Did you know that 1 in 10 people in the UK have piercings in a place other than the earlobe ? Piercings are becoming a popular way to stand out in a crowd and express yourself, and whilst it’s generally fairly safe to have part of your body pierced (provided you go to a registered and qualified piercing studio), it’s not completely without its risks. Piercings can become infected, which could lead to serious complications and conditions that require medical treatment – the risk is higher if you are pierced in a studio where conditions or equipment are unhygienic, so choose your piercer wisely.
If the worst has already happened and you’re in need of piercing infection advice, you can get in touch with the piercing studio to let them know what has happened – you may also want to contact a personal injury lawyer to find out if you’re eligible to claim compensation, if you think the studio was liable for your infection. Accident Advice Helpline could help you to claim the compensation you are entitled to if this has happened to you.
What’s the worst that could happen?
You might need to seek piercing infection advice if you have experienced issues after having part of your body pierced. It’s against the law for piercers to give anaesthetic injections. For more painful piercings, they may use numbing products, but these aren’t always recommended as in some cases they can increase your risk of infection. If you are pierced with dirty, unhygienic equipment or a needle which has been previously used, you are at risk of infection and you could even contract blood-borne diseases such as HIV or hepatitis. Even a dirty piercing studio could mean you suffer an infection that could lead to nerve damage or require medical treatment by a doctor or in hospital, and you could suffer scarring, which can be particularly damaging if you have had a facial piercing.
Preventing piercing infections – what can you do?
First things first, you need to ensure that you choose your piercing studio carefully. Look for a clean, hygienic studio and don’t be afraid to ask to see their hygiene certificates and evidence of any qualifications – although most reputable studios will have these on display. Beware of any studio which uses an ear piercing gun to pierce other areas of the body such as the nose or ear cartilage – this should only ever be done with a clean needle. Look around you and if you’re dissatisfied with the cleanliness of equipment or the general environment, it’s safest to walk away. Many people like to take a recommendation from friends or family before going to get pierced, and this is generally a good idea, although you still need to exercise caution.
After your piercing – what happens?
Your piercer will normally give you aftercare advice, which is generally to keep the pierced area clean and dry and clean it once or twice a day with sterile saline solution (boiled, cooled water mixed with salt). It’s important to keep the piercing clean and follow their advice to prevent infection. It is also important that you don’t remove the jewellery used by the piercer until your piercing is fully healed. It’s normal to experience pain and swelling for a few days after your piercing, particularly in more sensitive areas, but if you are suffering and in pain for more than a few days, have unusual swelling or signs of infection, you should seek piercing infection advice from a doctor.
Do you need piercing infection advice?
You may need to seek piercing infection advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Itching/burning at the site of the piercing
- Redness around the piercing
- Rash or irritation
- Yellow or green pus oozing from the piercing
- Pain when you touch the pierced area
You may also experience fever if you’re suffering from an infection, and you should seek medical advice straight away. If you have had a tongue piercing and you notice problems swallowing or neck pain, seek urgent medical attention at your GP surgery or the A&E department of your local hospital. You should never remove the piercing jewellery, as the pierced hole could close, trapping the infection.
How long do piercings take to heal?
Piercings can take some time to heal, and it depends on which body part you have had pierced – but here’s a general guide:
- Tongue – four to eight weeks
- Nasal bridge – eight to ten weeks
- Ear lobe, septum or eyebrow – six to eight weeks
- Male genitalia – four weeks to six months
- Female genitalia – four to twelve weeks
- Nostril – two to four months
- Cheek – four to five months
- Navel – four months to one year
- Nipple – three to six months
- Lip – two to three months
- Ear cartilage – four months to one year
Healing times can vary from person to person, but keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms and seek piercing infection advice from your piercer if you’re in any doubt about the health of your piercing. Accident Advice Helpline could help you to make a 100% no-win, no-fee personal injury claim if you have sustained an infection, scarring or a blood-borne disease such as HIV after a piercing.
Call us today for claims and piercing infection advice
If you have suffered an infection or illness after being pierced, we could help you, provided your injuries occurred in the last three years. Our team of personal injury advisors is on hand, offering confidential, no-obligation advice, so if you have any questions for us, you can call us without committing to making a claim. We realise that dealing with the aftermath of a piercing infection can be a scary time, particularly if you have suffered from HIV or hepatitis caused by a dirty needle, and we’re here to make sure that you get the compensation you are entitled to if a negligent piercer has caused this to happen to you.
You can get in touch with us by calling our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile to find out more about making a claim and see if you are eligible. If you’d like an idea of how much compensation you could be entitled to receive, you can take the 30-second test on our website right now.