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Healing New Piercings With Vitamin E Oil

Discussion in 'Healing and Aftercare' started by Angel on the Edge, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Angel on the Edge Administrator

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    Hello Pierced Pals!

    Last weekend Jason Coale, The Studio at Painful Pleasures' resident piercing artist, put 3 new holes in my ears. I now have a 2nd hole in each earlobe and my right helix/cartilage pierced. :)

    Jason did an amazing job! I barely felt the earlobe piercings, and the helix one only hurt for a nanosecond. However, about an hour later, my right ear started throbbing--probably because I kept bumping it when habitually pushing my hair behind my ears--and that got me thinking about how I'd cared for my first earlobe piercings. I remembered that after cleaning or spraying them with something like Nature's Pure Defense sterile aftercare spray, I would dab on vitamin E oil. Vitamin E oil is absolutely amazing stuff! Whenever I'm worried about a scar forming under a scab, I rub on vitamin E oil constantly and 99% of the time manage to avoid permanent scarring.

    When I got home Saturday after getting my new piercings, I soaked a clean washcloth in warm water, then applied it to my ears to loosen up the crusties that had formed around the jewelry. Afterwards, I sprayed my ears with Nature's Pure Defense, then used a Q-tip to dab vitamin E oil around my piercings. With clean hands, I carefully turned the rings to move some of the oil into my new holes. I've been re-applying 2x/day each day since, and so far the healing process is going amazingly well. No fistulas, oozing, excessive crusting, etc.--just happy, healthy ears and pretty new jewelry here!

    I'd be interested to know what piercing artists think about this aftercare tip. Just because it works well for me doesn't mean it's a good idea for everyone. I have a sneaking suspicion that piercers would tell me (a) not to turn the jewelry back and forth through the holes because I could get bacteria inside, and (b) that it's not a good idea to put anything in such new, raw holes--not even gentle, healing vitamin E oil. For the record, I'm being incredibly careful; I always wash my hands at least 2x before touching the jewelry, and for the most part I've been applying the vitamin E oil with Q-tips instead of my fingers. When I wash my hair, I'm careful to keep the soap away from my ears, but I do soak up the warm water every morning to eliminate the little bit of crusting that is forming overnight.

    For me, vitamin E oil is the best healer on the market, and it's working beautifully on my ears along with the Nature's Pure Defense aftercare spray. It's relatively easy to find; you should spot it alongside regular vitamins at any drug store and sometimes even in the vitamin section of grocery stores. It isn't terribly expensive, and a little bit goes a long way. I've had the bottle I'm using now for a couple years, and it's still half full!

    Before I say "I highly recommend this aftercare method" to my fellow pierced pals, let's see what our piercing artist friends in the community have to say. I'd also love to hear about other techniques people have found helpful for healing new piercings.

    All the Best,
    Laura
    A.K.A. Angel
  2. Rainbird The Pierced Godmother

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    Hi Angel.

    Congratulations on your new piercings, just in time to buy some lovely new jewellery.

    Vitamin E is not recommended to heal fresh piercings as the fistula has to heal from the inside out and if the outside heals first it risks sealing in the lymph that naturally seeps from the fistula during the healing process. This will then collect inside and will cause problems trying to get out. It is very good at healing shallow wounds that are open to the air and I have seen some impressive results on facial cuts. Also, once the fistula is healed it is good for helping to stretch and to help disguise retired piercings.

    You are right, turning or twisting the jewellery is no longer recommended, although they did used to tell you to do that. It is not recommended because it draws bacteria or dry crusties into the fistula and risks starting an infection, using any sort of facecloth is not recommended for the same reason - it can so easily carry bacteria onto the ear or the jewellery which can then get inside.
    However many times you wash your hands you will still have bacteria on the jewellery itself, which will then be introduced to the raw piercing if you turn it.
    I recommend lots of sea salt soaks to loosen the crustie and clean up the jewellery. A cotton bud soaked in sss to help remove any stubborn crusties from your ear and the jewellery, and a good few squirts of H2ocean or Nature Defense after the soak and again during the day whenever they feel dry or you think there is a crustie forming.
    If the skin starts to dry out you could put a drop of either tea tree or Vit e oil in the soak to help keep your skin moisturized.

    Good luck with the healing, let us know how it is progressing.
  3. Angel on the Edge Administrator

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    Hi Rainbird,

    Thank you so much for that great advice!

    I have a question about the soaks... How does that work with an ear piercing exactly? I just soak a cotton ball with it and apply, or am I to literally soak my piercing by, say, holding a little cup with the solution up for a few minutes so my lobe can soak in it? As I write, that sounds like an incredibly dumb question... It just seems like you'd actually need to soak a piercing rather than dab at it to get the full benefit? I could do that with my lobes, but not so much with the helix, so I guess I'll just try cotton balls soaked in solution on that spot.

    All 3 piercings are healing incredibly well. I barely have any crusting at all now, and usually only a tiny bit when I first wake up. It's been almost a week, but all 3 spots are in such good shape that you'd think they were pierced weeks ago! For the first few nights, every time I turned onto my right side in my sleep I'd jump awake when my helix came in contact with the pillow. As of 2 nights ago, though, I've been able to sleep on my right side some with no problems.

    Since I only just saw your reply, I've been doing what I outlined above for the past 6 days. Each morning I let the warm water in the shower loosen up what crusties there are, then after I'm dressed, I spray my ears with Nature's Pure Defense and dab on a little vitamin E oil (which I'll stop now, since you've given me very good reason to!). At night, I get a fresh, clean, unused washcloth to soak with warm water and apply to my ears. Afterwards, it goes in the dirty laundry and I get a new one out the next day, so hopefully I've been careful enough with that.

    Once again, many thanks for the excellent advice! I will try the soak suggestion tonight. :)

    Take care,
    Laura
  4. xXJarredXx Super Moderator

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    Cotton balls are the way to go :)

    After soaking in the mixture, you dab it lightly, not rub. If you are worried you aren't getting the full benefit you can try holding it gently to the piercing and let it absorb some of it. Helix piercings have always been extra tender for me as well. Something about the nerves in the cartilage tissue I guess.
  5. Rainbird The Pierced Godmother

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    Thanks for jumping in Jarred.
    Hope you and your sinus's are doing okay.
    Take care of yourself.

    Hope that helps Angel, soaks are also better for getting debris like sand for instance, away from the fistula. I think I used an eye bath to drop my lobe into but anything clean will do.
  6. Angel on the Edge Administrator

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    Rainbird & Jarred,

    So sorry I've been a bit slow to respond! I've been trying to get a million things done in preparation for the week I'm taking off this through next Friday for my wedding and honeymoon. :)

    Thank you both for all of your wonderful suggestions! I've been following your advice and my ears are healing quite nicely. My helix still gets irritated a bit easily; for instance, if I've slept on my right side at all at night, I wake up with it aching dully, but the feeling passes quickly. I've had no "real" problems to speak of, just that occasional bit of soreness. So all in all, it's going very well!

    Jarred, I just wanted to reiterate Rainbird's well wishes and say that I hope you're on the road to recovery. Take care of yourself!

    Rainbird, I hope you had (or are still having?) a wonderful vacation!

    Hope the spammers aren't driving you guys crazier than normal while I'm away!

    All the Best,
    Laura
  7. xXJarredXx Super Moderator

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    We can handle the spam bots :) don't worry yourself!

    I've seen the dentist a couple of times, but have yet to go into oral surgery, that's my next appointment.

    Have fun on the honey moon!
  8. Rainbird The Pierced Godmother

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    He he, I second that emotion.
    Have a wonderful fun honeymoon and do lots of things you can't tell us about lol!!
  9. Angel on the Edge Administrator

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    Thanks guys! The wedding and honeymoon were awesome. We arrived in Jamaica the day before hurricane Sandy hit, which put a bit of a damper on things but didn't keep us from having a good time. Got lots of sun, had lots of fun, ate WAY too much great food, drank a lot even though I'm not a big drinker in general, and did a few things that I'll keep just between me and Trey. ;-)

    Jarred, good luck with the upcoming oral surgery! I've had more than my fair share of dental problems (bad genes? maybe it's me...) and know it's no fun. At least the mouth heals quickly compared to other parts of the body. Small consolation, but hey, it's something!

    My helix is doing a lot better. It's still a little tender to the touch, but I'm able to sleep on that side again most nights without any lasting repercussions, which is good since I'm a side sleeper and I move constantly at night. The first few weeks, that meant I was jumping awake at intervals in the night when I rolled over onto that side and dragged my ear across the pillow, but not now.

    Thanks again for the great tips, guys! They've been helpful to me personally, but I'm sure others in the community will be better off for you imparting that wisdom on me, too, now that I'm trying to give others advice from time to time. So thank you!!

    Take care,
    Laura

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