An industrial piercing infection is when a single barbell goes through two holes that have already been pierced. Double perforation on the cartilage at the top of your ear is the most common example.
Compared to other ear piercings, cartilage piercings, especially those high on the ear, are more prone to infection. This is so because these piercings are often placed nearer to your hair.
You may cause the piercing to itch by:
- distributing more oil and debris
- wrapping themselves up in the barbell
- exposure to hair products for the piercing
Additionally, your chance of infection is doubled since this piercing requires two distinct holes. If you have an infection, both holes may or may not be affected. The most dangerous hole is the one closest to your head.
To find out how to spot an infection, what you can do to relieve your symptoms, and how to avoid future issues, keep reading.
How to Recognize a Disease Piercing
Following the first piercing, some discomfort is typical. The two new holes are still causing your skin to adapt.
In the first two weeks, you could go through:
- mild bruising
- mild warmth or heat
- sporadic throbbing
- whitish or clear discharge
The swelling and redness may sometimes spread and grow in size. These can be the first indications of a piercing-related infection.
Another indication of infection is:
- unpleasant swelling
- enduring warmth or heat
- extreme pain
- a lot of blood
- bump at the piercing’s front or back
The best individual to make an infection diagnosis is your piercer.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to treat the infection at home. However, you should see your piercer immediately if your symptoms are severe or if this is your first experience with infection.
1. Avoid handling or removing the jewelry.
After getting a new piercing, one of your first urges may be to play with the jewelry by twisting it back and forth. This impulse should be resisted, particularly if you already feel negative consequences.
Moving the jewelry may aggravate the swelling and itch and spread new germs into the holes. Except for during cleaning, the barbell should be fully off-limits.
It could also be tempting to remove the barbell so that you can examine the jewelry or clean the region more thoroughly.
Not only may this aggravate the area even more, but taking off the jewelry can also cause a more recent piercing to shut. As a result, the infection may grow beyond the piercing site and get trapped within your body.
2. Two to three times every day, clean the area.
Most piercers advise following a regular cleaning regimen for the first few months after getting your piercing. It would help if you used a saline or salt solution to clean twice daily.
Regular cleaning is the greatest way to drain germs and stop additional discomfort if you are showing indications of illness.
With a pre-made saline solution
Using a pre-made saline solution to clean your piercing is often the simplest. These are available over-the-counter (OTC) at your neighborhood pharmacy or piercer’s business.
How to clean a piercing
- Saline-soaked a cloth or strong paper towel. Using cotton balls, tissues, or thin towels may cause your piercing to itch as they may get entangled in the metal.
- Gently wipe around each side of the barbell.
- Take care to clean the outside and inside of your ear at the piercing’s two ends.
- Continue doing this until the holes are cleaned. There shouldn’t be any “crust” left.
- Avoid rough rubbing or poking since these actions will irritate you.
Since you won’t be looking directly at this piercing in the mirror, a portable mirror could be useful for a clearer view when cleaning.
Making your sea salt solution
Some individuals would rather prepare their saline solution from sea salt than buy an over-the-counter product.
Create a solution of sea salt by:
- Combine 8 ounces of warm water and one teaspoon of sea salt.
- Before using the solution, make sure the salt has fully dissolved.
- When it’s prepared, proceed similarly to cleaning with ready-made saline.
3. Put on a hot compress.
A warm compress may aid in wound healing by lowering pain, decreasing inflammation, and reducing swelling.
You may create your warm compress by heating a wet towel or other cloth-based material in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time.
Some store-bought compresses include rice grains or herbal mixtures to help trap warmth and provide a little pressure to reduce edema.
These adjustments may also be made to your compress. Make sure your fabric can be folded or sealed to ensure that none of the other chemicals leak out.
To apply a hot compress:
- Microwave a moist towel, a rice sock, or another DIY compress for 30 seconds at a time. Continue until your hand can be pleasantly warmed.
- Use a microwave or heat as instructed on the product box if you have an OTC heat compress.
- Up to twice a day, apply the compress to the afflicted region for 20 minutes at a time.
If you want to ensure that all sides of your piercing are being treated, you can think about applying two tiny compresses at once.
Piercing compressing chamomile
By using a chamomile compress to treat the infection, you may be able to hasten the healing process. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of chamomile are well established.
First, do a patch test to ensure you are not allergic to chamomile. How to do it:
- Apply a tea bag that has been brewed into your elbow.
- After two to three minutes, take out the tea bag. Rinse the area just once. Allow it to air dry.
- Applying a chamomile compress to your ear cartilage should be okay if you don’t suffer any discomfort or inflammation within 24 hours.
Apply a chamomile compress as needed:
- Boil two tea bags and steep them in the water for five minutes.
- The bags should cool for around 30 seconds after being removed.
- Each bag is enclosed with a paper towel. Doing this may prevent the tea bag or its thread from catching on your jewelry.
- One tea bag should be placed in each hole for up to ten minutes.
- You may need to rehydrate the bags with warm water every few minutes.
- Once the compress has been applied, rinse the area with warm water and wipe it dry with a fresh towel.
- Repeat each day.
4. application of tea tree oil diluted
Tea tree oil, which is well known for having antibacterial characteristics, may also help clean and sanitize your piercing.
Before applying it to your skin, dilute it with an equivalent quantity of carrier oil or saline. Pure tea tree oil is strong and might irritate the skin more.
Additionally, before putting the mixture into your piercing, you should do a patch test. How to do it:
- On the inside of your elbow, gently rub the diluted mixture.
- Take a day off.
- It should be okay to use elsewhere if you don’t feel any itching, redness, or other irritants.
When a patch test is successful, you have two options:
- To make your saline solution a part of your first washing procedure, add a few drops to it.
- After you wipe your face, use it as a spot treatment. Up to twice each day, gently apply your diluted mixture to both sides of each piercing using a clean paper towel dipped in the mixture.
5. Avoid using creams or antibiotics that are available over the counter.
Antibiotics have the potential to aid in infection prevention. But over-the-counter medicines like Neosporin might potentially do more damage than good when used on piercings.
Because they are thick, ointments and lotions may trap microorganisms under your skin. This can aggravate the illness and make it worse.
Rub alcohol and other antiseptics may harm healthy skin cells, making your piercing more susceptible to infection.
Keep doing your cleaning and compressing as usual. Consult your piercer if you don’t see improvement within a day or two.
Piercing Additional considerations
Cleaning your piercing is crucial, but it’s just one step in a more comprehensive maintenance regimen.
You can lessen the quantity of dirt and bacteria that enter the piercing by developing the ability to assess anything that could come into touch with your ear and make adjustments appropriately.
You ought to:
- Shampoo your hair every day or every other day to keep it clean.
- Don’t use dry shampoo. These could fall out of your hair and become stuck in a piercing.
- Avoid covering your ears with tight-fitting caps or bands.
- Instead of headphones, use earbuds.
- Carefully use hair products. When using sprays, protect your ears with a piece of paper or another barrier.
- Pull clothes gently over your head to avoid accidentally catching the jewelry.
- Change your bedding at least once every other week and your pillowcases once a week.
When to see the Piercing
Until your symptoms disappear and your piercing is healed, continue cleaning and soaking as usual unless your piercer instructs you otherwise.
Consult your piercer if your symptoms don’t improve or worsen after two or three days. They may examine the piercing and provide detailed suggestions for cleaning and maintenance.