Saturday, August 9, 2008

It is NOT infected!

If I had a dollar for every time someone came to me to freaking out that their piercing is infected, I wouldn't have to work! Let me tell you, if you follow your Piercer's directions, and take care of your piercing, you have a better chance of getting the plague than dying from an infected piercing. Most the time, the piercing is in the second stage of healing i.e. swelling, redness and oozing. This is not infection. The cream colored fluid that leaks from your piercing is called Lymph Secretions, it is NOT pus. Trust me, if you had an infection, you would KNOW IT! Most people make the mistake of confusing irritation and infection. Infections usually present themselves first with a fever. Then you will have tenderness around the piercing with a brown or green colored ooze that smells terrible. If in doubt, go see your Piercer. Granted, we are not Doctors, but we usually can tell the difference between infection and irritation. Irritation can usually be remedied by saline soaks or something as simple as a jewelry change. Infection on the other hand must be treated with antibiotics you can only get from your Doctor. This can be in the form of oral antibiotics or Bactroban cream. Do not remove your jewelry if you think you have an infection. Doing this can make it worse and cause something called an abcess where the infection gets trapped under the skin. DO NOT EVER TRY TO TREAT AN INFECTION YOURSELF! Using antibacterial substances such as alcohol or iodine will actually make your infection worse. When in doubt, contact your Piercer for advice!

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