Infected Industrial Piercing Signs, Pictures and How to Treat It

by Annie Shuler

Do you have an infected industrial piercing and you do not know what to do about it? Or would you like to know the signs and symptoms, how to heal, clean or treat an industrial ear piercing infection including one that has a bump?

Industrial or scaffold piercing refers to a kind of piercing where two holes are connected with jewelry piercing especially on the upper part of the ear cartilage. This piercing “creates an attractive eye-catchy look”  Just like any other body piercings, they too are susceptible to infections. Let us begin our discussion with the causes of this infection.

Causes of industrial piercing infections

Industrial piercing infections are often caused by bacteria, viruses and/or other pathogenic microorganisms. Injuries, wrong jewelry, poor hygiene (during piercing and afterward) and general negligence are what could encourage pathogens to attack you.

It is worthwhile noting that although new piercings are more vulnerable to infections, even old piercings can get infected too. We have on many occasions heard people talking about their infected industrial piercing after years. In some, it happens after even 5 years. This proves that even after you have fully healed, you can still be infected.

Signs of infected industrial piercing and symptoms

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Some of the common infected piercing symptoms you should expect include but not limited to the following:

  • Tenderness and soreness especially when you touch it
  • Prolonged redness around the piercing site
  • Swelling and distention that last for more than a few days in case of a fresh piercing
  • Green or yellow discharges or some pus oozing out
  • Abscess, bubble or bumps may appear
  • Burning sensation or inflammation
  • Bleeding in extreme cases
  • Fever in severe cases of infections

There are not the only symptoms you expect. If you notice any uncomfortable feeling, which persists for a few days, it could also be a sign.

How to treat infected industrial piercing i.e. treatment and healing

The best way to deal with any infected piercing is to see the piercer or a doctor for diagnosis. This will ensure you get the right treatment and deal with the problem completely. However, for minor infection, you can treat them even at home. Some of the common infected industrial piercing treatments you expect include the following:

Use of antibiotics and antibacterial ointments

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Antibiotics can only be used after they have been prescribed. They could either the topical antibacterial ointments, oral antibiotics or both. They are commonly prescribed for people whose infection is caused by bacteria which seems to be spreading to areas beyond the piercing site.

Note that it is not advisable to use any ointments or creams on a piercing unless advised so by a professional health care personnel since these products affect draining process and can lead to abscesses i.e. “is an infection that is trapped under the skin and is indicated by a darkening and hardening of the surrounding tissue, swelling and pain” [bodyjewelleryshop.com].

Saline solution

The second and perhaps the most popular way is to use a saline solution. It will help in fighting infections in their initial stages and stop new infections. See more details on saline (sea salt and water mixture) solution use on our section on ‘how to clean an infected industrial piercing’

How to clean an infected industrial piercing

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Once you notice an infection on your piercing, you need to know how to clean it to avoid further spread of the infection. The most recommended way is to use either a saline solution or a piercing solution. We are going to discuss saline solution since it is a simple homemade remedy that can be of much help.

To begin with, you can prepare a saline solution by mixing ½ a teaspoon of sea salt in a cup of clean lukewarm water. Use their solution to clean your piercing 2-3 times a day. Avoid over-cleaning since it might interfere with the normal healing process.

During the cleaning process, dip a cotton ball in your salt solution and gently dab it on the infected piercing site. Ensure you remove any debris and any accumulated discharge. In addition, ensure you clean as close to the infected industrial ear piercing as possible without removing your jewelry since it helps in draining the infection.

Infected industrial piercing bump or bubble

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Just like most other piercings, these piercings might develop bumps or bubbles especially on the inner sides of your ear cartilage. These bubbles or bumps are signs of infection and they should be treated.

The general way of treating piercing bump is the use of the saline solution, applying aspirin, chamomile tea bags, Epsom salts, bactine, polysporin, neosporin among other ways. Tea tree oil is what we will recommend since most people have found it working magic on industrial piercing infection bump.

Infected industrial piercing care tips

A new industrial bar piercing infection takes a long time to heal, more than three months (usually 6months to a year). Ensure you follow the aftercare steps you were given. This will reduce any chances of getting an infection. Some of the general tips that might be important include the following:

  • Hydrogen peroxide and disinfectant soaps should be not be used d to clean pierced areas unless recommended by professionals.
  • Avoid touching your infected industrial bar piercing with dirty hands
  • Go for gold or titanium jewelry since they are known not to cause any allergic reactions
  • Go for the correct size of jewelry since a short industrial bar piercing can cause necrosis i.e. the constant pressure of the balls against your skin can cause the tissue to die
  • Avoid using your cellphone too close to your ear since it could be harboring a lot of pathogens
  • Avoid sleeping on the side of your infected industrial bar piercing.
  • Ensure hair care products do not come in contact with the infected area.

With this discussion, I hope you now know “what to do with infected industrial piercing” both to avoid infections and in case you already have an infection. Thank you.

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