Preventing and Treating Body Piercing Scars

belly-ringBody piercings are becoming increasingly mainstream in society, and they’re leaving their mark. While anyone who chooses to get a tattoo understands that they’re leaving a permanent mark on their skin, many people don’t understand the risk of scarring that body piercings carry. If a piercing is not done professionally and well, if it becomes infected, if it tears, or if it is regularly irritated, a scar is likely to form where the wound heals. These scars can be small and barely visible, but sometimes hypertrophic scars, which are discolored and raised above the skin, are formed. Whether conspicuous or subtle, body piercing scars can be treated—and even prevented altogether.

Talk to an Expert
There are ways to prevent or minimize the appearance of piercing scars. For those who want to keep their jewelry and minimize scarring around the piercing as it heals, a certified piercer is a good person to talk to. They can give you expert advice on which piercings and materials are less likely to cause scarring, as well as how to take care of the piercing properly so it can heal gently and without leaving marks.

Home Remedies
Home remedies can also be effective for minimizing piercing scars. Vitamin E is widely thought to help reduce scar tissue by softening skin. This scar-fighting substance can be ingested as a vitamin or used as a topical oil directly on the scar. Vitamin E oil can be especially helpful when paired with regular massaging of the area. Massaging helps reduce rigidity in the scar and allows the skin to spread back to its original state. Some people choose to treat their scarring with a salt soak. In a salt soak, hot water is mixed with salt, and sometimes chamomile tea, and applied to the scar for an extended period of time. The salt and warm water aid the healing process and disinfect, for less likelihood of damaging infections. The chamomile helps soothe the affected area and make the application of the salt easier on the skin.

Over-the-Counter Treatments
Many pharmacies also stock ointments that can help reduce scarring. Any brand of hydrocortisone cream, or topical creams with similar application, can fight the formation of scar tissue and keep healing skin healthy. If you’re not sure if a product is safe or effective for use in treating scars, speak with a dermatologist, your piercer, or even your family doctor for guidance.

Medical Care
If the situation is not improved by home remedies, the advice of a piercer, or over-the-counter treatments, there are still medical options to consider. Plastic surgeons often help patients with removing scar tissue through minor surgical procedures. This option is costly and involves more medical risk, but is more likely to be effective than the less potent home remedies.

The easiest way to prevent piercing scars is to take careful care of your piercing from the moment you get it until either the wound has healed or you remove your jewelry and the scar fades. Care must be diligent and daily in order to successfully remove or diminish the appearance of a scar.