How do you know if your piercing is infected? The occurrence of symptoms like inflammation, redness and pain makes you wonder if you should consult a doctor immediately. You are at a loss to know if they are just the normal effect of the body piercing and can wait for its healing or there indeed, is some infection that needs immediate medical attention. This article shed light on the ways and means to differentiate between the normal effects of body piercing or it is due to some serious infection.
Body piercing, admittedly is an injury like most other forms of injury that you sustain. Hence, their effects manifest in the form of swelling, loss of function, heat and pain. This happens due to the reaction of the immune system of the body and hence there is nothing to be worried about. But these symptoms can also occur due to an infection resulting due to body piercing, although the severity of them would be more.
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Symptoms When the Piercing is Infected
Normally the piercer informs you about the different aspects of piercing, like the nature and severity of pain, the expected time of healing etc. Knowing all these will help you detect any infection that might occur later.
The Infection Manifests in the Form of Following Symptoms:
Slight redness is a normal reaction of any piercing but when it doesn’t go away or expands to the surrounding areas, it could be due to infection. Formation of red streaks is also a sign of infection.
Heat, like redness is also associated with piercing and happens as the flow of blood to the spot increases. This normally subsides after some time. But if it lingers on, then you might think that the piercing is infected.
Swelling often occurs with body piercing, especially in the case of oral piercing. The swelling after a tongue piercing can last up to ten days. If the piercing is infected, then the swelling will remain even after two weeks. The jewelry you wear should be long so that it will be accommodated even in the swelled condition of the body part. That way, it will also be easier for you to clean the infection. Swelling happens due to the accumulation of fluid.
Pain is normally associated with piercing. It is even more in the piercings of the tongue and lip. This pain goes away along with other symptoms with time. But when the piercing is infected, the pain doesn’t subside or at times, it becomes worse.
5. Loss of Function
Depending upon the body part where the piercing is done, there are symptoms of loss function due to pain. Hence, you will have functional difficulty in that body part. But if the pain is too unbearable and doesn’t heal with time, then it could be due to infection.
More Symptoms if Piercing is Infected:
- Fever, Cold and Nausea
If you suffer from fever and nausea after the piercing – that would be signals that the piercing is infected. The infection can occur at the spot of piercing or you might be suffering from a more serious systemic infection.
- Pus and Discharge
It is normal that there would be a discharge of yellow, white or grey fluids in the initial stage of the healing process. When the piercing is infected, the fluids would be foul-smelling. Sometimes, it may also be associated with streaks of blood. This condition warrants medical attention.
Things To Do When the Piercing is Infected
If you believe that your piercing is infected, then the first thing you should do is to consult your piercers who would be able to provide you with some treatment suggestions. But if the condition is more severe, then consult your doctor. You wouldn’t want to make some irreparable damage to your tissue due to body piercing.
The infection can be effectively treated with some home-made remedies. The solution prepared by dissolving 5 ml of sea salt with one cup of lukewarm water is one of them. You can soak the piercing with it or apply it through a compressed cloth.
You should avoid applying some ointments as the dirt often stick to it. Let the jewelry remain in the piercing otherwise the open space will fill in with pus. Oral and facial piercings need more care.
Following the instructions of the piercer is the best way to prevent any infection. Normally, the piercer also chalks out the schedule of cleaning. Do not use strong soaps, alcohol and iodine or peroxide-based substances on it.
These are some of the things that you should know about piercing. Do you know of any other remedies that one can do when the piercing is infected?