Is my lip piercing infected? How do I tell or what signs should I look for? And in case I actually have an infection on my pierced lip, how do I clean, heal, treat or get rid of it quickly? We will tell you what to do for a pierced lip that has been infected.
Body piercings are becoming very popular nowadays. They are fashionable and trendy. However, many people end up with infected piercings, which if ignored, could have serious consequences that might include scarring, swellings, pain among others.
Due to the close proximity of a lip piercing to your mouth, this type of piercing is much more prone to infections especially for people who do not keep good oral hygiene. I ignored, the infection can easily spread to other parts of the mouth including gums and teeth. This, therefore, calls for immediate treatment of any lip piercing infection, irrespective of how small it might appear to be.
Causes of a pierced lip infection
The common causes of lip piercing infection are viruses, bacteria and other germ causing micro-organisms which are commonly found in your mouth if you do not keep proper oral hygiene. You could have an infected lip piercing inside your mouth or from the outside part. Some of the common causes include the following:
- Playing, touching or allowing other people to touch your piercing with dirty hands
- Using dirty face napkins
- Taking foods loaded with yeast such as beer and wine while your piercing has not completely healed
- Lip piercing rings and studs being cough or pulled by anything, including food while you are eating
- Poor hygiene during the piercing process
Symptoms and Signs of infected lip piercing
Among the common signs of an infected lip piercing you should look for are:
- Increase general aching pain that might last longer than two days
- A swollen, red or pale site of lip piercing technically known as erythema
- Severe inflammation or even eczema around the piercing
- Irritation on the site of your piercing that is often accompanied with itching and a burning sensation
- Difficulties in chewing and eating
- If the infection is serious, you might have discharges that can be foul-smelling or have pus that could be yellow in color.
- Your neck lymph nodes might be swollen.
- Fever, chills, and soreness
- The area around the piercing might be crusty
These are not the only signs of an infected lip piercing to watch for. Any abnormality, pain or aching that lasts for over two days should not be ignored. You will notice them as you yawn, laugh or stretch your lips. It is advisable to visit your physician for inspection and diagnosis of the infection.
How to treat an infected lip piercing, how to heal or treatments
Although treating an infected lip piercing is easy, it can take a long time to get completely healed. Being near your mouth, it is certain that this is one area you do not want to be infected since it might make eating cumbersome depending on the location of your lip piercing. So how do you treat an infected lip piercing or what are some of the good infected lip piercing treatment?
A. Use of medication
Once you notice your piercing has caught an infection, you might want to go for medications which will be mainly over the counter (OTC) antibiotics and pain relievers.
1. Pain relievers
To help reduce the symptoms such as aching and throbbing pain, it is advisable to go for over the counter pain killers such as ibuprofen.
2. Use of antibiotic
Other than the home remedies to get rid of any infection on your pierced lips we will cover in the next part, you could also opt for over the counter antibiotic. The decision to opt for antibiotics will be informed by the cause of the infection i.e. if the cause bacteria. The actually infected lip piercing antibiotic choice will depend on what works well with you since there are so many types of antibiotics to use.
For very severe cases, let a doctor prescribe to you which antibiotics or medications to use for quick healing.
B. Home remedies for infected lip piercing
Besides using the medication, you could opt for various home remedies to help heal your piercing quickly. There are many at-home remedies and we are going to mention just a few common and effective ones which include:
Since it has the good bacteria that will “help balance the natural flora in your mouth [home-remedies-for-you.com], it is advisable to take a cup of yogurt twice daily.
2. Sea Salt
Prepare a sea salt solution and gaggle it in your mouth for about 4 times a day. You could also soak your lips the same sea salt solution. However, the solution should not be so strong because it can cause lip dryness (2-3 teaspoons of sea salt in about a half a cup of water should be fine). Alternative, buy saline solution
3. Alcohol-free mouthwashes
If you do not want to prepare a sea salt solution, going for alcohol-free mouthwashes will serve the same purpose.
4. Warm compressions
Dab the area around your piercing site with a clean warm pierce of cloth. To do this, you need to dip the piece of cloth in hot water, get rid of excess water before dabbing the affected part for a few minutes, twice each day.
C. Precaution to observe while treating the infection
As soon as you notice you have an infection, there are things you are not supposed to do if you are to get healed fast.
- Leave your piercing alone, do not squeeze it (squeeze pus from the piercing) using your fingers as this will only make things worse.
- Do not spin or take out an infected lip ring since you might develop abscess as the infection gets trapped in the pierced hole. Furthermore, your jewelry will be important in ensuring the infection drains.
- Stop drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes to speed up the pierced lip healing process.
- Avoid any antibiotic ointments unless advised so by your physician since they often entrench dirt into the piercing slowing healing time.
- Although they might not have a direct effect, spicy foods should be avoided since they can cause irritations.
Note: At times, removing infected lip ring might be advised by a doctor depending on the nature and extent of your infection. Ensure you first see a specialist before you make such a decision.
How to clean an infected lip piercing or infected lip piercing care
We have seen the various ways on how to heal an infected lip piercing. It is worthwhile to mention something small on how to clean an infected lip piercing so as to avoid further spread of the infected and make its healing much faster. So how do you clean an infected lip piercing?
- Wash your hands before you touch or begin cleaning your pierced area as this will reduce the chances of getting re-infected.
- Using an antibacterial mouthwash that is alcohol-free, clean the area around your piercing twice a day. This will help in the clean of the piercing from inside your mouth.
- On the outside part of your mouth, you can use warm water and anti-bacterial soap.
- Finally, keep your lip jewelry very clean all the time as this will enhance the healing speed after it has been infected.
More Tips on infected lip piercing care
- Sanitizing and keeping proper mouth hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth as well as rinsing off your mouth at least twice a day. Do not overdo it.
- While cleaning your mouth, ensure you remove any food particles that might be in or near your piercing hole using a very soft brush to avoid hurting your healing piercing. Avoid perfumes and products that have alcohol around the piercing.
- For people whose occupation makes them sweat a lot such as sports, it is advisable to wash the piercing 4-5 times a day.
- Cleaning your face towel and bedding will help reduce re-infection as these fabrics will often come in contact with your piercing site.
Note: Some of these ways of caring for an infected lip piercing can still be important for people caring for a fresh piercing on their lips.
When to see a doctor
If there is no an improvement after trying all we have discussed in this article, you need to see a doctor for further treatment. Do not ignore it.