If the area around your piercing appears to be reddish or swollen, it could be inflamed. Infection occurs quite often with a home piercing, but any piercing that has been shot in a salon can lead to a very serious infection that will spread within a few days if not treated properly. If you keep the piercing site clean and sufficiently hydrated, especially in the first few weeks, you will probably avoid any problems, but sometimes infections will occur, no matter how careful you are.
Treatment of inflamed piercings
You need to know the symptoms of an inflamed piercing. The infection most often occurs after a home shooting or after mistakes made during the shooting in the salon. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have an infection:
Pain and tenderness
Purulence, bleeding or filling the wound with fluids
Do not hesitate and start treatment immediately. The spread of the infection can occur very quickly, especially when not treated, but most of them are very easy to treat if they are properly and timely disinfected. If you have any questions, call the piercing salon. If you are unsure, always clean the surrounding skin at the piercing with warm water and soap.
Rinse ear with saline. This antiseptic solution can be purchased at any piercing salon, but is easier to make at home if needed. Mix 1/8 tablespoons of iodine-free sea salt with a cup of distilled water and stir until all the salt is dissolved. Dip the piercing in saline or use a clean make-up swab and place it on your ear for 20 minutes, twice a day.
Apply antibiotic ointment in the area of the unfired piercing. Use some of the freely available ointments, such as polymyxin B sulfate (Polysporin) or bacitracin, to get rid of bacteria in that area. Apply the ointments gently around the wound with a cotton swab or make-up swab twice a day.
If you develop a rash or itching, stop taking the ointment. The rash can be caused by an allergic reaction.
Use an ice pack to reduce swelling or bruising. Cooling reduces the swelling around the piercing, which helps fight infection. However, never apply ice directly to the skin, as this could damage the tissue. Insert a piece of cloth or towel between the skin and a bag of ice.
Visit or call the piercing salon. They will certainly give you some advice regarding your piercing and the symptoms you suffer from. They often repeat the cleaning process after piercing, which can remove the infection very quickly.
As for mild infections, they will recommend some tips for easier treatment.
While with a more serious infection, the piercer will send you to a doctor with details about the wound, piercings and potential solutions.
Do not hesitate to see a doctor if the infection lasts more than 48 hours or you have a fever. Your doctor will not prescribe any medication for the infection, most often oral antibiotics. However, if you continue home treatment and your condition does not improve or worsen, you must see a doctor immediately. Symptoms that need special attention:
Muscle or joint pain
Nausea or vomiting
Prevention against inflammation of the area around the piercing
Regular cleaning around the piercing. Use warm water and soap and gently cleanse the surrounding skin with a washcloth. The piercing needs to be protected from dirt, dirt and bacteria, which should be sufficient to prevent infection.
Make sure that you thoroughly clean the area around the piercing after exercise, after spending time away from home, after cooking or cleaning.
Although denatured alcohol kills bacteria, it also dries the skin and can cause infection.
Clean your piercing twice a day with saline. While it is possible to buy a saline solution in a salon that shoots piercings, you can also make it at home using two ingredients. Mix 1/8 tablespoons of iodine-free sea salt with a cup of distilled water and stir until all the salt is dissolved. Dip the piercing in saline or soak a make-up swab and clean the piercing with it for 20 minutes, twice a day.
Keep your hands clean. Dirty hands are the first cause of infections, so always wash your hands before contacting or cleaning the piercing.
Avoid tight clothing around the piercing. If the piercing is constantly caught in clothing, you should wear looser ones. This rule applies in particular to piercings on the abdomen, genitals, nipples and other body piercings.
Avoid visiting swimming pools, hot tubs and gyms for 2-3 days after piercing. These places are moist and abundant with bacteria, which most often lead to infection. Your piercing is an open wound that absorbs bacteria much more easily than undamaged skin.
It is necessary to know that every new piercing is inflamed in the first days. Therefore, there is no need to worry if you see a slight redness or if your skin seems relatively sensitive in the first few days. This is a natural reaction of the body to the piercing of the skin. Inflammation is very common and it is enough to cool it with ice and take medications containing ibuprofen. However, if the inflammation lasts longer than 3-5 days, there is a high probability that it is a developing infection.
If you suspect that there may be an infection, take out the piercing. If you squeeze pus out of the wound, feel pain or swelling, clean the adjacent skin with soap and water after removing the piercing. However, avoid removing the piercing if it is not an infection, as it may not be possible to return the piercing to the site without re-shooting.
Clean your piercing in hot soapy water, you can only return it if the redness or swelling is very weak. This can prevent the infection itself.