March 17, 2010

Symptoms & Care for Infected Pierced Lips

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

Lip piercings are gaining a lot of popularity around the world, especially with teens and young adults. This practice has been followed for centuries in some communities, though in modern times, it has become more of a fashion statement. While this form of body art may look very attractive, there are a few drawbacks associated with it. Almost everyone who gets their lip pierced is prone to developing an infection, especially if they do not take care of the piercing site properly.

In most instances, a lip piercing infection is not really serious, though it usually takes a long amount of time to heal. However, because of its location, an infection on the lip can cause you a lot of discomfort and embarrassment. If the infection is severe, you may also be advised to remove the lip stud and allow the piercing to close. Left unchecked and untreated, a lip piercing infection can spread to the other parts of your mouth like your teeth and gums.

Preventing an infection through proper care and hygienic measures is a lot easier than getting it treated. Therefore, if you are planning to get a lip piercing, do find out about the appropriate aftercare, so that you do not suffer from an infection.


An infection occurs in a lip piercing when bacteria or viruses enter the site. Your lips are adjacent to your mouth, which usually harbors several different kinds of bacteria. It is not difficult for some of these bacteria to find their way to a lip piercing. In most instances, the infection occurs when you do not take care of the piercing site appropriately. Some of the other common causes of lip piercing infections include:

•    Playing with your lip stud or piercing, without washing your hands
•    Poor oral hygiene
•    Use of towels or napkins on the face that have not been cleaned properly
•    Consumption of foods and beverages that contain yeast, including wine and beer
•    Getting the stud pulled or caught on a food item while eating

To reduce the risk of an infection, always get your lip pierced by a professional, who can guide you regarding the dos and donts that you need to follow. Ensure that you follow the steps suggested by the piercer, to the tee.

Some instances of lip piercing infections can also occur if the equipment used has not been sterilized properly.


In case your lip piercing gets infected for any reason, one of the first signs that you may notice is pain and discomfort when you yawn or stretch your mouth. If the infection worsens, you may also face some difficulty while eating or speaking. Some of the other symptoms of a lip piercing infection that you may experience include:

  • Crusting around the piercing
  • Discharge of yellowish pus from the site, often accompanied by a foul smell
  • Excessive redness around the lip stud
  • Fever
  • Itching, irritation and burning around the site of the piercing
  • Severe, throbbing and persistent pain
  • Swelling in the neck lymph nodes
  • Warmth and soreness when the site is touched

The intensity of the symptoms will probably depend upon the severity of the infection. Do visit your doctor as soon as you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above.


Over the counter pain medication like ibuprofen can help relieve some of the symptoms of a lip piercing infection. In case the infection is severe, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

As soon as you realize that you are suffering from a lip piercing infection, make sure that you just leave it alone. Do not touch it or try to squeeze the pus out with your fingers as you will only worsen the infection and cause it to spread.

It is also imperative that you do not try to remove your lip stud after the piercing gets infected. Doing this will cause the infection to get trapped within the piercing hole and you could develop an abscess. The jewelry allows the infection to drain, which is why it should be left in.

In addition to medication, you could also seek relief using a few simple home remedies. Given below are some of the remedies that could be helpful:

  • Ice: Suck on a few ice chips, as they help reduce the pain and swelling. This remedy also reduces the risks of an inflammation.
  • Yogurt: The good bacteria present in yogurt can help balance the natural flora in your mouth. Have a bowl of yogurt at least twice a day.
  • Sea Salt: Prepare a solution of sea salt as well as water and gargle with it at least three or four times a day, especially after mealtimes. You could also use any antibacterial (alcohol-free) mouthwash instead.
  • Warm Compress: Dip a clean cloth in some hot water and wring out the excess liquid. Gently dab this compress on to the infected area for a few minutes. Repeat this exercise twice a day.

The treatment carried out, in the event of an infection sustained due to lip piercing, should be followed even after the infection has been cured completely. While the treatment is on, avoid unhealthy practices like smoking and drinking alcohol. Have the lip piercing checked and monitored by a doctor regularly.