Home Health & Wellness Brits Risk Dermatological Problems With Viral Piercing Trend, Experts Warn

Brits Risk Dermatological Problems With Viral Piercing Trend, Experts Warn

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Helix piercings have been named one of the biggest piercing trends of 2024, with an 80% spike in searches for “hidden helix piercing” on Pinterest in the past seven days.

However, creators have taken to TikTok to share their experiences getting the viral piercing done, many of which document infection due to improper aftercare.

Ashish Shah, an audiologist at The Hearing Care Partnership warns of the potential, more alarming ear problems that can arise if a piercing infection is not controlled: “Although ear piercings will not affect your ear health directly, if the piercing is not kept clean, there is a risk of developing dermatological problems around the piercing or even an infection.”

“If left untreated, it could potentially affect the ear canal if you touch the infected area, then touch another part of your ear or ear canal, which could increase the risk of the infection transferring. This is why establishing a thorough aftercare routine is crucial, as this will lower the risk of infection altogether.”

With that being said, the hearing experts at The Hearing Care Partnership have shared some top tips on how to care for your piercing to ensure it heals well and prevent the risk of infection:

Ensure you keep up with your aftercare solution daily

“Aftercare is imperative to the healing process, so it goes without saying that this is something that should be followed carefully, especially with new piercings. Using a disinfectant, like saline solution, can effectively remove dirt and debris with little to no irritation. It’s typically advised to use your aftercare solution two to three times a day, but ensure you consult your piercer first and follow their specific aftercare routine.”

Try to avoid contact with water until your piercing has fully healed 

“While your piercing is healing, you should avoid getting the area wet, particularly if you take part in any water sport such as swimming. This is because being exposed to harsh chemicals like chlorine can cause your ear to get severely irritated, which could lead to infection.”

“If avoiding water isn’t feasible for any reason, however, protect your piercing using a waterproof dressing like a plaster or strip to prevent the area from getting wet. However, in the case that it does get wet, ensure you clean the area immediately with your aftercare solution and pat it dry so it remains as clean as possible.”

Book a follow-up appointment with your piercer 

“After your initial piercing appointment, many assume that everything is fine and no further action is required. However, like any procedure, you should have regular checkups to ensure your piercing is healing well and to help you change out your piercing if it’s time to do so.”

“To ensure you don’t forget, schedule your follow-up appointment right after your piercing has been done. Doing this will avoid disappointment, as usually, if left to the last minute, you won’t be able to secure the date you wanted.”

Avoid using over-the-counter products without consulting a professional

“As revolutionary as they may seem, try to refrain from carrying out home remedies or using over-the-counter products without consulting your piercer first. Your aftercare leaflet should provide you with all the do’s and don’ts of what to use and how to use it, but if at any point you are experiencing unbearable pain or discomfort, seek professional advice immediately.”

Refrain from touching your piercing 

“Unless you are cleaning your piercing, you should refrain from excessively touching or twisting your earring, as this can delay the healing process. Your hands are home to thousands of germs and bacteria, so if they’re not cleaned properly and you continue to touch your piercing, this could increase the risk of infection.”

“If you find this difficult, use earlobe patches or tape to cover your piercing. Alternatively, during your aftercare routine, soak the aftercare solution on a cotton bud and gently press it around the piercing to prevent any unnecessary touching or fiddling.”

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