Is this normal?

If you’ve been pierced before, you probably remember the feeling. The sinking sensation of dread, the anxiety, the constant checking the mirror, all the time wondering – does this look normal? Today we’re going to briefly discuss what is and what is not normal looking for a fresh piercing and how to deal with the anxiety.

First of all, there is no way to deal with the anxiety. Almost everyone experiences it, and it is probably the most universal and natural experience following a piercing. The key is not letting the anxiety force you into a mistake. Don’t do something out of fear that may damage your piercing (Tea tree oil, we’re looking at you….). Take a deep breath and tell yourself – “I got this”. You do. There’s a world of help out there for you so just…don’t…. panic.

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If your fresh piercing is red, that’s totally normal. It’s going to be red; it’s going to stay red for some time. A piercing is a wound, and your body is naturally going to respond the same way. The only time the redness is worrisome is if it comes out of nowhere on an already-healed piercing. A fresh piercing that is red and warm deserves to be kept watch over, as these can be signs of impending infection. However, they can still also be signs of a perfectly normal, healing piercing so don’t panic.

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If your piercing is oozing, you probably shouldn’t panic so long as the ooze is clear and yellow. That’s just lymph, and you’ll mainly notice it as yellow crusty stuff on your jewelry. Totally, totally normal stuff. If the ooze is opaque, green, or red, you should have your piercing seen by a medical professional because that can be a sign of infection. But if it’s just yellow crusty crud, it’s simply a normal part of the healing process.

If your piercing has a bump, that may be normal. Did you hit it against something or sleep on it? You may have irritated the piercing. (Sleeping on a travel pillow can help a great deal if your piercing is on your ear.) If you have a bump that won’t go away, go see a trusted piercer. You may have issues with the jewelry or the angle at which the piercing was performed. Don’t panic, this is not a death sentence for your piercing.

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Does your new septum piercing smell a bit funny? And not “ha ha” funny but “kinda rank” kinda funny? Yeah, that is totally normal. It will linger during the healing process. After your piercing has healed, it may reappear if your piercing needs some cleaning. But it is still totally normal and nothing to panic over.

Is your piercing rejecting? This one has been known to happen, particularly with surface piercings. If the area around the hole/holes is red and flaky, if you can see a lot more of the jewelry than previously, or if there is a new hole in the skin over the jewelry, or if the jewelry is no longer located in the same place, you might be experiencing rejection. If you’re only experiencing the first, you may be having an allergy to your jewelry or simply have dry skin and some irritation. Go see your piercer and get some advice because this may be relatively normal.

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A new piercing can bring new anxiety, especially if you are new to getting pierced. Having a good grasp of what to expect can help to soothe those worries and keep you from trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. It can also help you identify a problem before it gets serious. Forewarned is forearmed, and knowledge is power. Hopefully you now have the power to help get through the healing process of your new piercing….so you can start planning the next one!