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Supplements to Help a Piercing Heal

by
author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Supplements to Help a Piercing Heal
cropped in image of woman getting her ear pierced Photo Credit Fly_dragonfly/iStock/Getty Images

Body piercing involves puncturing a part of your body and inserting jewelry. This process causes minor trauma to your skin and surrounding tissues, which need time to heal. When your skin is punctured, it triggers inflammation, blood clotting and the release of growth factors. Oral and topical supplements are commonly used to promote healing. Before taking supplements to help your piercing heal, discuss it with your physician.

Collagen Production

Your skin and other connective tissues are made of a fibrous protein called collagen. Your body creates new collagen to promote healing when the skin is pierced or cut. Vitamin C and zinc promote collagen production and are essential for healing, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. A typical dose of vitamin C is 1,000 milligrams taken one to two times per day, while 10 to 30 milligrams of zinc taken daily stimulates wound healing.

Blood Flow

Blood helps wounds heal by delivering oxygen, nutrients and white blood cells that protect against infection. Arginine is a commonly used amino acid that widens blood vessels and increases blood flow. It is used orally and topically to improve wound healing. Clinical data shows that it promotes collagen production also, according to a study published in the July 2005 issue of "The Journal of Trauma."

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Inflammatory Response

Inflammation is a complex response that helps protect your body from pathogens. The inflammatory reaction varies greatly from person to person, but reducing inflammation helps wounds heal faster. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as the herb turmeric, are commonly used to promote wound healing and treat inflammatory conditions. The typical dose of dried turmeric extract is 500 milligrams taken three times per day, according to the UMMC.

Considerations

Consult your physician and a qualified piercer about recommended supplements to help your piercing heal. All supplements have the capacity to cause unwanted side effects and interact with your medications. Only take supplements after receiving your doctor's permission. Supplements that improve blood flow can increase your bleeding risk and should be avoided if you are taking blood-thinning medication. Discontinue supplement use and consult your doctor if you experience serious side effects.

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