- What are they?
- How they got there?
- And most importantly - How to get rid of them?
What are cartilage piercing bumps?Cartilage piercing bumps are colloquially known as mystery bumps. It’s pretty easy to guess why. Their appearance and reason for appearing is usually a mystery to the affected. What they actually are is hypertrophic scarring. Fortunately, these bumps aren’t dangerous and are treatable.
How do cartilage piercing bumps form?Hypertrophic scars occur most often on ear or nose piercings. They are the result of the healing process being interrupted. There are 3 typical causes that form piercing bumps:
- Ongoing irritation to the piercing
- Piercing gun
- Improper/Lack of aftercare
Irritation to the piercingThis is probably the most common culprit for bumps on new piercings. It’s always tempting to touch your new piercing, but try to resist. Touching it too much or too roughly is a good way to end up with an uncomfortable bump. Touching isn’t the only cause of irritation. The type of piercing can affect it as well. Especially if you have sensitive skin. Loose fitting jewellery, or jewellery that moves too much can cause enough friction to raise a bump.
Piercing gunMost accomplished piercing artists avoid piercing guns. But, they are still common at mall kiosks and jewellery stores. Using a piercing gun can damage the cartilage around the piercing, making it more likely for mystery bumps to form. In addition to damaging the skin, guns are less sterile than needles. That leaves you open to infection as well. This is just one of the reasons why needles are better than piercing guns. The best piercing shops use needles.
Improper/Lack of aftercareFollowing piercing aftercare is important for fast, safe healing. It also helps to prevent irritation bumps from forming. Keep your piercings clean to help keep them free of bumps and/or infection. Aftercare can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 1 year, depending on the piercing and your body’s ability to heal.
How to get rid of cartilage piercing bumpsPiercing bumps are very treatable. They’re easy to remove, but it takes a bit of patience. While improvements are visible within a week of treatment, some bumps can take over a month to fully disappear.
Step 1: Addressing the irritation sourceAnother common name for mystery bumps is irritation bumps. This is because they are often the direct result of irritation. The irritation prevents the piercing from healing, leading to hypertrophic scarring. External sources of irritation are a likely cause. These include:
- Sleeping on the piercing
- Frequent touching of the piercing
- Picking at scabbing
- Hair or hat touching the piercing
Step 2: Treating the bumpsAfter removing the potential causes of the bumps, it’s time to start treatment. Start with regular cleanings as well as a salt soak or chamomile compress. A salt soak is effective, safe, and uses household items:
- Sea salt (¼ teaspoon)
- Boiling water (1 cup)
- Cotton pad
- Boiling water (1 cup)
- Chamomile tea bag
- Cotton pad (optional)
Our Favourite Piercing Aftercare
NeilMed Neilcleanse Piercing Aftercare
NeilMed Neilcleanse Piercing Aftercare saline spray helps in healing piercings. 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. The sterile saline solution can be used as part of your healing process with any fresh piercing, including ear piercings, nostril piercings and belly button piercings. Neilcleanse sprays in any direction for easy use without touching your piercing.