How to Get Rid of an Infected Piercing
Is your new piercing extremely red and swollen? Or has an old piercing become crusty and painful to the touch? The bad news is, in either case your piercing is probably infected. So what’s the good news? There are multiple methods for getting rid of an infected piercing.
Keep it Clean
The first step to getting rid of an infected piercing is to ensure that the area is kept clean. Many times, cleaning twice a day with a simple solution of sea salt is enough to do the trick. With clean hands, wipe off any “crusties” from the piercing with warm water, then soak in a weak solution of sea salt and warm water for three to five minutes. Lastly, rinse your piercing with warm water and dry gently.
Since piercing infections are most frequently caused by bacteria, another method of clearing up an infection is cleaning the area with mild antibacterial soap. This can be easily done twice a day while in the shower. Be sure to gently and thoroughly clean the piercing and surrounding area for at least thirty seconds, or long enough to sing the alphabet. This allows time for the soap to effectively kill bacteria. This method often is combined with the use of warm compresses, which will help to reduce swelling.
Make Sure the Jewelry Isn’t the Problem
Surprisingly enough, removing the jewelry usually is not a good idea. Without the jewelry in the place, the piercing can close up quickly, trapping the infection inside leading to an abscess. In some cases, however, a certain jewelry piece can be causing the irritation. If a recent jewelry change seems to have brought on the infection, carefully remove the piece and replace it with the one you were previously using. If it is a new piercing, see your piercing professional. You may be experiencing sensitivities to the material your new jewelry is made of.
Know When to See a Doctor
Sometimes an infected piercing is severe enough to require antibiotics. If your infection doesn’t show signs of improvement within one of two days of at-home treatment, or if you experience severe pain, redness extending beyond the immediate area of the piercing or high fever it is necessary to see a medical professional. Left untreated, an infected piercing can be extremely dangerous.
Of course, the best method of getting rid of an infected piercing is to never let your piercing get infected in the first place. If, however, you are unfortunate enough to end up with an infected piercing, keep a close eye on the infection. Keep the area clean, and be sure to call your doctor if it becomes necessary.