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Infected Piercing Treatment: A Guide for Each Piercing Type

Infected Piercing Treatment: A Guide for Each Piercing Type main image Infected Piercing Treatment: A Guide for Each Piercing Type image

Nothing kills the excitement of having a new piercing faster than seeing signs of an infection. More than just being painful, an infected piercing can cause serious, and potentially long-lasting, health problems. It can also look quite unpleasant and may make you hesitant to show off your new body jewellery.

As they are caused by outside bacteria, infections are generally easy to avoid, so long as you adhere to a strict aftercare routine. Knowing how to treat an infected piercing will also speed up the healing process and limit the impact on your health.

How do you know if your piercing is infected?

As your piercing heals, it is normal to experience some itchiness, swelling, soreness, and redness around the piercing site. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, your piercing might be infected:

  • a green or yellow discharge
  • significant inflammation around your piercing site
  • throbbing pain around your piercing site
  • swollen glands or a fever

Depending on the type of piercing, these symptoms can appear anywhere from a couple of days after your piercing, to a couple of months later.

Infection piercing treatment guide

While opinions on the best way to care for a new piercing vary, there are a few things that most industry professionals agree on.

First, you should always wash your hands before touching your piercing, preferably with anti-bacterial soap. You should also clean your piercing regularly and avoid products that contain peroxide or have a high alcohol content.

If your piercing does become infected, it’s also recommended that you use a salt soak (also known as a saline wash) to treat it. This involves:

  1. Creating a saline solution by dissolving ½ a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water
  2. Soaking a piece of paper sterile gauze in the saline solution
  3. Wringing out the gauze so it is damp, not dripping
  4. Placing the damp gauze over the piercing site
  5. Gently patting the area dry with a clean gauze

Piercing Aftercare NeilMed 75 gram Spray

As a premade alternative to a saly solution, this incredible product is a sterile saline wound wash that can be sprayed directly on to the piercing site.

Small for easy portability and without any pain or stinging when applied, the NeilMed spray is a fantastic way to keep your piercing healthy and painfree. 

Infected piercing treatment for each piercing type

Depending on the location of the piercing, treatment methods can differ. 

Ear piercing infection treatment

If your piercing is through a fleshy part of the ear, like the lobe, treat infections with a salt soak. Hold your saline solution-soaked gauze over the piercing for 1 minute, repeating up to 3 times. Do this twice a day until the piercing is healed.

If your piercing is in another part of the ear, it probably goes through cartilage. In addition to increasing the healing time, this also increases the risk of infection. Cartilage infections can also become quite serious and may require professional medical attention if they are not caught early.

Nose piercing infection treatment

If your piercing is through your nostril, treat infections with a salt soak. Hold your saline solution-soaked gauze over the piercing site for 1 minute, repeating up to 3 times. Do this twice a day until the piercing is healed.

If your piercing is through your septum, how you treat the infection will depend on the exact location. If it’s through the “sweet spot” just below your septum, you should be able to treat infections with a salt soak. 

However, if it’s actually through your septum, it goes through cartilage, and infections could be quite serious and require professional medical attention.

Tongue piercing infection treatment

Because of their location, tongue piercings are particularly prone to infection, and good oral hygiene is required to help reduce the risk. Brush your teeth and floss regularly 

Mouthwash can also help keep the area clean, however, the product you use needs to be alcohol-free.

If you get an infection, treat it with a salt soak twice a day. While this can be unpleasant given the taste and feel of salty solution on your tongue, it is vital to keep your new tongue piercing pain-free and healthy. 

Belly button infection treatment

While your belly button piercing is healing, you need to be mindful not to knock it or get it caught on things (clothing, towels, etc.). You should also opt for looser clothing and avoid waistbands that could rub on, and irritate, the site.

If your piercing gets infected, do a salt soak twice a day to help keep the area clean. You should continue to do this until your piercing appears to be healed

If the infection is more serious, you should consult your doctor, who may prescribe an antibacterial cream.

Nipple piercing infection treatment

Nipple piercings need to be carefully managed throughout the healing process to avoid knocking and catching. If yours gets infected, treat with twice daily salt soaks, continuing until the piercing is healed.

Breastfeeding with a nipple piercing is possible if it is done professionally, but this makes a nipple piercing infection especially risky. An infection will stop you from being able to feed your baby - so it’s definitely something you want to avoid!

Genital piercing infection treatment

As the area is particularly sensitive, it’s generally recommended that you do not attempt to treat an infected genital piercing by yourself. If you’re concerned your piercing is infected, consult your doctor as soon as possible. They will advise the best course of action, based on the location and severity of the infection.

While you shouldn’t try to treat a genital piercing infection yourself, there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent it. This includes refraining from sexual intercourse while your piercing is healing. If the piercing is near your urethra, you should also clean the area before and after urinating.

Give yourself a treat to help ease the pain

Now you know how the steps for infected piercing treatment, the painful part should be over soon enough! Once it is, and you’re fully healed, get yourself a little reward from PierceOff.

As Australia’s largest online piercing store, we offer a wide selection of facial piercing and body jewellery. Our range also features a variety of different materials and designs, so you’re sure to find something you love!

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