The industrial piercing, also known as the scaffold is one of the piercings that take the most time to heal overall. The piercing was named and popularized by Erik Dakota in the early nineties and has grown in popularity since that time.
It was first referenced as the “Industrial ear project”, by Body Play Magazine in 1992, and has since grown in popularity. The piercing consists of making two holes in the cartilage section of the ears, which are then held together by a straight barbell generally made of surgical steel or gold.
What You Can Expect
This piercing can be done both horizontally and vertically. While this is indeed a wanted piercings by most, it may not be suitable for everyone as you would need to have a defined helix; or ear ridge with enough space for the barbell to sit unobstructed.
You can generally spend up to 8 cleaning and disinfecting the area and it still may feel painful, hard to move around, and you may even see some discharge on both ends of the piercing. There are cases where the body rejects the foreign object, causing your skin to reduce and rip off. This forces the piercing to be removed.
There are simple ways of knowing when the industrial piercing has become infected such as:
- Severe pain in the area
- Uncomfortable swelling
- Puss coming out from either ends of the piercing
- Bleeding may also occur
If your piercing is showing any of these signs, then the best thing to do is to remove the piercing from your ear to avoid more complications.
Keep in mind, that if you have long hair, you should make sure that your hair stays away from this delicate area, as your hair may spread excess dirt and oil. Getting your hair caught tangled within the bar can also cause discomfort, pain and possible infection. Since this type of piercing consists of two different holes, the risk of them getting infected is doubled.
It is also recommended that the person getting the piercing makes sure that he/she does not have any allergies towards the material of the jewelry. The industrial piercing also has a higher chance of closing up faster than other piercings due to an increased blood flow in the area, causing it to close quickly after the jewelry has been removed.
The closing of the holes can take a few days, up to week depending on each person. That being said, we will be touching base on some of the ways you can tell once the piercing has finally healed, and also when you can stop cleaning and disinfecting the area.
How Long Does It Take To Heal?
Usually with ear piercings, it can take anywhere up to 6 months to one year for the piercing to properly heal. This may vary depending on how often the person actually tends to the new piercing, and if they let the area heal before doing any type of exercise that may slow down the healing process. The more you tend to the newly pierced area, the faster you can expect recovery.
You should also try to avoid doing any sports at this time to allow proper healing to take place. Though moving the piercing around may be tempting, it is best to resist the urge to play with it and move it around.
If you are considering getting both ears pierced at the same time, it is not recommended as you would not be able to sleep on your sides until both piercings are fully healed. This would also increase the chances of them becoming infected.
The piercing should only be moved when you are cleaning the area to remove the crust buildup. To ensure your industrial gets properly healed, you should also make sure that you get the proper piercing material such as an hypoallergenic bar that will decrease the chances of complications with the piercing. The usual size for the gauge for industrial piercings is 14.
If the swelling or pain becomes too uncomfortable for you, you can take ibuprofen and this should relieve some of the pain and inflammation. If you are sick, it is suggested to wait until your body is fully healthy as this piercing takes time to heal and being sick willingly slow down the healing process.
You may return to your piercer if you see that the infection has progressed, and he may direct you to go see your physician so they can prescribe you an antibiotic to help with the infection.
Should I Twist My Industrial Piercing?
Twisting the industrial piercing is not recommended while still in the process of getting healed. Twisting it may cause the area to become uncomfortable and painful, it can become swollen and may start to bleed.
You run the risk of developing bumps on either side of the piercing, and you may even develop a fever if the pierced ear becomes infected. Make sure before touching the area, that you wash your hands so you won’t run the risk of germs surrounding the piercing.
How can I make my industrial piercing heal faster?
Some ways you can speed up the healing process would be:
- Running Luke-warm water through the piercing.
- Clean area with an antibacterial soap. Make your very own salt-water solution at home.
By running the Luke-warm water through the piercing, this will help you get rid of the crust building up around both sides of the holes without having to do any major rubbing which can cause irritation. You may purchase an antibacterial soap and this will also help you disinfect and clean the area without any harsh chemicals applied.
If you do not have any of this at home, you may simply clean the piercing with salt-water. All you would need to do is simply fill a bowl with warm water and some salt, and grab a gauze or a q-tip and slowly clean the pierced area. If you would like an easier route, you can pick up a product call H20 spray which you can find on Amazon (Click here).
You may also apply a warm compress to help reduce the pain and irritation, and help speed up the healing process. If you don’t have any compress at home, you may also make one by inserting a damp cloth in the microwave for about 20 minutes. You may apply the damp cloth or compress once or twice a day for effective cleaning.
You should definitely avoid using any antibiotic creams or topical ointments as this can actually increase the chances of the piercing becoming infected. These creams and ointments actually form a thick layer over the piercing which causes the bacteria to stay trapped inside.
You should also avoid using any alcohol as this dries out the area, increasing the chances of it becoming more exposed to the bacteria. Using alcohol actually damages the healthy cells surrounding the pierced area.
While the area is still sensitive and fairly new, you should also avoid using any hair products that can fall on the piercing on the piercing such as dry shampoos and hairsprays.
You should always be careful when removing your clothing as it can get stuck and tangled with the industrial bar, causing it to become swollen and irritated. You can expect the soreness to continue on for 6 to 8 months after the piercing has taken place.
Some industrial piercings may be prone to keloids, which are small bumps of scar tissue that form when a piercing isn’t healing properly. This can also be caused by the jewelry having added pressure, such as sleeping on the newly pierced ear. If this occurs, you may apply a small amount of tee tree oil directly on the keloid for about 15 minutes twice a day.
When can I stop cleaning my industrial piercing?
Conclusively, you may stop cleaning the piercing once you see that there no longer is discomfort on either sides of the area. Another way of knowing when the piercing has fully healed is by seeing that the bar is loose and can move easily without any discomfort or pain. The crust will no longer be visible, and it will not longer feel painful to touch or swollen.
At this point, if you would like to change your jewelry piece, it is recommended that you wait at least 3 months after you have pierced it.