Body jewelry > Info Center > What to do When Your Piercing Becomes Infected

What to do When Your Piercing Becomes InfectedBody jewelry

Even with great care the act of piercing the human flesh can always lead to serious problems. Is this risk of infection only related to piercing? Not at all. The reality is that there is a risk of infection in any procedure that requires the slicing or puncturing of the human flesh, including surgery. When the inner workings of the human anatomy are revealed through a cut or a piercing, bacteria are instantly drawn to the area.

The best way to avoid this initially is to make sure that all your instruments are clean and sanitized. If you aren’t doing the piercing with your own equipment, make absolutely certain that the individual doing it has disinfected their tools. Do not fear that they might be angry for you asking. A professional expects nothing less, and would have nothing to worry about in answering the question. If the individual does seem “put out’ by your question, then it is probably best that you avoid using their services in the first place.

Regardless, even with sanitized and disinfected equipment, the risk is always there, even if you are careful to take care of the piercing during the healing process. You can generally tell early that the wound is getting infected, usually within two days after the piercing, by a throbbing sensation and/or a deep red coloring that begins to form around the wound.

Once you find that your wound is infected, you must first make sure that you keep the wounded, as well as surrounding, areas clean. Also, if there is pus, you must make sure that it is regularly drained, at least five or six times per day. After each time that you clean the area, cover it well with some form of antibiotic ointment.

If the red area around the wound begins to swell considerably or if it begins to spread outward, with a lot of puss, it is best to see a physician immediately. Do not fear; however, as generally all they will do is give you an initial shot of antibiotics and a prescription for further oral antibiotics.

And yes, to answer the looming question in your mind, if your piercing is infected, or even if you suspect that it is, you must take the ring or spike out immediately. You can be stubborn if you like, but the infection is 80 percent more likely to spread if the jewelry remains in place.

Overall, if the individual performing your piercing makes sure that their equipment, hands, and surroundings are sanitized, then the initial piercing will not cause an infection. Most infections occur from lack of follow up care. When you get a piercing, the person that performs the operation will give you a set of rules on cleaning your wound. Do not take these rules lightly. If you do, you may find yourself with an infection, and nothing to show for it but a medical bill.


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