1 January 2015
How to Recognise and Treat Body Piercing Infections
Just been pierced? Then it’s vital you follow a good aftercare regime. Infections are rare, but here’s a quick guide on how to prevent, recognise and treat them.
Infections usually occur during the healing phase of the piercing.
Common symptoms include:
- Pain and tenderness
- Excessive redness
- Prolonged bleeding
- A discharge of yellow or green pus
- A change in skin colour around the piercing
- The piercing area feels hot to touch
If your piercing is showing any of the above signs, you should visit your piercer, doctor, or another healthcare provider to get treatment.
In severe cases antibiotics may be needed. Otherwise, following a rigorous daily cleaning, drainage and hygiene regime is essential to healing.
Make sure you soak the wound with a saline solution and remove any debris - dead tissue, pus, dirt or other foreign materials. Ideally the jewellery should remain in place to act as a drain – if it is removed, the openings of the piercings can close up, allowing the infection to cause an abscess.
Take extra care with your general hygiene – wash your hands, sheets and clothing regularly – and boost your immune system by avoiding alcohol and smoking.
Infections should always be taken seriously. They can cause nerve damage and create scar tissue and in rare cases they can be life threatening