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How to get rid of piercing bumps

Piercing Updated October 26, 2020

What are those little lumps that appear on some people’s piercings? Is it keloid scarring? Is it granuloma? Is it infected? One thing is for sure, it is definitely a piercing bump. So what exactly are piercing bumps and how do I get rid of them?

Let’s start on definitions of these different lumps and bumps
Keloid scars:

Keloids are scars that come from the overgrowth of scar tissue. They are characterised by firm, fibrous lumps that vary in colour. Keloid scars tend to be larger than the original wound itself. They may take weeks or months to develop fully. On your piercing consent form, we will ask you if you are prone to keloid scarring, an estimated 10% of people experience keloid scarring and you can be more prone to developing keloids based on a number of genetic factors.

Many say that they have developed a keloid on their piercing, however it is unlikely that you have developed a keloid scar if you have never had any experience with developing a keloid on any other wound. You cannot get rid of a keloid on your own and it won’t go away like other piercing bumps, even if you remove the jewellery, however there are different treatments that can be performed by medical professionals.


Granulomas are bumps that can occur on the skin when there is inflammation. This is a collection of white blood cells present from an immune system response to trauma.

They form when a person’s immune system overreacts to what it believes is foreign but is unable to remove (e.g. piercing jewellery). These often occur in the ear cartilage and can be prone to infection if not treated properly. Piercing bumps can occur from a number of reasons including allergies, genetics, poor aftercare, irritation, trauma from knocking or bumping, or just bad luck. With treatment, they may disappear completely.

Your piercing bump or lump is likely to be a granuloma!

How to Manage your Piercing Bump
  1. You may need to change your jewellery. Nickel allergies and other metal allergies are particularly common. If you suspect that you may be allergic to nickel, pop into salon and enquire about purchasing Titanium or Bioplast as they are nickel free.
  2. Make sure you’re not knocking, bumping, sleeping on, touching (with your hands or cotton buds), or catching your jewellery or piercing on clothes, towels or loofahs. Knocking a piercing can remove the protective healing scab and allow bacteria or dirt to enter.
  3. Ensure you’re following the correct aftercare, including using our Sterilear two step piercing spray system to keep the area clean and free from any bacteria.
  4. Do not use Dettol, Betadine, hydrogen peroxide, disinfectants, soaps, tea tree oil and alcohol to clean your piercing. These products can dry out, irritate and burn the pierced area. Avoid using personal care products on or around the piercing including makeup, body lotion and perfumes.
  5. Try out Bump Discs, these tiny medical-grade silicone discs keep your piercing in shape helping to avoid infection by applying pressure to the area which helps to gradually drain the area of fluid. They consistently help in reducing the discomfort associated with piercing bumps.

If you aren’t seeing improvement, visit or call your local Essential Beauty salon to chat with a Piercer, they will assess your piercing and provide guidance on how to care for your piercing.