Do I Have An Infection?
Infection in piercing is extremely rare. In my entire career, I can honestly say that I’ve seen an actual infection maybe twice.
Usually a natural build up of fluid (lymph) and localised redness is mistaken for infection, but this is part of a healthy healing process.
Infection is usually caused by fiddling with dirty fingers, improper aftercare routine and sometimes through a piercer not sterilising or cleaning their equipment/studio properly; this is why it is always so important to research before choosing to book in anywhere and to follow your piercer’s aftercare guidance perfectly!
As a piercing is technically a wound and the jewellery keeps it open for a long time an infection is always possible.
Symptoms of infection:
1. Bright red, swollen skin – extremely tender and sore to touch.
2. Swollen lymph nodes.
3. Presence of putrid smelling green pus.
If you are able to, start a course of anti inflammatory medication (ibuprofen/arnica) and perform a hot chamomile compress twice daily on top of your saline cleans.
If your symptoms persist for longer than a week consult a piercing friendly GP as you may need a course of antibiotics.
Unfortunately many medical professionals do not understand body modification and will ask/advise you to remove your jewellery without considering the effect it may have.
PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE YOUR JEWELLERY, ESPECIALLY IF YOUR PIERCING IS INFECTED!
The jewellery provides a drainage point for the infection and if removed before the infection has cleared up, it could trap the infection inside the body leading to excess scarring, prolonged infection and in more severe cases Sepsis.