II. Findings: Healing times for Body Piercing

  1. Piercings that heal within 4-6 weeks
    1. Clitoris or labia minora
    2. Male Urethral meatus (Prince Albert)
    3. Tongue
  2. Piercings that heal within 6-8 weeks
    1. Ear lobe or auricle
    2. Eyebrow
    3. Lip
    4. Male coronal ridge or edge of glans (dydoe)
  3. Piercings that heal in 2-4 months
    1. Labia majora
    2. Nipple
    3. Scrotum (hafada)
  4. Piercings with healing delayed up to 9 months
    1. Glans penis (ampallang)
    2. Navel

III. Complications: Concerns applicable to all sites

  1. Risk of infection with piercing
    1. Most piercings are done under non-clean conditions
      1. Skin is not cleaned or prepped prior to piercing
      2. Many piercing guns are not sterilized between uses
    2. General infection risks
      1. Tetanus
      2. Skin Bacteria (e.g. Staphylococcus aureus)
    3. Blood bourne infection risks
      1. Hepatitis BVirus
      2. Hepatitis CVirus
      3. Human Immunodeficiency Virus
    4. Infection prevention
      1. Avoid contamination risks (hot tubs, lakes, pools)
      2. Irrigate wounds with sterile saline twice daily until healed
  2. Allergic Reaction to nickel
    1. Especially common in Atopic Patients
    2. Nickel may contaminate stainless steel or gold
    3. Even expensive jewelry may have nickel in stud, back
  3. Local Trauma or irritation from jewelry
    1. Consider removing jewelry at bedtime
    2. Remove jewelry before Contact Sports
  4. MRI
    1. Removal jewelry before MRI

IV. Complications: Oral Piercing

  1. Sites: Lips, cheeks, Tongue
  2. Complications (especially from Tongue placement)
    1. Edema or Hematoma from placement
    2. Saliva may be affected (e.g. Drooling)
    3. May affect speech, taste or eating
    4. May chip teeth
  3. Concerns in health care
    1. May interfere with airway control (e.g. Intubation)
    2. Remove oral and nasal jewelry before surgery
    3. Risk of aspiration in emergency
  4. Infection Prevention
    1. Use an Alcohol-free mouthwash after meals and bedtime until healed

V. Complications: Ear Piercing

VI. Complications: Other Piercing Sites

  1. Nasal Piercing
    1. Septal Hematoma and infection if cartilage pierced
    2. Perichondritis and necrosis (poor cosmetic outcome)
      1. Treat infections with Bactroban and fluoroquibolone
  2. Navel Piercing
    1. Local skin irritation
    2. Migration of jewelry to skin surface (scar risk)
    3. Higher complication rate in Obesity and pregnancy
  3. Nipple or Areola Piercing
    1. Risk of infection and abscess formation
    2. May interfere with Breast Feeding
  4. Female Genital Piercing
    1. Interferes with Condom and diaphragm use
    2. Risk of Keloids, infection and bleeding
  5. Male Genital Piercing
    1. Urethral Stricture or blocked urine flow
    2. Priapism
    3. Foreskin may be caught retracted (Paraphimosis)

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