Why Do Body Piercings Get Crusty?

Crusties, the clear or yellow caking found around healing body piercings, should not be taken as something abnormal – these crusties are actually entirely normal and composed of epithelial cells and lymphatic fluid that have accumulated at the wound site to aid its recovery.

Avoid picking at or tugging on crusties; rather, run it under water (ideally the shower) in order to clean it effectively.

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Dry Skin

Are You Feeling Worn Out From Work Today? Are You Relaxed for TV, Wine & Relaxation Tonight? Just as the end of a long day nears and you prepare to sit back down for an enjoyable night of TV, Wine and Relaxation… When reaching for your ears to clean them off you discover crusty patches around one of your recently acquired piercings that may alarm you but this is perfectly normal and indicates that your body’s healing process has started working its magic! Don’t panic; these crusty patches of dry skin indicate your piercing is healing itself and is an indication of its own internal healing mechanism working! Don’t panic; these crusty patches of dry skin indicate piercings healing themselves which means your piercings is healing itself and healing itself is taking effect and healing itself is taking effect, not something that needs attention or worry.

New piercings will exude lymphatic fluid, similar to what comes out of wounds, similar to how lymph fluid would appear as clear and yellowish fluid discharge. Over time this clear fluid will develop a white-yellow crust as the healing progresses – as long as this remains soft this won’t be cause for alarm – eventually it’ll fall away on its own and leave the piercing clean and healthy!

Cleanse the piercing regularly using mild antibacterial soap and warm water or saline solution, either using a cotton ball or finger to gently wipe away crusty fluid or pick at it with your nails if picking is needed to do this. If in doubt about its condition, consult your piercer about how best to care for it and their advice will likely prove valuable.

If the area becomes painful, swollen or reddened it could be indicative of infection and should be addressed as soon as possible by a professional piercer. Piercings on the nose, face, earlobe and mouth must be monitored closely as these locations are closer to the brain and more susceptible to complications than others.

Blowouts occur when stretching an earlobe piercing too far too quickly. Blowouts may be caused by tight-fitting earrings that restrict blood flow to the piercing, heavy jewelry that causes tears in the ear canal or incorrect cartilage type piercings; or by over-restraining. Blowouts may often be avoided through using smaller jewelry pieces, sea salt soaks and massaging the piercing daily.


After receiving your new piercing, it can be exciting and pride-inducing to show it off to family and friends. However, that excitement may quickly dissipate if bleeding occurs – whether that means an abrupt stoppage of blood flow or just slight trickles here and there. Bleeding indicates your body trying to heal the wound – as well as sometimes appearing as crusts or scabs around the site of the piercing.

Spots on piercings may be caused by various conditions, including infection. When blood or white, yellowish, or greenish pus appears in your ear piercing, contact a physician immediately. Additionally, painful swellings, itchy heat reactions or large quantities of pus may indicate keloid scar tissue growth which requires medical intervention immediately.

Some types of piercings are more prone to bleeding than others depending on their location and jewelry choice; for example, nose piercings tend to bleed more due to having access to an abundance of blood supply in this part of the body.

Your bleeding should stop with just a little pressure from you or using a cotton swab soaked with saline solution soaked with clean cotton, after which all should be well.

While you wait for the blood to settle down, protect your piercing by covering it with gauze or tissue and wearing loose clothing if necessary. Furthermore, try to limit moisture exposure which could cause it to form a crust over the area of piercing.

Cleaning your piercing regularly is the key to preventing infections and treating existing ones, with most experts suggesting at least twice per day using gentle soap like baby shampoo to cleanse it before rinsing off with clean water or saline for proper lubrication – perhaps applying vitamin E cream can also help lubricate it further. Infected piercings require extra attention as they require extra healing time – infected facial piercings need special consideration, given their proximity to brain structures – infections caused by bacteria spread quickly throughout body organs.


As your piercing is bleeding and tissue is red, but no crusty skin has yet formed, this could indicate that bleeding has stopped and new tissue is starting to form – typically lighter-colored tissue that can be easily removed with damp washcloth or cotton pad. If instead you observe dark-colored crust or one stuck to jewelry that remains attached after removal – that may be a scab and is completely normal as your body’s natural way of healing itself; acting like an unsightly natural band aid that keeps germs at bay as well as keeping debris out. Although picking at them may tempt you further delay healing time; instead opting to leave them alone will only further delay healing time by opening the wound again and delay its proper closure and facilitate faster recovery timeframe.

If your ear scab won’t come off on its own, try using sterile saline solution from your local pharmacy or health food store to loosen it and help ease pain. Be careful to avoid homemade salt solutions which could irritate sensitive areas around the piercing. Alternatively, water mixed with mild antibacterial soap could also work effectively to clean and care for it after each cleaning – be sure to dry well afterwards!

As soon as your body has been pierced, it’s essential that the newly formed scab stays put until it comes off naturally. Do not apply anything too harsh such as alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or topical antibiotic creams such as Neosporin and Bactine until your piercing has healed completely.

If you suspect an infection, it is advisable to visit your piercer immediately for advice. They can assess whether or not your scab has turned into a permanent keloid bump which is typically hard, raised and yellow in colour; painful and may impede with movement of an earring. In either instance it is important that immediate medical assistance be sought if present.


As soon as a piercing becomes inflamed, its pain, tenderness, and flakiness may increase significantly – this is normal and an indication that the body is working towards healing itself; if however, these symptoms continue or a thick milky or colored discharge begins to appear from its location, please visit your piercer immediately for evaluation.

Discharge from piercings may result from irritation, infection or allergies. Bacteria often enter a piercing through unclean hands or by touching an object contaminated by dirt with which it comes into contact with its target area; other risk factors for infection can include touching it with dirty hands before healing is complete and submerging your head in hot tub or lake before the piercing has fully recovered.

Experiencing discomfort around your piercing, fever and chills, rash formation or dark yellow, green or brown seepage should prompt immediate contact with a physician or piercer as this could indicate infection, an allergic reaction to jewelry or an emerging keloid scar.

Infections can be avoided by cleaning the piercing twice daily with a saline solution (an equal mixture of salt and warm water). Avoid using harsh cleaning agents like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as these could dry out and expose the piercing to infection, and avoid placing antibiotic ointments or creams over it as these could trap dirt and irritate skin further.

For best results, soak a cotton ball in solution and gently rub it around the affected area. Do not pick at crusties as this introduces your unclean hands into the piercing and can lead to irritation and delays healing. In order to prevent it from closing down completely, rotating jewelry regularly is key; applying hot compresses helps open capillaries while improving lymphatic drainage – this can speed up recovery as well. For added comfort try steeping teabags in boiling water before pressing onto your piercing for added relief or steep teabags in boiling water then pressing them onto it piercings for even quicker healing results!