How to Get Rid of a Piercing Blister

Piercing bump
me and the sysop/Flickr


No need to panic. A piercing blister is a very common occurrence that can show up in the healing process, even with meticulous care. Before you begin your treatment, first identify the type of type of bump you're dealing with, where it is located on your body, and how it got there in the first place. After that, some natural home remedies, time, and patience will help you cure your unsightly swelling.

Identify the Blister

A piercing blister can show up for various reasons. So, just because your friend has "the same issue," doesn't mean your protocol for healing should resemble hers. Before coming up with your own plan, figure out if your blister is an abscess, a follicular cyst, or hypotrophic scarring (a bump that forms on the backside of your hole). Abscesses, or boils, are painful lesions caused by a bacterial infection inside or around the piercing. And while they sound scary, they are the easiest to treat. A follicular cyst is actually just a clogged pore. This puss-filled bump can be due to an ingrown hair or dead skin cells trapped inside a pore that neighbors your piercing. Hypotrophic scarring, however, usually occurs in a cartilage piercing (upper ear or nose) and must be tended to immediately before it becomes a more permanent keloid scar.

Choose High-Quality Jewelry

Now that we sussed out your lump, let's make sure your jewelry is up to snuff.

Are your studs, hoops, or CBR's (captive bead rings) made of surgical stainless steel, surgical titanium, niobium, or Tygon (a surgical plastic)? If you're not sure, visit your professional piercing studio. They will help you select a quality material in the perfect gauge for healing your piercing.

They'll often put it in for you too, so no need to change it out yourself. Then once it's in, leave it there until your bump is completely healed.

Natural Home Remedies

Cleaning your piercing daily with a mild facial soap is the key to eliminating boils or cysts, but sometimes they need little extra help. That's where a salt soak comes in. Sea salt soaks draw out the impurities, clearing the bacterial infection and loosening dead skin cells or dried puss. Simply mix 1/8 teaspoon sea salt with water and soak your piercing blister three times a day until it is completely gone. Salt soaks usually do the trick, but certain boils may call for an herbal compress like chamomile teas bags soaked in hot water. For the trickiest of wounds, a few drops of tea tree oil diluted in olive or coconut oil and applied daily should thwart the infection for good. 

Scar Tissue

Sometimes a piercing goes array and forms scar tissue on the backside of the hole. This type of hypotrophic scarring is caused by a loss of collagen due to trauma in and around the piercing site. Don't delay treatment if this happens to you, as this type of bump could result in a permanent scar. First, size down your jewelry's gauge (with professional guidance, of course) to avoid undue pressure on the wound.

Then, perform a daily, gentle oil massage to dissolve the blister before it becomes a permanent scar.

Healing Takes Time

Once your piercing blister is completely healed, you can then change your jewelry. But again, select high-quality jewelry purchased only from a professional shop and let them put it in. If your piecing blister rears its ugly head again, repeat the steps above. Remember—piecings are wounds and the healing process can be filled with ups and downs. If your piercing becomes painful, red, or hot, and excretes green ooze, go see a doctor for a more aggressive treatment.