Although tongue piercing wound should heal by its own within 6 to 8 weeks, some of the people having their tongue pierced experience unexpected infection disrupting the healing process. This infection—considering the fragile and sensitive location, is very painful and uncomfortable. However, knowing all the symptoms and treatments for an infectious tongue pierce can help you restoring the proper healing process.
Observing the symptoms of an infected tongue piercing
- An infected tongue piercing shows some visible symptoms you can observe. These include severe swelling, redness or red streak around the pierced area, yellowish discharge, elevating pain, and sometimes, severe fever or chilling sensation. Observing these signs and symptoms will enable you to immediately treat the infected spot and inhibit the infection.
- Even if you observe these symptoms, avoid taking off the stud off by yourself, as this may worsen the infection and cause unnecessary drainage and bleeding.
Cleansing the infected piercing
- Once you notice your tongue piercing is infected, you need to clean the area first before applying any kind of medications and treatments. To cleanse an infected tongue piercing, you can rinse it with water or saline solution, which is a natural anti-bacteria.
- To rinse the piercing with water or saline solution, you can use a needleless syringe, which is filled with the water or solution and squirted onto the affected wound. Using a syringe enables you to effectively aim to the piercing to cleanse it thoroughly.
- If no needleless syringe is available, use a non-alcoholic mouthwash to rinse your entire mouth, including the infected piercing. Gargle the mouthwash by focusing it on your tongue for 10 seconds or more before spitting it out.
- After cleansing the mouth and infectious tongue with any solution available, always spit the solution out. Do not swallow it since it may contain numerous bacteria which can be harmful if ingested.
- Swelling tends to occur when a pierced tongue is infected. Since piercing produces a hole on your tongue, where the stud sits, swelling might cause uncomfortable tightness to the entire tongue.
- To reduce pain resulted by infected tongue piercing, it is important to reduce the swelling first. This will eventually lessen the pain and restore the healthy pierced tongue.
- To reduce swelling, gently and carefully suck a small ice chip. An ice chip is going to constrict the blood vessels, reducing blood flow into the infected site. Repeat this initial treatment twice or three times a day until the swelling goes down.
Compressing the infection site
- Since it is not advised to take the piercing stud off the infected piercing, you will need to do helpful treatments with any method which can reach the tissues around the wound without taking off the stud.
- Warm salt water compress will be helpful for this purpose. It increases blood supply to the infected area, speeding up the healing process. To compress the infected site, you can soak a cotton ball into the warm salt water and apply it onto the infected tongue piercing. This will kill existing bacteria, relieve the pain, and boost the healing process.
Taking oral antibiotics
- If the infected piercing does not only cause pain and discomfort, but also fever and chilling sensation, it is advisable to combine the topical medication or home remedies with oral antibiotics which can be helpful in eliminating bacteria and improve the infection condition.
- Medications containing ibuprofen is the most frequent medications to be prescribed for tongue piercing. This is a painkiller, so make sure you are not driving after consuming the medication.
Visit the doctor
- Although very painful, tongue piercing infection can be self-cared at home using proper and suitable home remedies and medication. However, some kinds of severe infection may lead to hepatitis, a disease which can deteriorate your entire health condition.
- See the doctor if you notice the infection is getting more serious and have these symptoms:
- Continuous bleeding and pus discharge.
- Elevating pain and fever.
- Motion—eating, talking, and chewing limitation.
- Severe swelling and redness which spread onto the entire tongue.