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Old 02-05-2012, 11:23 PM   #1
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Wound Care Question - Piercing-infection?

I had my navel pierced about 8/9 weeks ago and on the aftercare sheet it told me to use Hydrogen peroxide 6%. I used it for the first 6 weeks as it said, but after that it still hadn't healed and since there was advice around that Hydrogen peroxide was not good stuff for it [even though I checked with the pharmacist and he said he Hydrogen Peroxide was fine, and he didn't understand why it hadn't healed].

So the last couple of weeks I have used nothing on it. I had run out of the Hydrogen peroxide anyway. Thinking maybe my body just needs to man up and deal. I realize Hydrogen Peroxide kills all bugs, good and bad so I hoped it would sort itself out.

Anyway, granted today I knocked it on the washing basket and it was ouchie, but this evening it felt swollen and hard and so I took it out and had a naughty squeeze.. loads of pus and blood literally squirted out the bottom hole, right up my arm to my elbow

I never really thought I should make a GP appointment cos this is a bit, well, self inflicted. But if it actually is infected I will have to. It is tender now, it wasn't before, but it keeps looking like its healing, then getting worse and not healing.

My partner keeps saying I will have to take it out, but I am not taking it out unless I absolutely have to, it cost me 20 and I like it!

I am going to go back to the piercing guy tomorrow morning, but wanted some advice from people who know a bit more about wound healing, than just the piercing part.

Also, should I see the GP? I asked the pharmacist but as said, he didn't think I was doing anything wrong. Also, I have had a tummy ache all day, could a piercing do that or am I being a hypochondriac :P


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Old 02-05-2012, 11:35 PM   #2
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Please see your GP! It does sound infected. I also think that half the things people see GPs about are self-inflicted one way or another... and getting pierced isn't so bad. It's really important to look after yourself and get help when it's needed, which it sounds like it is.

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Old 02-05-2012, 11:50 PM   #3
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I have a GP appointment pre booked for the 14th which is obviously far too late if it is manky.

I will see the piercing guy tomorrow and book an appointment, I need to pick up my repeats anyway.

Just worried they'll tell me to take it out!

I will make an appointment though. Hmm.

I've done a salt water rinse for now.

Thankyou Laura :)

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Old 03-05-2012, 02:53 AM   #4
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Don't take the piercing out; if it is infected, it could make things worse.
Good luck with the piercing guy, they're usually pretty helpful.

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Old 03-05-2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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Salt water soaks are generally the best way to care for a piercing - good luck at the piercing studio!

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Old 03-05-2012, 02:38 PM   #6
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Most reputable piercers know about wound care and healing too!
Hydrogen peroxide can sometimes kill the white blood cells that are trying to heal your piercing, I think that's why people say not to use it.
If you can't see your doctor quickly just keep doing salt water soaks, but don't take the piercing out or you could sort of trap the infection under the skin if it heals up which could give you an abscess I think.

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Old 03-05-2012, 08:28 PM   #7
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hey, mine was like this when i had mine done a few years ago.
i used salt water rinses for a long time, it took a long while to heal completely. i also used surgical spirit or TCP.

If it doesnt look or feel any better, go get checked out :)


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Old 04-05-2012, 09:30 PM   #8
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Are you maybe allergic to the metal they use? I'm allergic to metal that isn't gold or silver and it always causes my piercings to go nasty.
My piercer told me to use boiled water with salt as hot as I could handle on my skin. Apparently the heat helps the blood vessels heal quicker although not sure if that is crap but my piercing def healed better.

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Old 04-05-2012, 09:35 PM   #9
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Do not use anything other than salt water and do not take it out. See the piercer as they will know about piercings whereas the GP will most likely tell you to take it out which will just trap the infection inside you and could cause a whole load of problems.
The salt water solution you should use is a teaspoon of sea salt (as it has little to no additives whereas table salt does and they can be nasty to fresh piercings) into a mug of boiling water. Wait for the water to cool down until you can just about bare it on your skin but it is still really hot and soak a ball of cotton wool and hold that on the piercing. The heat will draw out any infection that might be lurking and as the water has just been boiled it will be sterile. Do this twice a day for as long as you need too but genrally not over two or so weeks.
Good luck.

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Old 07-05-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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As said above, use salt water soaks. Don't take the piercing out as you need to keep the holes there so it can drain and they'll close up much quicker if the piercing is removed and you can only keep the ends open by cleaning it, not the bits within the skin.

DON'T use Hydrogen Peroxide; that's only use is as bleach or in science experiments and I mean that, it has NO USE in wound care. Yes, it will kill bactieria but it will kill every other cell in the vicinity including all those trying to help and therefore will destroy all the surrounding tissues, irritate it further and mean it will take much longer for it to heal as well as it having no local immune system going to it (as the area around the piercing will be destroyed) and therefore it could actually mean it will be open to more infections as it heals as well as it will only work on the surface, not deep inside. The same really goes for surgical spirit; the names in the title, 'surgical', it should not be used for wound care, it should only be used really for cleaning areas up to get them very clean (though not sterile) before there is any damage done to the skin, not after. Also, using products such as TCP and other antiseptics, you should make sue these are diluted and not used neat as they could be too harsh and again cause more damage.

really because it sounds like you've had an abscess that has burst the best thing for you to do would be to see a GP or nurse practitioner ASAP and being that I believe you're from England (though I may be wrong and you could be from another area of the UK) your best course of action really would be to go to a Walk-In Centre where the nurse practitioners there can often prescribe antibiotics for such things but this needs to be treated properly and the only things other than that you should be doing are salt soaks done carefully 2-3 times per day and putting heat over the area to encourage any infection that may be there to drain out, nothing else.

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