I constantly have people messaging me. coming to see me or contacting me in some way to tell me they think their piercing got infected so they took it out. More often than not, the piercing was never infected to begin with (and even if it was, taking it out is not the best course of action).
Piercing infections tend to be pretty rare and causes of alarm are usually just normal signs of healing or signs of something else such as irritation, but that’s not to say that piercing infections don’t happen.
Piercing infections tend to be quite red and painful and the area around the piercing will usually be quite swollen. You may also get a foul-smelling yellow/brownish puss. The area around the piercing may also be quite warm and even throb a little bit. These are the things you need to look out for and be aware of.
How To Spot An Infected Piercing – Signs Of An Infected Piercing And What To Look Out For
- Yellow/brownish puss that may smell
If you think you have an infection, visit a reputable piercer to have them confirm it’s not just the normal healing process or some kind of irritation such as a piercing bump as often they’re mistaken for infection.
If your piercing is infected your piercer will send you onto your GP. A lot of people’s reaction to thinking/knowing their piercing is infected is to remove the piercing. I advise against this as an open/occupied piercing acts as a drain for the infection. Removal and eventual closure of the piercing can result in the infection being trapped inside your body.
In my experience when I’ve been to a GP for an infected piercing they’ve always advised me to take it out. I suggest you ask for antibiotics to treat the infection. However, remember I am not a medical professional. Use common sense and be responsible when making these choices. If your ear is falling off, it makes sense to listen to the medical professional. This advice is to be used for minor infections.
If you are prescribed antibiotics, it’s essential that you finish your course. If you just stop taking them when it looks like it’s getting better, it’s likely that the bacteria will still be present. If you stop taking them, it’s likely that the infection will return but this time the bacteria will be resistant to the antibiotics. Make sure you finish your course so you can be sure that the bacteria is gone and the infection is no longer present.