the piercing may be swollen. Please read above how to help reduce swelling or check the body piercing (or oral piercing) aftercare section and read through for the best way to reduce swelling.