Not all the body piercing would cause an infection. It is quite normal to have pain, redness and discomfort on the site for few days after piercing. After few days the pain would gradually reduce. However there are certain cases which can lead to severe body piercing infections. Before knowing about the type of infection that can occur after body piercing, let us understand the risk involved in this act.
Any type of body piercing carries some risk. Actually you are making a hole in the skin or create an opening in the sites like ear, nose, lip, tongue or any other part. In other words you are attempting to tear the skin in that site for making a hole.
- Allergic Response :
People who opt for inexpensive jewelry are inviting more trouble. Allergic reactions can be caused when you wear bad quality jewelry and jewel made of nickel. Some people develop allergy for stainless steel jewels also.
- Infection :
Piercing done in dirty atmosphere and using the same instrument for many people can definitely cause an infection. Instruments that contain contaminated blood of infected people would be passed on to the other by using non-sterilized equipments. Infections like Hepatitis B and C, tetanus and even HIV can spread by exchange of blood. Hence it is essential to get piercing done from professional piercers.
- Skin Problems :
Piercing in any part of the body can cause mild pain, discomfort, swelling and redness. It can also lead to pus like discharge after few days indicating bacterial infection.
- Oral Problems :
Tongue or oral piercing can cause several complications. Oral cavity is a place where millions of bacteria live. Hence it is easy for you to develop infection by getting oral piercing done. Firstly you may not be able to eat/drink for few days since it can cause discomfort. Piercing on the tongue can cause cracks on your teeth and it can also damage the gums. Tongue can develop inflammation making it difficult for you to swallow anything. In rare cases the post/jewelry may separate off and enter into the food pipe causing several complications.
- Keloids :
Bacterial infection can occur after piercing. This can lead to keloids or bumps on the tissue. It can also cause scarring of tissue.
- Trauma :
In some cases of navel piercing, jewelry can get caught in the bedspread or clothing and torn out accidentally. Tearing of skin in the area would have to be repaired by surgical stitching. And you may need medical treatment for complete healing of wound.
Safety Precautions :
It is alright that you have chosen to get piercing. But think carefully about the site and also about its consequences. It is true that getting piercing done would boost your attraction in the public but what about the workplace. Some departments may not like their employees to get piercing.
- Trained Person :
Do some homework and find out professional piercers in your area. Don’t get tempted to do piercing on your own or by your friend. You need to find trained person in your city or county and get appointment. Also check if he/she follows the local regulations and possess a valid license.
- Wearing Gloves :
Make sure the person who does piercing wears disposable gloves and whether he/she changes it each time after piercing.
- Instruments :
Find out whether the piercer uses sterilized instruments for body piercing. Often they use a small piercing gun to push the post/earring into the earlobe. But for other areas like tongue, lips, navel etc they use sterilized needles for piercing. Ensure the person uses sterilized equipments each time.
- Disposable Instruments :
It is better to opt for the piercer who uses disposable instrument so that for each person fresh equipment is used. Some people uses sterilization machine on which the needles are sterilized after each piercing. Ensure that all the other equipments like tables, handles and sinks are properly disinfected and cleaned. Opt for gold, silver or titanium jewelry instead of inexpensive ones.
Caring Your Skin :
- Since the skin on the site of piercing would be tender and swollen you need to pay extra attention.
- You can ask your piercer about the follow-up instructions to prevent any infection.
- You would be instructed not to remove the jewelry during night at least for few days or week. Hence you should be prepared for that.
- In case of oral piercing you can use antiseptic mouthwash after meals/lunch or whatever you eat and also before going to bed. Use soft toothbrush and give gentle strokes while brushing so that you are not injuring the pierced site.
- Don’t touch the site of piercing with your fingers even you are tempted to do so. This will give room for infection and delay the healing process.
- Clean the area of piercing thoroughly with soap water (other than oral piercing).