Infected Lip Piercing – Symptoms, Treatment And Preventions
How does the infections develop?
Lip piercings can be more susceptible to infection, especially during the early healing phase, due to regular contact with saliva, food, cosmetics and other bacteria.
It can also irritate the piercing and introduce new bacteria if it gets caught in hair or clothing.
If you have multiple piercings, such as gray labia or dahlias, you are more likely to get an infection. Infection may or may not involve both orifices.
Read on to learn how to spot an infection, what you can do to help relieve your symptoms, and how to avoid further complications.
How to identify an infection?
If the piercing is new, irritation is normal. Your skin is still adjusting to the new lip piercing or the area around it.
During the first two weeks, you may experience:
- Minor swelling
- Occasional throbbing
- Mild heat or warmth
- Clear or white discharge
Redness or swelling outside the puncture site may be a sign of infection.
Other early signs of infection include:
- Persistent warmth
- Worsening pain
- Excessive bleeding
- Bump at the front or back of the piercing
Mild infections can usually be treated at home. However, if this is your first time dealing with an infected piercing or if your symptoms worsen, you should contact your piercer immediately.
Do not play with or remove the jewelry
Twisting or touching the jewelry can cause inflammation and irritation. It can also introduce new bacteria into the piercing.
For the most part, consider jewelry completely off-limits. You should only touch it during cleaning.
You may also be tempted to remove your jewelry, but doing so may cause more harm than good.
Not only can this cause more irritation, but removing your jewelry can clog the new hole. This can trap bacteria and allow the infection to spread beyond the puncture site.
Clean the area two or three times daily
If you have signs of infection, regular cleaning is the best way to get rid of bacteria and prevent further irritation. You should cleanse with saline or saline two or three times a day.
With a pre-made saline solution
Using a prepared saline solution is often the easiest way to clean the hole. You can buy it over the counter (OTC) at your local piercing shop or pharmacy.
To clean the piercing:
- Dampen a strong cloth or paper towel with the saline solution. Do not use napkins, thin towels, cotton or wool. Fibers can get caught in jewelry and cause irritation.
- Gently wipe each side of the jewelry with a cloth or towel.
- Be sure to clean your lips or cheeks inside and out.
- Repeat this process as many times as necessary. There should be no “crust” on the jewelry and around the piercing.
- Do not rub or rub as this will cause irritation.
With a DIY sea salt solution
Some people prefer to make their own saline solution instead of buying something over the counter.
To prepare a sea salt solution:
- Mix 1 teaspoon of sea salt with 8 ounces of warm water.
- Stir until the salt is completely dissolved.
- Follow the same cleaning steps as for a standard copy.
Can you use mouthwash?
Alcohol-free mouthwashes such as biotene are safe to use, but they cannot replace a salt brush.
You can use mouthwash to rinse your mouth after meals and as part of your oral care routine. Follow all package instructions and avoid to swallowing.
Use warm compresses for external symptoms
Applying a warm compress to the outside of the piercing can help reduce irritation, reduce swelling, and relieve pain.
Normal Or Regular Compress
You can make a compress by placing a damp towel or other cloth item in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Some store-bought compresses contain herbs or rice grains to help retain heat and provide gentle pressure.
You can make these changes to your home compressor if you want. Just make sure the fabric can be covered or folded so nothing falls out.
To use a warm compress:
- Microwave a washcloth, stocking or other household compress for 30 seconds. Repeat until it feels pleasantly warm to the touch.
- If you have a store-bought compressor, heat it according to the directions on the product packaging.
- Apply an over-the-counter or homemade compress to the affected area for 20 minutes once or twice a day.
Chamomile has shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Applying a warm chamomile compress can help speed up the healing process.
Do a patch test before using to make sure you are not allergic to chamomile. For him:
- Soak a chamomile tea bag in hot water for two to three minutes.
- Place the tea bag on the inside of your elbow.
- Leave on for three minutes and then remove. Allow the skin to dry without rinsing.
- Please wait 24 hours. If you don’t have redness or other signs of irritation, it’s probably safe to use a chamomile compress on the piercing.
To use the Chamomile Compress:
- Steep two chamomile tea bags in boiling water for five minutes.
- Remove the tea bags and let cool for about 30 seconds. The bag should be warm to the touch.
- Wrap each tea bag in a thin cloth or paper towel. This will help prevent the cord from getting caught in the jewelry.
- Attach the tea bags to each side of the hole for 10 minutes.
- Refresh the tea bag with hot water as needed.
- After 10 minutes, rinse the affected area with warm water and dry with a clean paper towel.
- Repeat this process every day.
For internal symptoms, suck ice or apply cold compresses
Cold compresses can help reduce pain and swelling inside the lips or cheeks.
Snow or Ice
Apply ice or popsicles as often as you like, especially during the first two days of healing.
Normal or Regular Compress
If popsicles aren’t to your liking, you can use a bag of frozen vegetables or an ice pack to help ease the situation.
To use a cold compress:
- Wrap the freezer bag in a thin cloth or paper towel.
- Apply gently to the affected area for five minutes at a time.
- Repeat twice a day.
For external symptoms, apply diluted tea tree oil
Pure tea tree oil is strong and can cause additional irritation, so mix with an equal amount of saline or carrier oil before use.
After diluting the oil, make a patch to check sensitivity. For him:
- Apply the diluted mixture to the inside of the elbow.
- Please wait 24 hours.
- If you don’t experience itching, redness, or other irritation, it’s safe to use elsewhere.
If the test is successful, you can add tea tree oil to your daily routine:
- Add a few drops to the saline solution and cleanse as usual.
- To use as a post-cleansing spot treatment: Simply dip a clean paper towel in the diluted solution and gently apply it to the outside of the piercing twice a day.
Avoid OTC antibiotics or creams
In general, antibiotics should treat and prevent bacterial infections. However, long-term antibiotics can cause more harm if used on piercings.
Over-the-counter creams and ointments, such as Neosporin, are thick and can trap bacteria under the skin. This can cause more irritation and make the infection worse.
Isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and other disinfectants can damage healthy skin cells. This can make the piercing more susceptible to bacterial invasion and prolong infection.
It is best to follow a cleaning and compressing routine. If you don’t see improvement in a day or two, see a needle.
Make sure the rest of your mouth is clean
When it comes to lip piercings, you need more than just cleaning your piercing. The rest of the mouth should also always be clean. This can help prevent bacteria from spreading in the mouth and entering the cavity.
You probably already know that daily flossing can help remove plaque and debris from between your teeth and prevent gingivitis. But it can also help prevent harmful bacteria from entering your lips and further irritating your piercing.
Floss your teeth at night before brushing your teeth. You can use a floss holder to improve accuracy and not accidentally snag the thread in your jewelry.
In terms of oral hygiene, brushing your teeth twice a day is just as important as flossing your teeth. You can also brush your teeth in the middle of the day to prevent bacteria build-up. Toothpaste is unlikely to harm your lip piercing, but be sure to rinse thoroughly.
If you haven’t used mouthwash yet, you don’t need to start right away.
If you use mouthwash, follow the directions for normal use. Avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes.
Watch what you eat and drink
What you eat is important, especially when you have a sore mouth, such as an infected piercing.
What to do
As your lip piercing heals, focus on gentle products that won’t get stuck in your jewelry. These include mashed potatoes, yogurt and oatmeal.
All chewable products may require additional salt rinsing after consumption. Water should be your drink of choice right now.
What not to do
Black pepper, chili powder, and other spices can cause additional pain and irritation.
Alcohol can act as an anticoagulant and can also damage the skin cells around the puncture. This can increase healing time and increase the risk of complications.
Coffee can also have a blood-thinning effect. If you don’t want to take a temporary break, reduce your usual dose until the infection is gone.
Other things to keep in mind
While piercing cleaning is important, it is only one part of a larger maintenance plan.
By learning to anticipate anything that may come into contact with your lips and adjust accordingly, you can reduce the amount of bacteria, debris, and dirt that enter your pores.
- Avoid using lipstick, lip gloss and other lip products. You may need to throw away any products you used while the infection was active.
- Do not share food or drinks to reduce the spread of infectious bacteria.
- Avoid open-mouth kissing and oral sex to reduce the transfer of bacteria and saliva.
- Wash your hands before touching your mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
- Change pillows once a week and sheets at least once every two weeks.
- Do not rub your face with a towel after washing.
- Gently pull the top over your head so you don’t accidentally take off the jewelry.
When to visit your piercer or consultant
You should continue to clean and soak daily unless directed by your piercer. Continue like this until all symptoms disappear and the lip piercing is completely healed.
If symptoms don’t improve within two to three days or if they get worse, see a piercer. They can examine the hole and make specific cleaning and maintenance recommendations.