After you get your lip pierced there are a few things to know and keep in mind about caring for your piercing. The most important thing is to avoid infection. The following tips will demonstrate proper lip piercing aftercare. A few questions probably come up right away. How long does it take a lip piercing to heal? It takes 6-10 weeks for the lip piercing to heal. Due to the length of time it is extremely important to follow the below advice to avoid infection.
The Basics of Lip Piercing Aftercare:
- For the first three hours, avoid eating, smoking and drinking
- Be sure to wash your hand frequently, especially before touching the lip piercing
- Do a saline soak at least twice a day
- Until the wound has completely healed, avoid alcohol and tobacco
- Be sure to get a soft-bristled brush to brush teeth and try to brush teeth at least twice a day
- Take ibuprofen when tenderness or pain happens due to the lip piercing
- Rinse mouth with mouthwash after eating
Maybe you followed all the above steps and somehow you still suspect that you may have a lip piercing infection. There are signs and treatments of how to treat an infected lip. It’s a natural healing process. Infection is a bit rare because the mouth has a natural ability to fight infections. However, in the rare instance that an infection does develop it’s best to not let the infection go untreated.
Lip Piercing Infection Symptoms:
- Discharge from the piercing site
- A burning sensation (this indicates some type of allergic reaction to the piercing)
- Swelling, redness and/or tenderness
- Pain and Itching
- The formation of an abscess or development of bumps
- Fever, nausea and/or chills
- Difficulty chewing or eating
As a general rule of thumb you should just watch for any abnormalities after you get your lip pierced. Any abnormality or pain that lasts longer than 2 days is an indication of an infection of the pierced lip. These symptoms would be most noticeable when you yawn, laugh or stretch your lips in any way. However, just because you have an infection is no reason to completely panic, there are ways to help heal the infected lip at home.
How to Treat an Infected Lip Piercing:
First it’s best to recognize the signs of an infected lip. Signs of infection usually include an abnormal amount of swelling, redness, scabbing, tenderness and possible bleeding. Treatment for an infected lip piercing consists mainly of home remedies and over the counter medications.
- Pain Relief Medication – to reduce redness and throbbing, use over the counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen or Advil
- Antibiotics – I would most certainly recommend getting a prescription, but could use an over the counter antibiotic, it’s up to individual preference of what you buy, in more severe cases you will want your doctor to prescribe you an antibiotic
There are some home remedies that also help in healing infected lip piercings:
- Yogurt – it contains a lot of good bacteria that will help to clean your mouth
- Sea Salt Solution/alcohol free mouthwash – make a mixture of sea salt and water and gargle it in your mouth at least four times a day or use an alcohol mouthwash for the same amount of time
- Warm Compress – use a warm washcloth to dab the infected area twice a day
Even though there are over-the-counter medications and home remedies to help with lip piercing infections, if the infection does not seem to go away after using the above methods, consult your physician for treatment.
Other Lip Piercing Aftercare Tips:
There are just a few things to keep in mind when it comes to your lip piercing aftercare, whether you had gotten infection or not, it’s important to keep your lip piercing clean.
- Don’t touch your piercing unless your hands are clean or you are cleaning the piercing itself.
- Be sure not to use ointments that are petroleum based or products that have full strength rubbing alcohol as these can irritate your lip piercing and also cause the healing process to slow down.
- You also do not want to stop your aftercare routine until after the lip piercing has healed completely.
- Make sure to check your jewelry often to make sure everything is screwed on tightly, you should do this each time you clean your piercing.
- Also be sure to avoid chewing gum. Gum causes the formation of bacteria in your mouth, which can also lead to infections.
Just remember that you should treat your piercing like any other injury, you need to let it heal. You need to keep it protected, clean and also allow it to completely heal before changing out jewelry. If you keep it clean and follow the above aftercare tips, you should be able to avoid infections and have a healthy piercing that you can enjoy for years to come.
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