When you get a new piercing, you should be excited, right? Well, yes, if all goes well. But what if it turns into a horrifying infection? Who would expect that a piercing could get infected?
Believe it or not but people who get their ears pierced never thought about the possibility of an infection, but professional piercers do, which is why after the session is done, your piercer will give you a list of aftercare instructions to avoid getting your ears infected.
What Causes Your Piercing to Get Infected?
Keep in mind that a piercing is an open wound. Even if it's tiny, once it gets exposed to bacteria, it can wreak havoc and cause a great deal of stress and inconvenience on your part, not to mention you won't be able to enjoy your new piercing.
A newly pierced earlobe takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks to heal. If the piercing was done in your ear cartilage, the healing time would take much longer. Moreover, cartilage piercings are found to be more prone to infection.
Touching the site with unclean hands can also introduce the infection to your piercing. If the earrings you chose are too tight, an infection is likely to take place (read our guide here to find the safest places on your body to get a piercing). Another possible cause is when your piercer uses unsterile instruments.
The best way to deal with an infection is to treat it as soon as it happens. Leaving it alone will not solve the problem. It will only make it worse.
What Are The Signs of an Infected Piercing?
It's essential to quickly identify if your piercing is infected so it can get treated right away before the infection spreads to other parts of your body. Some of the symptoms of an infected piercing include the following:
- Pain or tenderness that doesn't go away
- Pus oozing out of the piercing
- Itching and burning
How Do You Treat an Infected Piercing?
Treating It At Home
Can you treat an infected ear piercing at home? You absolutely can. However, you should only treat it at home if the infection is minor. But, if you had a cartilage piercing, don't attempt to treat yourself. Instead, call your medical doctor right away. Cartilage piercings are more difficult to treat, and they usually require antibiotics. In cases of severe infections, patients were recommended to be hospitalized.
Steps In Treating Minor Ear Piercing Infection
Step 1: If you touch or clean your piercing, make sure you wash your hands.
Step 2: Clean your piercing with a saline rinse thrice a day. If you can't find a good product online, you can create your own by combining ¼ teaspoon of salt and mixing it with 8 ounces of distilled water.
Step 3: Don't attempt to use antibiotic ointments, hydrogen peroxide, and even alcohol, as this will only irritate your skin and worsen the infection.
Step 4: Never attempt to remove your jewelry. The hole could close up and trap the bacteria.
Step 5: When cleaning your piercing, make sure you clean both sides of your ears and then pat it dry with a clean paper towel.
When the infection has cleared up, don't stop cleaning the piercing. Continue to do it but taper it down to twice a day up to 8 weeks. Routine care is also essential to keep infection at bay.
When to Call a Doctor
How do you know when to call a doctor? The first thing you should check is the symptoms. If you experience any of the following symptoms, then it signifies you should contact a doctor:
- Your jewelry doesn't move
- The clasp becomes implanted into your skin
- The infection worsens even after home treatment
- Redness and inflammation spread beyond the site
Can You Prevent An Ear Infection?
Are all piercings bound to end up getting infected? The answer is no. Look at the causes of infection. As you can see, they're all preventable. Here are some to help prevent infection.
- Find an experienced professional piercer.
- Check to see if the jewelry is new. It should come in a package.
- Don't make a habit of touching your piercing.
- Clean your ears twice a day using saline solution.
Are You Looking for a Safe Product to Clean Piercing Sites?
Finding the perfect product can be challenging, but you don't have to dig deep. We've got a solution for you. If you're looking for an effective and safe product to clean your piercing, Dr. Piercing Aftercare can help.
At Dr. Piercing Aftercare, we've developed convenient medicated swabs that you can use to clean your piercings and keep infection away. We are proud of our products. They are made and tested in a cGMP compliant and FDA-registered facility in America.
We use advanced technology on our swabs for easy application. Each pack contains thirty-six medicated swabs that are proven and tested to promote your body's natural healing process while preventing infection. Contact us today, or check out our website if you want to learn more about our products.