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Nipple Piercings That Won't Heal
My nipple piercings are three years old, but I still seem to have a never-ending battle with them healing. They continue to get crusty (and leak pus?) as if they are new. When they were new, I used the iodine solution and salt water soaks and they seemed to do fine. But they keep acting up. I've gone back to that routine, and used antibacterial soap, but they still keep flaring up. I don't do heavy sports, my clothes don't snag them and I'm wearing stainless steel so I'm pretty sure I'm not having an allergic reaction. I have no idea why they don't heal, is this common? Any advice?
Here's my answer:
One thing is definitely for sure: this is NOT a common reaction or response.
There is one small detail you should check for in regards to your nipple jewelry: is it just stainless steel or is it surgical stainless steel? There is a slight quality difference between the two and the latter is what is really necessary for long-term body wear. Although I do agree with you, it's most likely not a metal allergy, but that's worth checking anyway.
It may be that you have a chronic irritation going on, and not an actual infection. Is the inflammation low-grade, or does it get really pronounced? If the discharge isn't yellowish or greenish in color, and is just white, it might just be that your body produces a LOT of lymph fluid in response to the stimulation of the piercings. You don't say if you are male or female, but if you are a woman, you might want to see if the flare-ups are in tune with your menstrual cycle at all. I had issues like that for the first few years of having nipple piercings. The best way to actually confirm that you have an active infection is to go see a medical doctor, NOT a body piercer. Given that this has gone on for so long, you really should see a physician and get an accurate assessment of your piercing health.
I'd recommend cleaning the piercings as gently as possible and cut out things like iodine, as they can contribute to irritation and just keep an unhappy situation going. Try using a natural soap like Dr. Bronner's. The lavender version will be gentle but also provide a natural antibacterial action.
And the last thing you should consider is that out of the thousands of people who get pierced, a few have bodies that really don't want to be that way. Not being able to heal a piercing, even after years, is a clear sign that your body is trying to tell you something. You might want to consider this possibility even if you love your piercings.
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