Industrial piercings are awesome, but they require a little extra caution while healing. Having two piercings connected by one piece of jewellery leaves more opportunity to irritate this cartilage piercing. We take a look at some tips for faster and better healing.
1. Pick The Right Jewellery
The jewellery you choose for an industrial piercing makes a big difference in healing. Naturally, the usual recommendation of choosing hypoallergenic materials for piercing jewellery is a good start. Look for implant grade titanium or gold (14k-18k) for safe, nickel-free jewellery.
As well, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right gauge size. You may want to consult with your piercer before choosing the gauge size of your jewellery. The usual gauge for an industrial piercings is 14.
The part of jewellery selection that may seem more counterintuitive is the length of the bar. One of the big reasons that industrials take so long to heal is how easy it is to catch the bar and irritate the piercing. So you’d think that a shorter bar is ideal. But, when the piercing is healing it’s better to start with a longer bar.
Longer jewellery allows room for swelling, whereas a short bar can result in restriction and pressure. This can be painful as well as slowing healing time. Instead, you will usually want to start with a longer bar.
You can switch to more snug fitting jewellery after 2 to 3 months, at the end of the initial healing period.
2. Prepare for Inconsistent Healing
Fluctuating healing is perfectly normal for industrial piercings. With the bar affecting both holes, it’s easy to irritate one or the other.
It’s not unusual, during the healing phase, for this piercing to look healthy one week and have swelling or pus the next. Stick to your aftercare plan, and use salt water soaks or chamomile compresses to manage outbreaks.
3. Sleeping Tips
For any ear piercing, sleeping is a bit of a challenge. Sleeping with your piercing on the pillow means pressure over an extended period of time. This can cause irritation, pain, and swelling. If you tend to sleep on your side, your best bet is to pierce one ear at a time.
Do your best to avoid lying on the side that you pierce. If you pierce both sides, or can only get comfortable in the one position, consider using a travel pillow.
Instead of wrapping the travel pillow around your neck, lay it down like a normal pillow. This allows you to put your ear in the hole, so you can rest on your side without irritation.
4. Use Caution While Brushing Hair
One of the most frequent issues people have with a new industrial piercing is getting it caught while brushing hair. It can take a while to get used to having the jewellery there, and it’s easy for a brush to catch on it.
One method that can help keep conscious of the piercing while brushing is combining routines. Perform your aftercare routine right before when you normally brush. This keeps you aware of your piercing to make sure you use extra caution.
As well, if you go to the hairdresser make sure to alert them about the new piercing so they take extra care. This is especially important if you have long hair that covers the piercing.
If you find yourself catching the industrial jewellery often, consider wearing your hair behind the ear.
5. Glasses & Sunglasses
If you wear glasses or get pierced in the summertime your industrial is at risk of more irritation. Of course, you don’t want to sacrifice your ability to see or avoid protecting your eyes from the sun. So leave those glasses on. But you will want to exercise a little more caution while taking glasses off and on.
Unless your glasses have very thick arms, it’s unlikely they’ll bother your industrial piercing while wearing them. But they can get caught coming off or on. With prescription glasses, you’re probably stuck with the frames you already have. But for sunglasses, consider switching to a style with thinner arms.
Aviators, for example, have very thin arms that are less likely to catch. Plus, you’ll look like an extra from Top Gun.
6. Switch to Earbuds
We know, the sound quality of over-the-ear headphones is better, and they look cooler. But unless you’re a DJ spinning tracks at one of Toronto’s festivals or an air traffic controller out of Billy Bishop, we recommend making the temporary switch.
Although many headphones have a fairly light touch on your ears, over time that pressure can affect your piercing. At least for the first 2 to 3 months, you’re better off wearing earbuds.
There’s no need to get stinky. It’s perfectly safe to continue showering and washing your hair while your piercing heals. You may want to opt for a natural shampoo if the chemicals are irritating the area. Otherwise, simply take extra care to thoroughly rinse the soap and shampoo from in and around the piercing.
Granted, showering is no replacement for the cleanings in your piercing aftercare regimen.
8. Follow Your Aftercare
Placement is the only factor that has more influence on how your piercing will look than aftercare. If you want your piercing to heal looking exactly as you planned, you need to take care of it. Scarring, infection, and untreated swelling can all distort the piercing’s final appearance.
Fortunately, by sticking to your piercing aftercare program you can avoid the worst of these problems. Most people start off nailing their aftercare. But the longer the healing takes, the easier it becomes to slip up.
Stick with it! Keeping up your aftercare until the industrial piercing fully heals doesn’t just mean a better-looking piercing, it also protects your health!
At Chronic Ink we recommend NeliMed Nelicleanse piercing aftercare. It is an isotonic, drug-free, preservative-free solution for cleaning your piercing during the healing period with no burning or stinging to irritate the pierced area.
9. The Importance of a Professional Piercer
With any piercing, we always recommend visiting a professional piercing studio. It’s your body, and your health at stake. You want someone with the right training and knowledge. With Industrial piercings, a pro piercer is especially important because of its difficulty.
Industrials not only involve getting two holes at once, but they need to go in at just the right angle. If done incorrectly, the angles of the holes don’t line up. This means the jewellery puts constant pressure on each hole, making the healing process slow and painful. At the end of healing, the piercing ends up not quite looking right.
A cartilage piercing takes a long time heal, and a longer time to close. So you owe it to yourself to get it right the first time.
Schedule an Industrial Piercing in Toronto
Ready to get an industrial piercing? Contact us today at our downtown Toronto piercing studio to book a piercing time. We have highly trained piercing artists operating in a sanitary, safety-first environment.