Signs of Lip Piercing Infections and How to Get Rid of the Infection

Lip piercing is practiced since ancient times in some communities as a tradition. However lip piercing and other body piercings has become a fashion in recent times. Body piercing is symbol of attraction according to some people but it has its own pros and cons. Most of the time people who have undergone body piercing and to be precise lip piercing has suffered from some kind of infection.

Even though the infection is easy to treat, it takes long time to heal if the infection is severe. At times a person has to remove the jewelry and the piercing has to be closed.

The infection is always accompanied with inflammation and pain and among body piercings; lip piercing is more prone to infection due to its proximity to the mouth which has many bacteria retained due to improper oral hygiene. Lip piercing infection is one of the complications of lip piercing. It can spread to other parts such as the teeth and the gums if not treated immediately.  The lip piercing can be infected by bacteria and viruses; therefore in the first place a person should take all the precautions to prevent lip infection while piercing.

Most of the times, lip infection is caused when unsterilized tools are used to pierce the lips.

There are many Signs and Symptoms of Lip Piercing Infection:

  • Pain at the site of piercing, which increases. There is throbbing pain which lasts for more than two days.
  • The lip gets swollen and red.
  • There is redness and inflammation at the site of piercing.
  • The site of piercing becomes irritated, it starts to itch and burn.
  • After a day or two, there may be fever.
  • Discharge from the site of piercing. The discharge can be foul and filed with pus.
  • Neck lymph nodes get swollen.
  • Eating and chewing becomes difficult.

If a person suffers any or all of the above symptoms after lip piercing, he should immediately consult his or her physician, so that the infection can be prevented from spreading to other parts.

How to get rid of a lip piercing infection?

  • Once you find that the infection has set in, do not try to squeeze the discharge from the infected site.
  • Do not try to remove the jewellery, as there are chances of developing an abscess. This will further delay the process of healing.
  • Mix sea salt in a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth with the solution at least three to four times in a day. Especially rinse and gargle the solution after every meal.
  • The sea salt solution will also help to remove the crusts and other debris that has developed around the pierced area.
  • You can also use an antibacterial mouth wash.
  • If there is swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, you need to be careful and immediately seek the physician’s advice.
  • Use gentle tooth brush and take precautions that a food particle does not lodge inside the piercing area.
  • Stop drinking alcohol and quit smoking as they prevent fast healing process.
  • Yogurt helps a lot as it contains good bacterial flora. Eat it regularly twice in a day.
  • For first few days you can chew or suck crushed ice as it helps to reduce inflammation and pain.

17 thoughts on “Signs of Lip Piercing Infections and How to Get Rid of the Infection

  • April 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I got my lip pierced 3 weeks ago. Now there is a bump on the inner side of my lip. Together, there is mild discharge. The condition is not painful. I use salt water gargling 3 times in a day. I also use Listerine. Is this an infection? I had similar type of problem when I had pierced my ears. Ultimately I had to take it out.

    • April 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      You are following the right procedure of salt water gargling. A slight swelling and discharge may be present many times in the initial stage. However, if the discharge is pus like yellow or if there is pain and redness at the piercing site than it is an indication of infection. When in doubt, it is always better to consult your doctor as he may be able to examine the wound in a better way.

  • September 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I got my lip pierced one week ago. My lips turned red after piercing. It is sore now. I have cleaned the piercing with salt water solution. There is pus oozing from the piercing. How can I treat this soreness?

  • October 22, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I got my lip pierced a month ago. And today it has come up with a big red lump on the inner side of my lip. It is sore to push down on and when I eat I notice it is a little sore. I think this is an infection. How do I get rid of it quickly without taking my piercing out?

    • October 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Best way to cool down the infection is to do salt water gargling three to four times in a day. Salt has healing properties because it is a mild antibacterial agent. Another option is to use antibacterial mouth wash. While brushing do it in a gentle way without hurting the affected area. Yogurt helps to fight bacteria. Eat yogurt and also apply it over the site. Do not touch the affected area with your fingers. Rinse your mouth with water every time you eat. If you do not find relief in few days, consult your physician.


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