Is my piercing infected?
Whether a piercing is infected can only be determined by a doctor. When there are complaints, such as tenderness, swelling, redness or fluids that drain from the wound, this can indicate an infection, but often it is just irritation or simply the first phase of healing. During the first weeks after piercing, some swelling and redness is to be expected, the piercing will be sensitive and some fluids may drain from the piercing. All of this is quite normal. Some people may experience more of these complaints than others. If these complaints are getting worse or if you feel constant pain (even if the piercing hasn’t been bumped or something similar), please contact your piercer or doctor. In most cases it will be nothing serious but your piercer will be happy to take a look, even if it’s just to reassure you. If you suspect that something is wrong with your piercing, do not wait too long to seek help. Both irritations and infections can usually be resolved quickly if you act quickly. If you have complaints such as:
- fever, nausea, vomiting
- redness and swelling that extends well beyond the piercing site (more than about 1.5cm from the hole)
- the area of the piercing is warm to the touch
- pus coming from the piercing
It’s wise to contact your doctor immediately.