Infected Piercing – Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Home Remedies, Treatment

By | January 15, 2016

Body piercing has become a fashion today with more and more youth joining the trend all over the world. There are many procedures to be followed in body piercing. If the same are not followed diligently it may give rise to infections which can prove life threatening as well depending upon the laxity observed during the actual operation. Piercing infection treatment procedures are to be immediately initiated if one suspects an infection of any sort. These treatment methods can range from home remedies to use of antibiotics. In very rare cases surgery might be required. Usually if one takes adequate precautionary measures, these infections can be controlled very easily.

Infected Piercing

Causes :

The causes of the piercing infection can be classified into two stages

  • Pre piercing Stage :

This is the stage where one plans to have a piercing done. You should decide beforehand as to which part of the body to prefer to get pierced. Normally people get their ear lobes as well nose pierced. It is a part of tradition for some communities in the world too. Certain youth as a matter of adventurous fashion plan to get pierced in their lips, tongue or even the navel. The choice of location is absolutely yours. However you have to choose a professional person to get this job done. It should be ensured that sterilization procedures are strictly followed. In case this is not done you run the risk of contracting infections.

  • Post Piercing Stage :

This is the most crucial phase where more than 90% of the infections occur. Personal hygiene should be maintained at all costs. Lack of hygiene is a major cause of all infections. The area where the piercing has been done becomes tender and fresh. This provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. The body’s immune system always resists this growth by building up its army of white blood cells. The area around the piercing becomes red and swollen and one can find pus discharge too. This requires piecing infection treatment measures to be taken.

Infected Piercing

Signs and Symptoms :

  • The area around the piercing becomes red and swollen. It also becomes very tender to feel.
  • Many a time one can witness discharge of pus which can have a foul odor.
  • There is a sense of irritation and a feeling of itching.
  • These symptoms are usually accompanied by acute pain around the area.
  • It has been observed that sometimes people contact fever.

Tests :

Much detail can be observed just by conducting a thorough physical examination of the area of infection. In rare cases some additional tests can be done to check for any serious complications.

Infected Piercing

Diagnosis :

Diagnosis of the piercing infection is not at all difficult. Any doctor on a physical examination can easily diagnose a piercing infection. Doctors may seek information about the sterilization methods followed during the piercing operation. This gives them a fair idea as to how to proceed further in the matter.

Prognosis :

As these infections are quite elementary in nature and not life threatening in majority of the cases, the patients should be educated as to how to maintain personal hygiene. They should be explained the ill effects of not maintaining the hygiene levels. They should be explained that the healing process is usually a long one. Most of these infections do not require any hospitalization. The technicalities of the piercing infection treatment should be explained to them in detail.

Prevention :

The following preventive measures if taken would greatly reduce the risks the infection could cause.

  • Before having the piercing done, you should take a tetanus shot to prevent complications later on.
  • Ensure that sterilized and disposable surgical needles are used for piercing.
  • Piercing should be done by a professional.
  • After piercing you should maintain tremendous personal hygiene.
  • You should not allow the formation of bacteria or fungi.
  • As the area would be quire tender, you should refrain from touching the same with your hands.
  • You can use a warm compress which can provide relief from pain.
  • You can clean the area with a solution of sea salt and warm water.
  • Keep the area absolutely dry as any accumulation of moisture could become a breeding ground for microorganisms.

Contagious :

These infections are not contagious in the real sense of the term. In certain cases where staphylococcus infection manifests itself these infections can become contagious. People should avoid sharing clothes as well as electronic instruments such as telephones.

Infected Piercing

Types :

The types of piercing infections depend upon the area where the infection has taken place. Basically they are of a single type.

Complications :

  • Boils and abscesses can form when the bacteria develops in the tissue and spreads on to the white blood cells.
  • You can develop metal hypersensitivity to jewelry such as nickel.
  • When you migrate the jewelry to other part of the body there are chances of that part being affected too unless sterilization procedures are not followed.
  • Over cleaning the area can also result in formation of pus.
  • It can result in permanent scarring as well.

Infected Piercing

Home Remedies :

  • Use of sea salt is recommended for cleaning these wounds. Sea salt is an excellent natural antiseptic. Cleaning the area with a mixture of sea salt and warm water is very beneficial.
  • Similarly tea tree oil is also a very strong natural antiseptic. Even tea bags can do the job of providing comfort to the affected area.
  • Crushed apples and pineapples can exfoliate the skin and prevent the spread of further infections.
  • Garlic as well as onions too has excellent therapeutic properties.

Treatment :

The piercing infection treatment methods envisage one to complete a full course of antibiotics. One can also apply the topical antiseptic creams which are available over the counter. In very rare cases one should go in for surgery.

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