Statistics show that 1 in 10 people have a tattoo or piercing, a figure that appears to be rising. On rare occasions, things can go wrong and you may need to seek piercing infection advice. You can call us at Accident Advice Helpline for impartial advice. Reputable piercers will refuse to pierce anyone under the age of 16 without a parent being present and will not pierce anyone on the nipples or genitals before they are 18.
Keep it clean
Piercings can hurt a little, but it is against the law for any piercer to give anyone an anaesthetic injection. They can use products to numb the area, but this holds the possibility of making infection more likely. After having a piercing, it is vital to keep the area clean and dry. You will probably be advised to carefully clean the site with a saline solution. However, the pierced area should not be cleaned too much and only when necessary, as overdoing things can irritate the skin and delay healing. On the other hand, poor hygiene may lead to an allergic reaction, infection, nerve damage, scarring or even blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis or even HIV. Once you have had your piercing, the piercer should provide you with information on how to look after the piercing to prevent infection.
Signs of infection
If you have pain that does not go away within a couple of days, unusual pain or swelling around the piercing site or have signs of infection, go to your doctor. Do not remove your jewellery as the opening of the piercing may close and trap the infection. Typical symptoms include itching or burning when the piercing is cleaned, redness, irritation or a rash around the piercing. It will probably hurt when you touch it and might produce yellow or green weeping. If you have a fever or any of the above symptoms consult a doctor immediately, as delaying treatment might result in a more serious infection. If you have had a tongue piercing and begin to experience neck pain or problems with swallowing, also contact a doctor immediately or go to your local Accident and Emergency Department.
It’s worth knowing the length of time that piercings should take to completely heal. The guidelines are as follows:
- Tongue – four to eight weeks
- Female genitalia – four to 12 weeks
- Male genitalia – four weeks to six months
- Ear lobe, eyebrow and nasal septum – six to eight weeks
- Nasal bridge – eight to 10 weeks
- Lip – two to three months
- Nostril – two to four months
- Nipple – three to six months
- Cheek – four to five months
- Ear cartilage – four months to one year
- Navel – four months to one year
Accident Advice Helpline
Remember, if you have any health issues relating to the procedure you have had carried out and are seeking piercing infection advice, Accident Advice Helpline is here to support you. We offer a friendly, professional and efficient service and can refer you to one of our specialist solicitors, experienced in the field of personal injury compensation.