Got my Helix (14 ga) done last March and all went well. Healed good, no infections, etc. Lately it has started to hurt. It will wake me up if I roll onto it while sleeping, and is generally a very dull pressure feeling, unless I touch it. There isnt any leakage/blood, the tissue is just sensitive and very warm to the touch. The only think I could think of that could have irritated it is the cold at work. It was down in the 20s last week and it would have seen some cold air that had snuck around my hoodie/beanie. It was almost that cold when it was originally pierced and I protected it just the same with no issues. With the two piercings that I have, this one at 6 mos/old and the other at 15 mos, have never had any issues the entire time I have had them, so I dont know how to care for what is happening. Would it be safe to remove the ring for a *short* period of time to allow the fistula/cartilage to repair itself or would I have to worry about the piercing healing over quickly? What about pulling the stainless ring in favor of a plastic ring/barbell to help buffer the temperature difference? If a pic is required, it will have to wait until about eight hours from now when I get off work.