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Piercing inflamed: what to do?

Belly button piercing with skin reddening
Photo: elementus/

The joy of the new body jewelry can quickly be clouded if an infection spreads around the piercing. Such an inflammation ultimately proves to be extremely unpleasant and in many cases is also associated with pain. 

In principle, there is not only a risk that freshly made piercings will become inflamed. The complaints can certainly also be present in people who have been there for a long time Piercings appear. The following article explains what can be done if the skin area around the body jewelry becomes inflamed and when a trip to the doctor is absolutely necessary. 

Why does a piercing become inflamed?

There are different reasons why a piercing can become inflamed. For example, it is possible that the body reacts allergically to the new body jewelry. 

In addition, however, a lack of hygiene - whether during the biting or as part of the care afterwards - is often the cause of inflammation. Some piercings are also exposed to constant friction from clothing in everyday life, such as nipple piercing. This can also quickly lead to painful inflammation. 

The symptoms of inflammation

If a new piercing is stung, this always represents a wound for the body. It is therefore normal for the organism to show a reaction to this injury. However, some signs can be identified that should definitely be seen as serious warning signals. 

Inflammation is accompanied by typical symptoms. These include the skin around the piercing becoming reddened and the affected area feeling warmer than the rest of the skin. Swelling also occurs around the puncture site. In the course of the inflammation, pus often forms. If you touch or press on the affected area, you will feel pain. 

This is to do with an inflamed piercing

Fortunately, however, there are some measures that can be taken if the piercing is infected. 

One is to treat the inflammation with salt water. The preparation of the salt water solution is very simple, because only a teaspoon of salt is dissolved in a little lukewarm water. A cotton pad should then be dipped into the solution and then carefully applied to the inflamed area. 

Chamomile tea is also found to be helpful with inflammation, as it has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect. A cotton pad should also be used for the application, which is first dipped in the chamomile tea and then applied to the inflamed area. 

Piercers also usually offer as well Piercing care products such as special care sprays that should be applied to the puncture site twice a day. The healing of a freshly pierced piercing is also supported by medical wound gel. 

However, if pus is already forming as a result of the inflammation of the piercing, a doctor must be consulted immediately. 

Preventive measures against inflammation

Of course, it is much more advisable to do everything in advance to ensure that the piercing does not become inflamed in the first place. 

The most important requirement for this is that the piercing is done cleanly and hygienically. Good piercers can be recognized, among other things, by the fact that there is comprehensive information about the necessary risks, a query about any existing diseases and allergies takes place and the right piercing jewelry is also selected together. 

It is also important that all materials used in piercing are kept in sterile packaging. It should also be a matter of course for the piercer to wear gloves when doing his job. In addition, he explains to his customers in detail what needs to be considered with regard to the correct care of the piercing. 

So that no inflammation spreads to the piercing site, daily care is also of great importance. At the beginning, the wound has to be disinfected twice a day – in the morning and in the evening. The overall healing time of the piercing always depends on the respective piercing site. Earlobe piercings usually heal after one to three months, cartilage piercings take up to five months and eyebrow piercings between six and eight weeks to heal. 

The most important care instructions for the new piercing

It is extremely important that the care instructions given by the piercing studio to its customers are meticulously observed. In general, for example, visits to the swimming pool, sauna and solarium are taboo for a period of four weeks after the piercing. 

In addition, the first piercing must not be removed or replaced before the healing process is complete. The bar or the ring of the piercing should be moved regularly at first to avoid adhesions. 

However, the piercing should only be touched as rarely as possible. If this cannot be avoided, it is essential to disinfect your hands beforehand. 

In addition, it can make sense in certain situations to use a plaster to protect the piercing, for example during sporting activities. The healing of the piercing also benefits from wearing a little more clothing around the affected area, which prevents unnecessary friction. 

In these cases, a doctor should be consulted

If it is found that inflammation is developing around the piercing, it is not advisable to wait too long before seeing a doctor. Otherwise, this could have serious health consequences. 

If the inflammation is also purulent, a visit to the doctor cannot be avoided. The doctor then prescribes an ointment or an antibiotic for the person concerned.
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