Infected Septum Piercing

Piercing of the cartilage wall between two nostrils or septum piercing has gained immense popularity amongst the younger generation. While the piercing itself is a one-minute thing, healing may take up to a year, during which extra care should be taken as the risk of getting an infection is high. The most important thing is to take care and avoid getting it infected.

What Causes an Infected Septum Piercing?

Like all the other infections, bacteria and other pathogens are the main culprits here too. They gain access to bloodstream and infect the septum due to the following conditions:

  • Proper hygiene is not maintained during piercing, like unsterilized needles
  • Poor aftercare
  • Poor personal hygiene, like touching the spot with dirty hands
  • Jewelry with inappropriate size and wrong material (e.g. Some people are often allergic to nickel)

What Are the Symptoms of an Infected Septum Piercing?

How would you know that the septum has been infected? Well let's take a look at some of the common symptoms:

  • In case of recent piercings, redness around the jewelry that doesn't subside even after 2-3 weeks
  • Yellow or green pus like discharge from the pierced area
  • Soreness and tenderness in the pierced septum
  • Bleeding from an old or recent piercing (extreme cases)
  • Bump or lump on the piercing site
  • Pain and swelling in the septum (only normal and usual in first 2 weeks)
  • Formation of crusts

How to Treat an Infected Septum Piercing?

Managing a septum piercing infection could be tricky, majorly due to its location. You can follow the suggestions below to get a fast recovery.

1. Soak in Salt Water

This is a very common way of treating an infected septum piercing. Mix a teaspoon of sea salt with warm water and apply it on the infected site with a cotton bud or Q-tip brings relief. Do this for 5-6 minutes for 2-3 times a day. Also, make sure that you remove crusts or any hardened debris as they promote growth of bacteria.

2. Apply Piercing Solution

A piercing solution is often provided by the piercers, which is very effective in treating septum piercings infection. H2Ocean solution and H2O sea salt spray are also effective in treating infected septum and other body piercing. Home remedies like chamomile tea bags and -2 drops of essential lavender oil also work wonders and you can give them a shot.

3. Take Medications

An infection that gets severe day by day definitely needs to see a doctor for correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Oral antibiotics and ointments are often prescribed when the infection becomes severe and starts spreading. Self-medication shouldn't be done at any cost because a wrong medicine may affect the healing process and affect the piercing drainage and cause abscess.

4. Other Methods

Once an infected septum piercing is diagnosed, treatment becomes essential. But equally important is taking care of the infected septum and protecting it from further infections.

  • Avoid picking crusts or scabs on the site with fingers, as this can worsen bleeding and infection;
  • Avoid playing with the nose ring. Only turn it about 4 times after cleaning;
  • Quit smoking and drinking alcohol as they retard the healing process;
  • Do not use alcohol or alcohol containing substance to clean the infected septum.
  • Don't remove jewelry in case of infection as this will encourage painful abscess formation, eventually requiring a surgical procedure to drain it.

Negligence will not only be a cause of infection but can lead to a consequence as serious as nose deformation. Make sure you follow all the instructions and guidelines given at the time of piercing.

How to Prevent Infected Septum Piercing from Happening

Whether it's personal hygiene maintenance or simply by being cautious, preventive measures can make a great deal of difference when it comes to keeping septum infections at bay.

  • Make sure your hands are clean before you touch the affected area;
  • Don't touch or pick on your piercing;
  • Always use a fragrance-free face wash and wash your face thoroughly;
  • Always get the septum pierced by a professional and make sure they use sterilized equipment;
  • Make sure the jewelry you use is appropriate and won't cause any reactions, allergies or scarring;
  • Avoid swimming till the piercing is healed as pool water is a source of bacteria;
  • Tea tree oil and chamomile tea can soothe the area and reduce pain but tea tree oil should be diluted before use to avoid burning;
  • As far as anti-bacterial solutions are concerned, avoid using peroxides and bottled solutions as they kill bacteria but also kill healthy cells that are essential for healing.

Watch the video to know how to care and clean the septum piercing:

 
 
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