Piercing Infection vs. Common Irritation
*this blog contains images that may be disturbing to some viewers*
All the time I hear people exclaiming that their piercing is "infected!". Thankfully, most of the time this is not true. In reality an actual infection is a rare occurrence in piercings- with common irritation being the culprit of most piercing issues that people call infections. This blog is going to teach you some key points to look out for so you know for sure if your piercing is infected or if its just irritated.
Infections have a bacterial presence when swabbed, and require medical attention. Irritation can be handled simply by a piercer or even with some advice from the web!
Irritation is very common in new piercings or piercings that are still in the healing process. It is normal for a fresh piercing to be red, swollen, sore, and oozing yellow/clear fluids or have built up crust. This is all part of the healing process!
Healed piercings can be irritated by a new jewelry shape or material that your piercing does not agree with, such as switching from a labret to a hoop or to a new piece of jewelry bought from a low quality place. These issues are easily fixable and do not usually cause a true infection.
When your piercing is infected, you will know it. This image is of @piercedbyawolf's client who came to him after being pierced in a low quality shop.
As you can see, infections are very easy to spot. The skin around the piercing is red, swollen, and flaking. There is blood around the piercing and a greenish tint to the whole area! If your piercing looks similar to this, please visit a reputable piercer for a second opinion and then go to a doctor to have your piercing swabbed for a bacterial presence. If you have a great piercer, they will work with you to save your piercing! In the case of the above image, wound care, infection control, no pull piercing discs, a series of downsizes, and typical aftercare practices were used to save the client's tragus piercing!
The moral of the story is- stop assuming that your piercing is infected! You can't properly treat the issue if you have the wrong diagnosis. Irritated piercings just need to have quality jewelry that is the appropriate size and a proper aftercare protocol for a little while to return to normal. Infected piercings need to be treated and cared for closely by yourself and a professional!
Until next week,