Sometimes you may discover that your healed piercings smell…funky. Something akin to sweaty old gym socks, or possum road kill cooked in mustard gas. It’s enough to make your Sure deodorant confused. Make your Secret tell on you. Make your Right Guard go left. Make your Speed Stick slow down. Make your Ban come off strike. (Somebody stop me!!!)
It goes by many names—ear cheese, septum stench, piercing funk, ear stink. This pungent, rotten odor comes from the sebum that accumulates in healed piercing channels. Sebum is a substance from sebaceous glands in the skin. It’s a naturally occurring product of the body meant to lubricate the skin, but when mixed with some dead skin cells and a touch of bacteria, you get some mighty strong smelling piercings!
What can you do about the funky smell? Ensure you remove your jewelry if possible (only for COMPLETELY healed piercings), when you shower. Wash your pierced areas last (after you wash your hair, face, and body) with an antimicrobial soap (such as Provon) and warm water, then rinse well. Now, take an opportunity to clean your jewelry as well.
You won’t be able to make the smell go away forever, but if you stick to a consistent cleaning routine for both your piercings and your jewelry, you should be able to keep the smell under control and much less noticeable.