Getting a piercing is an exciting journey. However, an infected piercing is not something to look forward to and can ruin the entire experience. So, why do piercings get infected, and which piercings are most likely to get infected?
Genital piercings are most likely to get infected because they are exposed to a moist environment perfect for bacteria and germs. However, any piercing can get infected if you don’t have it pierced by a professional in a clean environment. Cartilage piercings also become infected quickly.
When considering a new piercing, you’ll likely want to know the chances of it getting infected. In addition, you should also be aware of how to take care of a new piercing to prevent it from getting infected. Therefore, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about infected piercings and how to prevent them.
Which Piercings Get Infected The Most?
Although all piercings can become infected, some are more likely to. Genital piercings, including vaginal, penile, and anal piercings, are the most likely to get infected. This is because of where they are located. The genitals are a moist environment that makes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
This can easily result in a genital piercing becoming infected. If genital piercings get infected, they can lead to scarring, expelling, and severe health problems. Therefore, it’s critical to follow the proper care instructions when getting a genital piercing and consider the possible dangers of one beforehand.
While genital piercings are more likely to get infected than other piercings, any piercing can potentially become infected. Cartilage piercings of the ear are also more likely to get infected than piercings in the earlobe because there is less blood supply in the cartilage to help with the healing process.
However, if you go to a professional piercer for your piercings and commit to the proper aftercare practices, none of your piercings should get infected.
It’s normal for a piercing to be slightly red, swollen, and itchy for about a week after getting it. These are not signs of infection but rather signs of your body adjusting to the piercing and the wound starting to heal.
However, if your piercings start showing signs of infection, it’s likely because of two reasons. The first one is that the piercer you visited did not clean and sterilize the equipment before doing the piercing. Piercing guns are also more likely to cause infections than needles because they have more room where bacteria can grow.
The second reason for an infected piercing is that you aren’t cleaning the piercing as you are supposed to. Cleaning a new piercing is crucial for preventing infections and ensuring that the piercing heals nicely without scarring, rejection, or complications.
But, if a healthy piercing is red and swollen, how do you know if a piercing is infected? There are some signs you must be aware of that indicate if a piercing is infected, and we will discuss these signs next.
How Do You Know If A Piercing Is Infected?
When you first get a piercing, your body initially tries to expel the foreign object from it and heal the wound. This causes your piercing to become red, inflamed, and slightly warm. In addition, some hard bumps may form around the piercing initially. However, these bumps aren’t a sign of infection and will go away on their own.
An infected piercing will be more swollen and have a deeper color than a healing piercing. In addition, when there is an infection in a piercing, the area will feel warm and incredibly tender to the touch. You may also notice white, green, or yellow fluid from the piercing. This is puss and indicates an infection of the piercing.
If the infection becomes more serious, you may also feel physically ill. Fevers, chills, and nausea are common signs that your body is trying to fight infection. If you notice these signs and feel like there might be an infection, visit a doctor to have the infected piercing looked at and possibly get some antibiotics to treat it.
How To Prevent Piercings From Getting Infected
As always, prevention is better than cure. Therefore, the best way to avoid an infected piercing is to take the right aftercare measures. First, only get a piercing from a certified piercer. For specialized piercings, such as genital piercings, we recommend seeking a piercer who specializes in them as they know the risks involved.
If the piercing studio doesn’t look clean, and the piercer doesn’t wear gloves or sanitizes the equipment before they are ready to do the piercing, don’t get pierced by them. A dirty piercing environment is one of the easiest ways to get an infection.
The second way to prevent a piercing from getting infected is to follow the aftercare steps as instructed by the piercer. They will inform you how often to clean the piercing and what products to use. They’ll also tell you if you can apply ointments to the piercings and how and when.
Furthermore, don’t swim in dirty water (such as pools, lakes, or the ocean) for at least a couple of weeks after getting a piercing. Give the piercing sufficient time to heal, which is crucial for preventing infections.
How To Treat An Infected Piercing
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, an infection can develop in a new piercing. However, suppose you are attentive and take the proper precautions. In that case, you’ll immediately notice if the piercing starts to look funny and you suspect an infection is developing.
When you suspect an infection, clean the piercing with warm salt water twice daily. The saltwater helps to draw out infection and may solve the problem within a day or two. Furthermore, call your piercer and ask if they have any suggestions to clear up the infection.
You can also take anti-inflammatories to help your body fight the infection without causing you to feel ill. Apply a clean, cold compress to help with pain, swelling, and inflammation. If the saltwater and anti-inflammatories aren’t working, it might be time to phone a doctor and get a consultation.
When going to a doctor for an infected piercing, tell them when you got it and when you noticed the piercing looking infected. The doctor will give you a treatment based on the severity of the infection, and it should clear up.
You might also have to remove the piercing to allow the infection to clear up. Allow the wound to heal fully before considering if you want a replacement piercing and where you want it.
Any piercing can get infected. However, the piercings that are most likely to get infected are genital piercings and cartilage piercings because of their environments. Genital piercings are in a moist environment, the perfect breeding ground for germs. Cartilage piercings may become infected because cartilage doesn’t have a lot of blood flow.
Getting your piercing done in a clean environment by a professional piercer is crucial to ensuring that your piercing doesn’t get infected. In addition, you must follow the correct aftercare and cleaning protocols to help your piercing heal fast and without complications.