Why Does Your Body Reject Piercings?In the same way that your body would reject a bit of grit in your knee, or a splinter in your finger. Your body sees the jewellery as a foreign object and makes it its mission to push it out. This happens by the skin above the object dying, and dropping off due to the obstruction of blood vessells to the area.
Piercings that are often very successful, such as belly buttons, ears etc only survive because the body sees it as too much of a risk factor to reject the piercing as they are lodged too deeply into the body.
The rejection process often starts from the outside in, as this is the part of the piercing which is under the most strain, and is being 'levered' out.
Factors that contribute to rejectionUp-Pressure - The jewellery exerting leverage on the surrounding area, clamping off the blood supply and putting strain on the tissue.
General Damage - This can be provoked by the initial piercing and can continue to be aggrevated by allergies to the jewellery.
Motion - The piercing is constantly being moved, twisted,stretched e.t.c.
Impact - Knocks and rubbing applied to the area.
Ways to limit these factorsUp-Pressure
- Placing the piercing in an area where there is looser skin.
- Using a more flexible material for the jewellery, metals being the least flexible, nylon is slightly more flexible and Tygon is the most flexible.
- Choose the shape of the jewellery more carefully, this can effectively totally eliminate up-pressure issues if the jewelry passes straight down to a "safe" distance, moves across the skin at a consistent depth, and then re-exits straight up again.
- Ensure that the piercing is done in a clean environment, with sterile tools.
- Choose body jewellery which causes the least reactions e.g. titanium.
- Draw a grid on your skin, and draw the piercing on your skin over the grid. Move the area as much as you can. For the piercing to be viable, this line should stay constant in shape and length.
- The use of flexible jewelry will give you more freedom as far as motion, but ideally the piercing should be placed in an appropriate place to start with.
- Make sure that the piercing is placed in a spot which is subject to little friction and knocking from clothes e.t.c.
One thing to bare in mind is that everyone heals very differently, and at different rates and levels. Some people can follow all of the guidelines above and still have their piercing reject, while others can ignore the guidelines and the piercing will turn out fine. This is just a guide to enable you to choose which precautions you would like to take.
Surface BarsWhile surface piercing is a very diverse subject, and all piercings are very different, if a generalization is to be made, I feel confident in saying surface bars are the best available solution to the surface piercing problem.
A surface bar is made of a rigid material, normally titanium or stainless steel and is never larger in gauge or length than required.
The surface bar's shape must be matched to the anatomy to ensure compatability. The bars should only extend enough above the skin to accomodate any swelling. The bar must go straight into the skin at a ninety degree angle and then must change direction as tightly as possible to travel under the skin, staying at a constant depth and then exit again at ninety degrees. In flat areas a staple shaped bar should be used but for curved areas, other shapes are available.