Without proper care, a body piercing or ear piercing can get infected. An infection can be painful and unsightly, but more importantly can lead to serious health issues if left untreated. Your piercer will provide aftercare instructions and may recommend a commercial disinfectant. You may, however, want to discuss using a homemade disinfectant as a safe and cost-effective alternative.
A fresh piercing may be swollen and slightly red for a few days. If swelling gets worse or you see an unusual discharge, however, then an infection may be developing. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep the area clean and free from irritation. Usually cleaning with an unscented antibacterial soap and thoroughly rinsing is sufficient, but a saline solution is also a viable option. Some piercers may actually recommend a combination of both.
Homemade Saline Solution
The easiest way to make a homemade saline solution is to dissolve a 1/4 tsp. sea salt in a warm bottle of water. Soak the piercing in the solution or use a cotton ball to gently dab at the sore area. For oral piercings, rinse with the solution and spit it out.
During the first few days of healing, this solution may help reduce swelling. It can be used several times a day to ease discomfort, stave off minor infection and aid in the healing process.
What Not to Do
Avoid the use of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. These products can cause cell damage.
Avoid cleaning the area with a scented soap because such soaps may cause irritation.
Avoid adding more than the prescribed amount of salt to your saline rinse. Too much salt can cause irritation.
Do not forget the items that come in contact with your fresh piercing. You will want to keep clean such items as telephones, toothbrushes and your hands to avoid transferring bacteria to your open wound.
An infection is not something to be taken lightly. If you experience extended discomfort and see symptoms worsening, call your piercer or doctor. You may require medical care to ensure the infection does not spread.
A piercing can be a great form of self-expression. Take the necessary steps to make sure your piercing heals properly, and you can experience a life time of beauty.
- Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
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