The Piercer's Corner - Essential Oils and Body Piercing

Essential Oils and Body Piercing

So as many of you may or may not know, I have recently graduated from a 300 hour certificate program in Clinical Aromatherapy. Part of my graduation requirements aside from passing the final exam and writing a 10 page research paper was to complete 20 successful case studies on actual folks who had medical conditions that needed some assistance in a holistic way to accompany their current medical protocol. In learning what I learned, oil safety was also a huge part of the curriculum. Now let me start off by saying I’m not here to bash or condemn the home user or the sales rep for those Essential Oil MLM’s. I’m just saying that there is a lot of misuse and misinformation out there and I would like to make a few points here.

If I am taking the time to invest time and money into learning something, it’s generally because I’m passionate about it. Spending 40 hours at the APP conference every year for body piercing and making sure I am up to code on the latest and greatest so I can serve you better and spending 300 hours learning oils and safety wasn’t just for me and my autoimmune journey, it’s because I found a great need to be able to help people and teach them what I know. Recently someone had come in with what I would consider 2nd degree burns on their skin from the application of straight Tea Tree Oil. Their piercing was less than a week old, someone near and dear to them who thought they were being helpful, suggested the Tea Tree Oil to help in the healing process.

First of all, most of you seek me out through local social media outlets, referrals and word of mouth to do your piercings. Obviously you thought highly enough of me (or of your friend that gave you the referral) to have me do your piercing. That being said, why wouldn’t you follow my very exact and specific aftercare instructions? Guaranteed, not once in my initial conversation with you did I say to use an essential oil or to use an essential oil neat. This also falls into the category of those that tell their friends to use contact lens solution to save buck instead of buying a good quality saline solution or to use Dial anti-bacterial soap only or all the other myriad of crap I hear that have been found on the internet or told by friends. I spend a good amount of time explaining everything in detail so what gives?

Of course there are practical applications of tea tree oil when the circumstances call for it. Tea tree oil is a very effective antiseptic and fungicidal agent. It is also very acidic. It should only be used when I tell you that your piercing is in need of such treatment (which is rare since we can usually pinpoint what the issue is and have you fix accordingly). This would be after I do a follow up with you and you have developed the “piercing pimple” and we have discussed your health and after care regimen in detail. Adding 1-2 drops of tea tree oil in a Tablespoon of carrier oil like Jojoba or apricot kernel oil (both easily absorbed and skin nourishing). Then applied very lightly once or twice a day though massaging action to help breakdown the water pockets that are in the bump that has formed. Or a great way to cleanse and heal while using tea tree is to make a 5% dilution in a foaming castile soap base then rinsed off after use. (Email me for the recipe or to make one for you)

An even better route if you are going to use an oil is Lavender oil. Lavender oil possesses unique healing properties. It has good antiseptic, anti-bacterial, fungicidal, and anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties.  It is a powerful immuno-stimulant, by encouraging a rich flow of blood to the wound, it promotes faster healing.  It is gentle on the wound, doesn’t sting, and is a mild anesthetic providing some degree of reduced discomfort relief.

Lavender oil is one of the few essential oils which may applied neat to the skin, it’s non-toxic, non-sensitizing and non-irritating. It has very low toxicity levels and may be used safely on all types of cuts and wounds. It may be applied neat, or diluted with water. (More on that in a minute)

Apply 1-2 drops (no more!) every other day after a shower to promote healing. Let the Lavender oil soak the piercing and remove any excess with a tissue, excessive use of Lavender oil may result in skin irritation.  Continue to apply a drop or two of lavender oil once a week after the piercing is healed to lubricate it or the wound can become tight and dry.

To use it diluted in water: Add two drops Lavender Oil to very warm saline/salt water. The way to make saline at home is to combine 8oz of filtered or distilled water to ¼ teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt or non-iodized sea salt (but the pink salt is truly amazing, just saying) into a clean, sterilized mason jar. Add no more than 30 drops of Lavender oil into the 8oz of water/salt mixture. If it’s a piercing that you can do a shot glass soak, then soak that piercing for no more than 10 minutes once a day then rise the area off well, Let the soaked area air dry or use a sterile gauze pad to pat dry.

Please do not just jump on the essential oil band wagon without consulting me first. Most of the time, you won’t need anything but a mild castile soap (Like Dr. Bronners) to cleanse the pierced area then follow up with H2Ocean saline spray (we have this at the shop) or another brand like Neilmed’s Wound Wash . By not touching your piercing, changing jewelry out too soon, keeping hydrated, taking a multi-vitamin and following my aftercare instructions will lead you to a problem free, happy piercing experience.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hopefully if you have any questions, whether I pierced you or not, please don’t hesitate to call or email me.