Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to properly care for a horizontal lip piercing. Lip piercings, including horizontal ones, require diligent attention to ensure proper healing and prevent infections. In this article, we will discuss how to identify signs of infection and provide effective treatments. Let’s dive in!
Identification of Infection
It’s crucial to differentiate between normal healing and infection during the initial stages of a horizontal lip piercing. Here are some indicators that may suggest an infection:
1. Early Symptoms
During the first two weeks after getting a horizontal lip piercing, it’s normal to experience the following mild symptoms:
- Minor swelling
- Occasional throbbing
- Mild heat or warmth
- Clear or white discharge
If these symptoms remain within a reasonable range and do not worsen, they are typically part of the normal healing process.
2. Signs of Infection
If you notice any of the following signs, it could indicate an infection:
- Redness or swelling extending beyond the piercing site
- Persistent warmth
- Worsening pain
- Excessive bleeding
- Formation of a bump at the front or back of the piercing
If you experience these symptoms or suspect an infection, it’s essential to take prompt action to prevent complications.
Treatment of an Infected Horizontal Lip Piercing
To effectively treat an infected horizontal lip piercing, follow these steps:
1. Don’t Play with or Remove the Jewelry
Avoid twisting or touching the jewelry as it can increase swelling and introduce more bacteria into the piercing. Touching the jewelry should be limited to cleansing purposes only. Removing the jewelry, especially in the early stages of infection, can lead to closure of the piercing hole and trap bacteria, exacerbating the infection.
2. Regular Cleansing with Saline Solution
Cleanse the infected area two to three times per day using a saline or salt solution. You can choose between a pre-made saline solution or a DIY sea salt solution:
- Pre-made saline solution: Soak a cloth or a sturdy paper towel with saline and gently wipe around each side of the jewelry, ensuring thorough cleaning of both the outside and inside of your lip or cheek. Repeat this process as needed.
- DIY sea salt solution: Mix 1 teaspoon of sea salt with 8 ounces of warm water until the salt dissolves. Follow the same cleansing steps mentioned above.
3. Warm Compress for External Symptoms
Applying a warm compress to the outside of the infected piercing can help minimize irritation, decrease swelling, and alleviate pain. Here are two options:
- Regular compress: Heat a damp towel or cloth-based item in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds. Apply the compress to the affected area for up to 20 minutes at a time, once or twice daily.
- Chamomile compress: Steep two chamomile tea bags in freshly boiled water for five minutes. Wrap each tea bag in a thin cloth or paper towel and apply to each side of the piercing hole for up to 10 minutes. Repeat this process daily.
4. Cold Compress for Internal Symptoms
To reduce pain and swelling on the inside of your lip or cheek, use a cold compress:
- Ice: Suck on ice or popsicles frequently, especially within the first two days of healing.
- Regular compress: Apply a bag of frozen vegetables or a soft ice pack to the affected area for up to five minutes at a time, twice daily.
5. Diluted Tea Tree Oil for External Symptoms
Tea tree oil possesses antimicrobial properties that can help clean and disinfect an infected lip piercing.