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How to tell if your piercing is infected, and how to treat it!

Piercing Updated October 19, 2022

Sometimes piercings can get infected with bacterial growth a few days after getting pierced, and often it can even occur a month later. Unfortunately, after leaving your appointment you may face an infection at any stage.

Healing on the inside is just as important as healing on the outside. Even when following the correct piercing aftercare routine, if you are not in top health or are lacking vital nutrients, you may still experience an infection or longer healing periods. Looking after your health and general well-being is incredibly important when healing a piercing. It is important to fuel ourselves as best we can to give our bodies the best chance to fight infection. We always recommend clients eat a balanced diet, listen to their bodies, and visit a GP for their best advice and any clarification.

Bacteria is absolutely everywhere so don’t feel bad if you are one of the unlucky people that gets an infection!

Contact our team with any questions. Our home care information may need to change depending on your individual situation. For example, you may need to extend your use of step one for longer than the standard recommendation of two weeks, or you may need to swap out your jewellery to a different material type or style that fits your individual needs.

Look out for our handy hits emails that are sent to you directly after your piercing and at regular intervals throughout your healing journey.

We are here to help you along your piercing journey!

What’s Normal During Healing:

A small amount of:

  • Redness
  • Inflammation
  • Itching
  • Yellow crusty discharge
  • Blood
  • Pain when knocked

These are all normal signs your piercing is healing as it should, and nothing you will need to worry about!

Signs Your Piercing is Infected:

  • Creamy or green discharge
  • The area is red and highly inflamed
  • The area is throbbing with pain even when you are not touching it
  • Swollen glands just behind the ear

How to Treat an Infected Piercing:

It is important to be very careful when treating an infected piercing. An effective remedy is a saline solution for your piercing.

  1. Get a clean bowl and add 5 tablespoons of salt and 2 cups of boiled water.
  2. Let the water cool down to lukewarm and then add a clean face washer to absorb the saline preparation.
  3. Ring out just enough water from the face washer so that it doesn’t drip everywhere. Apply it to the infected area and gently press.
  4. Keep in mind not to move the jewellery around too much, you must only gently press above and below the piercing. Moving the jewellery around in the fresh piercing would be like getting a coin and rubbing it into a fresh cut – it will prolong the healing of the skin.
  5. Your body needs to transform the raw opened pierced skin around your jewellery into a layer of new skin for the jewellery to sit comfortably.
  6. A healed piercing means that the skin has completely sealed itself and created a tunnel of new skin around the jewellery.
  7. Holding and pressing the saline wash gently around the infection will help to remove the bacteria in the area, but the body still needs to heal the piercing.
  8. By pressing the saline solution around the infection, you are removing the bacterial infection. By removing the infection, the body can go back to forming the outer layer of skin needed to prevent further infection.
  9. Hold the soaked face washer for one minute then repeat the process of soaking the face washer in the saline solution and applying pressure to the infected piercing up to 3 times, applying light pressure for a minute each time.
  10. Once the area is dry then apply our Calm – Piercing bump dots. Our bump dots are fantastic at absorbing leftover bacteria from deep within the piercing and help to reduce inflammation. It is very important to cut space in the bump dot to avoid the adhesive from sticking to your jewellery.
  11. Keep applying bump dots until the inflammation and pain have reduced. You can apply our bump dots for an indefinite amount of time if need be!

Reminder: Your body will create a dry sticky scab around the piercing to seal the area from external bacteria. It is vital that you do not pick this off!

Before vs After

Below is a before and after of the healed infection after two days.  The infection has been easily removed and the inflammation and pain have stopped. Yay!


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