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    11 Effective Home Remedies To Treat Infected Piercing

    Piercing, especially the ears and nose, is a relatively common practice. But with the new trends coming in, people have started piercing various other parts such as upper lip, eyebrow, navel etc., to name a few.

    A newly done piercing always need some care as there are chances of it getting infected. However, it is also true that an old piercing can also get infected. Constant tugging, changing the piercing frequently and not taking proper care of it can be a few reasons why your piercing might have got infected.

    Home Remedies To Treat Infected Piercing

    Although most of the people experience the usual discomfort and pain during the healing process, there are a few who have quite a different experience. And as they say, you can't be too careful. There is a certain after-care to be done after getting a piercing.

    So whether it is a newly-done piercing or an old piercing that has become infected, here are some remedies that can help you treat the infection and alleviate the pain.

    Home Remedies To Treat Infected Piercing

    1. Soap water

    It is very important to clean your piercing every day so that the area is sterilised and the chances of infection are minimum. But do remember to keep the area dry as moisture can lead to infection and accumulation of pus in the area.

    What you need to do

    • Take an antibacterial soap and mix it with some water to make a solution.
    • Soak a cotton ball in this solution.
    • Gently cleanse the area using this cotton ball.
    • Use this to clean the area twice a day.

    2. Tea tree oil

    Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that prevent and treat the infection. The anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil soothe the inflamed and irritated skin.[1]  If your pierced area has already been infected, use tea tree oil on the area. But tea tree oil can't be used directly on the skin. So make sure to always dilute the oil before using.

    What you need to do

    • Take 1 tbsp of distilled water in a bowl.
    • Add 3-5 drops of tea tree oil in the bowl and mix well.
    • Dip a cotton ball in the solution.
    • Gently apply it on the affected area.
    • Leave it on for 30 minutes.
    • Rinse the area using lukewarm water.
    • Pat the area dry.

    3. Turmeric

    Turmeric has been long used for its healing properties. The golden spice turmeric has a compound known as curcumin that has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, thus it helps to treat the infection.[2] The antiseptic properties of turmeric heal the skin and keep it clean.

    What you need to do

    • Take 1 tsp turmeric powder in a bowl.
    • Add enough water in it so as to make a paste.
    • Apply this paste on the infected area. Use only clean hands while touching the area.
    • Leave it on until it dries. It may take a tad bit longer.
    • Rinse it off using water and pat the area dry.
    • Use this remedy 2-3 times a day.

    4. Aloe vera gel

    Aloe vera is well-known for its medicinal properties. It soothes the inflamed and irritated skin. It has antibacterial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria and thus prevent infection. Moreover, it possesses antiseptic and analgesic properties that prevent the growth of bacteria and provide relief from pain.[3]

    Aloe vera is an effective remedy to heal your wounds[4]  and it can help with the healing your piercing. The best part is that aloe vera can even be used for sensitive skin without any harmful effects.

    What you need to do

    • In a bowl of cold water, soak the aloe vera leaf for 15 minutes.
    • After 15 minutes, take out the leaf and extract the gel from the leaf.
    • Apply the gel on the affected area. This is especially useful for pierced ears.
    • Leave it on for 30 minutes.
    • Rinse it off using lukewarm water.
    • Don't forget to pat the area dry.
    • You can use this remedy 2-3 times in a day.

    5. Saltwater

    Salt has antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of harmful microbes.[5] It not only prevents infection, but also facilitates the healing process.

    Besides, salt has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties to soothe the inflamed and irritated skin and keep the area clean.

    What you need to do

    • Take a glass of water in a pan and bring it to a boil.
    • Add ¼ tbsp of sea salt into the water and stir well.
    • Let the solution cool down a bit so that it doesn't burn your skin.
    • Soak a cotton ball in the solution.
    • Gently wipe your piercing with this salt solution.

    6. Ice

    Cold compress using ice is also an effective way to deal with your piercing.
    Ice will not only provide a cooling effect but is also helpful to numb the pain of the piercing.

    What you need to do

    • Wrap a few ice cubes in a cloth.
    • Use this on the infected area.
    • Do this at a regular interval of a few hours.
    • Make sure not to put the ice directly on the affected area as it may worsen the situation.

    7. Emu oil

    Another effective alternative for treating your piercing is emu oil. This oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the inflamed skin. Besides, it also helps to heal the wounds.[6]

    What you need to do

    • Take some emu oil in a bowl.
    • Warm up the oil a little.
    • Soak a cotton ball in the warm oil.
    • Gently apply it on the affected area.
    • You can use this remedy for about a month to treat your piercing.

    8. Neem

    Most of us are aware of the benefits that neem plant offers. You can either use neem leaves paste or the neem stick for the infected piercing. Neem has antibacterial properties that eliminate harmful bacteria. The anti-inflammatory properties of neem help soothe the infected area.[7] Moreover, neem drains out the pus from the infected piercing.

    What you need to do

    • Add a handful of leaves in a cup of water and bring it to a boil.
    • Let it stew for about 5 minutes before turning off the heat.
    • Strain the solution.
    • Use the neem leaves to make a paste.
    • Use the neem water to give a rinse to the infected area.
    • Now apply the neem leaves paste on the affected area.
    • Leave it on for 30 minutes.
    • Rinse it off using lukewarm water and pat dry.
    • Additionally, you can pick out a thin stick from the neem tree and put it in your piercing.
    • Keep this stick in your piercing until it is healed and then you can swap it with the jewellery of your choice.

    9. Basil

    Basil, or tulsi as we commonly know it as, can also help in treating the infected piercing. Basil has antimicrobial properties that eliminate the infection-causing bacteria. Besides, it possesses anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the infected skin.[8]

    What you need to do

    • Blend a handful of basil leaves to make a paste.
    • Gently apply the paste on the affected area.
    • Leave it on for 30 minutes.
    • Rinse it off using lukewarm water.
    • Pat the area dry.

    10. Clove essential oil

    Clove essential oil is another effective remedy for an infected piercing. Clove oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties that keep the pathogens at bay.

    The anti-inflammatory properties of this essential oil soothe the skin and provide relief to the inflamed skin. Additionally, the antiseptic properties of clove oil treat and heal the infected area.[9]

    What you need to do

    • Add 10 drops of clove oil to 1 tbsp of coconut oil and mix well.
    • Dip a cotton ball in the mixture.
    • Apply it on the affected area.
    • Leave it on for 15 minutes.
    • Rinse it off using lukewarm water and pat dry.

    11. Castor oil

    Castor oil is another essential oil that can be used for treating a piercing. Castor oil has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that eliminate infection-causing bacteria and heal the skin. The anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil soothe the skin and reduce swelling and infection.[10]

    What you need to do

    • Rinse the affected area using salt water.
    • Dip a cotton ball in castor oil.
    • Gently apply it on the affected area.
    • Leave it on for 20 minutes.
    • Rinse it off using lukewarm water and pat dry.

    Things To Remember

    • Clean the pierced area every day. Do so gently and using clean hands.
    • Make sure to keep the area dry.
    • Avoid using alcohol on the wound.
    • Don't play with the piercing.
    • Let the wound heal on its own time.
    • Don't change the jewellery frequently.
    • Always make sure to sterilise the jewellery before putting it in the piercing.
    • Don't use all these remedies at once. Choose the one you find comfortable and stick to that.

    View Article References
    1. [1] Carson, C. F., Hammer, K. A., & Riley, T. V. (2006). Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties.Clinical microbiology reviews,19(1), 50–62.
    2. [2] Moghadamtousi, S. Z., Kadir, H. A., Hassandarvish, P., Tajik, H., Abubakar, S., & Zandi, K. (2014). A review on antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity of curcumin.BioMed research international,2014, 186864.
    3. [3] Surjushe, A., Vasani, R., & Saple, D. G. (2008). Aloe vera: a short review.Indian journal of dermatology,53(4), 163–166.
    4. [4] Hashemi, S. A., Madani, S. A., & Abediankenari, S. (2015). The Review on Properties of Aloe Vera in Healing of Cutaneous Wounds.BioMed research international,2015, 714216
    5. [5] Wijnker, J. J., Koop, G., & Lipman, L. J. A. (2006). Antimicrobial properties of salt (NaCl) used for the preservation of natural casings.Food Microbiology,23(7), 657-662.
    6. [6] Qiu, X. W., Wang, J. H., Fang, X. W., Gong, Z. Y., Li, Z. Q., & Yi, Z. H. (2005). Anti-inflammatory activity and healing-promoting effects of topical application of emu oil on wound in scalded rats.Di 1 jun yi da xue xue bao= Academic journal of the first medical college of PLA,25(4), 407-410.
    7. [7] Subapriya, R., & Nagini, S. (2005). Medicinal properties of neem leaves: a review.Current Medicinal Chemistry-Anti-Cancer Agents,5(2), 149-156.
    8. [8] Cohen, M. M. (2014). Tulsi-Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons.Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine,5(4), 251.
    9. [9] Nuñez, L., & Aquino, M. D. (2012). Microbicide activity of clove essential oil (Eugenia caryophyllata).Brazilian journal of microbiology : [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology],43(4), 1255–1260.
    10. [10] Iqbal, J., Zaib, S., Farooq, U., Khan, A., Bibi, I., & Suleman, S. (2012). Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, and Free Radical Scavenging Potential of Aerial Parts of Periploca aphylla and Ricinus communis.ISRN pharmacology,2012, 563267.

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