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Infected Lip Piercing Causes, Signs, Pictures, Treatment and Care

Is my lip piercing infected? How do I tell or what signs should I look for? And in case I actually have an infection on my pierced lip, how do I clean, heal, treat or get rid of it quickly? We will tell you what to do for a pierced lip that has been infected.

Body piercings are becoming very popular nowadays. They are fashionable and trendy. However, many people end up with infected piercings, which if ignored, could have serious consequences that might include scarring, swellings, pain among others.

Due to the close proximity of a lip piercing to your mouth, this type of a piercing is much more prone to infections especially for people who do not keep good oral hygiene. If ignore, the infection can easily spread to other parts of the mouth including gums and teeth. This therefore calls for immediate treatment of any lip piercing infection, irrespective of how small it might appear to be.

Inside Mouth lip piercing infection
Inside Mouth lip piercing infection

Causes of a pierced lip infection

The common causes of lip piercing infection are viruses, bacteria and other germ causing micro-organisms which are commonly found in your mouth, if you do not keep proper oral hygiene. You could have an infected lip piercing inside your mouth or from the outside part. Some of the common causes include the following:

  • Playing, touching or allowing other people touch your piercing with dirty hands
  • Using dirty face napkins
  • Taking foods loaded with yeast such as beer and wine while your piercing has not completely healed
  • Lip piercing rings and studs being cough or pulled by anything, including food while you are eating
  • Poor hygiene during the piercing process

Symptoms and Signs of infected lip piercing

Among the common signs of an infected lip piercing you should look for are:

  • Increase general aching pain that might last longer than two days
  • A swollen, red or pale site of lip piercing technically known as erythema
  • Severe inflammation or even eczema around the piercing
  • Irritation on the site of your piercing that is often accompanied with itching and a burning sensation
  • Difficulties in chewing and eating
  • If the infection is serious, you might have discharges that can be foul smelling or have pus that could be yellow in color.
  • Your neck lymph nodes might be swollen.
  • Fever, chills and soreness
  • The area around the piercing might be crusty

These are not the only sings of an infected lip piercing to watch for. Any abnormality, pain or aching that lasts for over two days should not be ignored. You will notice them as you yawn, laugh or stretch your lips. It is advisable to visit your physician for inspection and diagnosis of the infection.

Infected lip piercing pictures, photos and images

To easily help you picture out how a pierced lip will look like when infected, below are some images, pictures or photos. These should serve as an indicator or extra signs to look at on your piercing when it is infected.

Red bump on a lip piercing
Red bump on a piercing
Seriously infected lip piercing
Infection inside the mouth

How to treat an infected lip piercing, how to heal or treatments

Although treating an infected lip piercing is easy, it can take a long time to get completely healed. Being near your mouth, it is certain that this is one area you do not want to be infected since it might make eating cumbersome depending on the location of your lip piercing. So how do you treat an infected lip piercing or what are some of the good infected lip piercing treatment?

A. Use of medication

Once you notice your piercing has caught an infection, you might want to go for medications which will be mainly over the counter (OTC) antibiotics and pain relievers.

1. Pain relievers

To help reduce the symptoms such as aching and throbbing pain, it is advisable to go for over the counter pain killers such as ibuprofen.

2. Use of antibiotic

Other than the home remedies to get rid of any infection on your pierced lips we will cover in the next part, you could also opt for over the counter antibiotic. The decision to opt for antibiotics will be informed by the cause of the infection i.e. if the cause bacteria.  The actual infected lip piercing antibiotic choice will depend on what works well with you since there are so many types of antibiotics to use.

For very severe cases, let a doctor prescribe to you which antibiotics or medications to use for quick healing.

B. Home remedies for infected lip piercing

Besides using medication, you could opt for various home remedies to help heal your piercing quickly. There are many at home remedies and we are going to mention just a few common and effective ones which include:

1. Yogurt

Since it has the good bacteria that will “help balance the natural flora in your mouth [home-remedies-for-you.com], it is advisable to take a cup of yogurt twice daily.

2. Sea Salt

Prepare a sea salt solution and gaggle it in your mouth for about 4 times a day. You could also soak your lips the same sea salt solution. However, the solution should not be so strong because it can cause lip dryness (2-3 teaspoons of sea salt in about a half a cup of water should be fine). Alternative, buy saline solution

3. Alcohol free mouth washes

If you do not want to prepare a sea salt solution, going for alcohol free mouth washes will serve the same purpose.

4. Warm compressions

Dab the area around your piercing site with a clean warm pierce of cloth. To do this, you need to dip the piece of cloth in hot water, get rid of excess water before dabbing the affected part for a few minutes, twice each day.

C. Precaution to observe while treating the infection

As soon as you notice you have an infection, there are things you are not supposed to do if you are to get healed fast.

  • Leave your piercing alone, do not squeeze it (squeeze pus from the piercing) using your fingers as this will only make things worse.
  • Do not spin or take out aninfected lip ring since you might develop abscess as the infection gets trapped in the pierced hole. Furthermore, your jewelry will be important in ensuring the infection drains.
  • Stop drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes to speed up the pierced lip healing process.
  • Avoid any antibiotic ointments unless advised so by your physician since they often entrench dirt into the piercing slowing healing time.
  • Although they might not have a direct effect, spicy foods should be avoided since they can cause irritations.

Note: At times, removing infected lip ring might be advised by a doctor depending on the nature and extent of your infection. Ensure you first see a specialist before you make such a decision.

How to clean an infected lip piercing or infected lip piercing care

We have seen the various ways on how to heal an infected lip piercing. It is worthwhile to mention something small on how to clean an infected lip piercing so as to avoid further spread of the infected and make its healing much faster.  So how do you clean an infected lip piercing?

  1. Wash your hands before you touch or begin cleaning your pierced area as this will reduce the chances of getting re-infected.
  2. Using an antibacterial mouthwash that is alcohol-free, clean the area around your piercing twice a day. This will help in the clean of the piercing from inside your mouth.
  3. On the outside part of your mouth, you can use warm water and an anti-bacterial soap.
  4. Finally keep your lip jewelry very clean all the times as this will enhance the healing speed after it has been infected.

More Tips on infected lip piercing care

  • Sanitizing and keeping proper mouth hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth as well as rinsing off your mouth at least twice a day. Do not overdo it.
  • While cleaning your mouth, ensure you remove any foot particles that might be in or near your piercing hole using a very soft brush to avoid hurting your healing piecing. Avoid perfumes and products that have alcohol around the piercing.
  • For people whose occupation makes them sweat a lot such as sports, it is advisable to wash the piercing 4-5 times a day.
  • Cleaning your face towel and bedding will help reduce re-infection as these fabrics will often come in contact with your piercing site.

Note: Some of these ways of caring for an infected lip piercing can still be important for people caring for a fresh piercing on their lips.

When to see a doctor

If there is not improvement after trying all we have discussed in this article, you need to see a doctor for further treatment. Do not ignore it.

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About Vladmir Kucherov

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  1. Comment I did put in a lip piercing in myself a day ago and it is swollen red around it hurts and my ball invront of the pearcing os almost in the hole yellow stuff comes out what can I use at home besides salt please I need help it hurts

  2. I woke up this morning with my lip swollen and sore, the ball on my lip ring won’t twist off for some reason or i would take it out to make sure it’s all clean. What should I do?

    • It seems like your lip piercing has an infection. Clean it with saline solution for about a day or two. If you do not see any change, see a doctor.

  3. I got my snake bites down yesterday, there isn’t much pain, it’s very slight if my lips stretch from laughing. My right piercing is doing fine, no redness or signs of infection. The left piercing however, has redness around it, and the hole on the outside has stretched abit, which is causing the stud to go into it a bit. I’ve been using h2ocean to treat and a cotton swab to swab out the little bit of pus that’s in the hole.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    • Its early to tell if your left piercing is infected since you do not have a vivid signs of infection. Continue with the after care routine for a a few more days. If it does not improve, see a doctor or your piercer.

  4. I did my piercing myself. I didn’t put in any piercing. Would anything happen? There is only a black mark.

    • If the piercing has completely healed, nothing will happen. The black mark might just be a scar. However, if not fully healed, without a jewelry, it will close down

  5. I got my lip piercing about a month ago and just recently within the past 2 weeks a white bump type thing appeared on the inside of my lip piercing. There is no pain but it Im not sure if this is normal and I’m concerned. I’m cleaning it with salt water and mouth was frequently, should I be worried or is this a normal part of the healing process? Thanks.

  6. I got my piercings like almost a month and a half and I have like a bump on the outside on the ring and it bugs me a bit and how can I treet it

  7. I rubbed by lips too strong with a clean napkin and also it was very cold here in NYC and now I have a very sore lip for the past 7 days. No pus but just soreness and stinging especially when I rinse my mouth with salt and water. Any suggestions?
    Is it a good idea to put on some Bacitrin ointment? I’m scared my lips will be infected.
    I have been using unscented Rosemary olive oil lip balm from whole paycheck but it’s not curing up the problem.

  8. I have a cut on my lip for 8 days after running my lips too hard with a napkin
    Now they are getting swollen and stinging when I use salt or salt and wAter. I use a Rosemary lipbalm with olive oil from whole foods too. WjAt to do?

    • 8 days is a long time and your lip should have healed. Try using Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment and if it does not improve, see a doctor.

  9. My skin inside my lip is growing over my stud what do I do??

    • Go for a larger stud or ball that does not skin into your piercing hole. Also, check to confirm that the piercing is not infected!

  10. I got my piercing about 2 mths now and when I took my ring out to clean my lip andring with saline rinse and also salt and water t closed up on me in just 10 minutes, now I’m afraid that my lip is going to get infected I dont know if it infected or not it has a bump on it but ive had it does the stainless steel not agree with my skin or do I need to go to sterling silver

  11. I’ve had my lip ring two months I woke up yesterday it was fine..I ate some gumbo and it started to swell and its sore and irritated.. I took my lip ring out..and it its still swollen and it hurts..is this a affection .the pain is In the inside of my mouth

    • Unless you injured you piercing while eating gumbo, what you are describing are signs of infection. Old piercings do get infected too.

  12. I got my lip done a couple of months ago it just now started to hurt and looks weird inside my mouth should I go to the doctors or try and treat it myself?

    • Go see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment since it has began looking weird already as you said.

  13. Idk if its normal its not really draining or sore but I can mash it against the inside when I clean it and a little bit of yellow colored stuff comes out my friend says its fine idk .. Its a little red around it to. What do I need to do?

    • I got my lip pierced two weeks ago Friday and it’s still a little red bump on the outside of my lip under my ball how long does it take for it to actually go away is it normal?

  14. Should it stop hurting and not be swollen 2 days later even if it was just done?

  15. I just got my lip repeirced after 4 years and I went to clean it tonight and a little bit of white stuff was around my bar from my lip to my ball

  16. I just got my lip repeirced after 4 years and I went to clean it tonight and a little bit of white stuff was around my bar from my lip to my ball what could it be need information

  17. I’ve had my labret stud for 8 years, and it’s gotten infected a few days ago. I took it out today as it was so small and tight, the swelling was just too painful. I’m going to have to put my original, longer one back in, I suppose while I treat the horrible pain, swelling, & irritation. What a pain…

  18. My piercing the inner piece is going into my flesh on my lip causing swelling and pus to come exit out from outside of piercing what should i do, should i remove the piercing its very difficult to get a hold of though.

    • Larhendrya hughley

      Did u have any success with your piercing? I’m having the same issue. Of so, what did u do?

  19. For the most part salt water solution should treat any infection. Of this hasn’t worked in a week and symptoms are getting worse you probably need to see a doctor.. You will always get some degree of stuff on the outside of a new piercing.. But if you have yellow or green fluid looking like pus from inside the piercing site. If you have redness swelling and tenderness… And it doesn’t seem to be settling it’s probably an infection… Speak to your doctor but advise them it’s best if you do not remove the jewelry. Use the saline solution 4 times a day (sea salt with no iodine in it works best) if your piercing is fairly well established you could take it out… Soak it in the saline for a few seconds and push it back through… Do this four times a day as it forces the saline into the piercing site and into the heart of the infection. If that doesn’t clear up in about a week.. It’s time to consult the doctor for sure.

  20. I got my snake bites about a week ago and my ball came unscrewed while I was eating and I rushed to the bathroom to put it back on it took about 15 minutes to put it back on and then white blob stuff started coming out so I took a cotton swab and dipped it in some non id. Warm sea salt water and I waited and then wipped away the water and I woke up the next morning and I looked at them and they had clear and yellow oozue coming from both sides just sticking around the stud but they weren’t swollen or red what do I do? Should I stop pushing the back of the stud with my tongue to clean the bar?
    I brush my teeth five times a day
    I use non alcohol mouth wash (x5)
    And I use sea salt letting them soak for five minutes and then swab around on the outside.
    Am I doing this correctly?

  21. I got my snakebite hoops 4 days ago, they are slightly red and hurt to spin. I’m trying not to touch them because that can cause bacteria and an infection. The swelling has gone down but I don’t know why the redness is there. They don’t hurt unless they are hit or spun sometimes. Other times when I spin them it doesn’t hurt. And yes is crusts up when I wake up but that’s because it’s jut sitting there. I clean it 2 times on the outside and 2 times inside with mouth wash a day. How long should they take to be healed and is it infected…?

  22. I got my snake bite hoops 4 days ago professionally, they have been sore and red since the day I got them. They have crust on them when I wake up but that’s normal. I just clean it with a q tip warm water and soap. They are red and hurt to eat things. What is wrong with them?!?

  23. Mine has whiter skin around the hole and there’s redness all around it. Is this infected? How do I heal if so?

  24. I have what feels like a ball in my lip peircing what does tht mean? Is it okay?

  25. I just got my labret done it’s been 2 days and now my lip is swollen and it’s way worse than what it was when I first got it. What should I do? ?

    • When I got my medusa it was swollen for about a week but if you leave it alone and keep it clean it should go down .

  26. I’ve had my medusa piercing for about a year now and some change , for some reason there’s a slight tiny bump on it. Can this be treated by just putting tea tree on it ? Or baking soda or something?

  27. I did my snake bites 3 days ago and my outer lip is bruised and swollen. Is this normal

  28. Hi, a long story short is that I pierced my own lip and made sure to clean and sanitize everything it looked as though it were healing properly due to the fact that I have another piercing my new lip piercing the spike was stuck on the labret and had to be removed with wire cutters I noticed after it began to swell and when I take the piercing out and feel it it feels like there is a knot in my lip. It isstill healing I don’t want to factor out that but it is not oozing yellow pus it’s White but I was thinking maybe it’s infected or maybe it’s due to biting my lip quite a lot trying to get the labret out the other day…..any suggestions as to if it’s an infection or not

  29. Desiree Rodriguez

    I got a manroe piercing my lip healed over the back what do I do not bleedsvalot n is swollen should ibhaveca er remove it?

  30. I’ve had my piercing for over a month and I woke up a few days ago and it was really swollen. Im taking antibiotics now and ibuprofen but it keeps swelling up when I sleep and won’t fully go away. It’s not leaking anything much. It’s inside my mouth.

  31. I got my lip pierced two weeks ago I still have a little redness on the outside of my lip a small little bump is that normal how long does it take to actually heal?

  32. I got my lip pierced about 6 days ago. My on the outside my lip has started to get dry and it is red. I took it out for for a second to see it for a second and there was white slimy stuff on the lip ring. I rinsed it with water then i checked my lip and I had some yellow pus that I got out. I’m not sure what to do. I’m afraid my lip is going to get worse. Any suggestions?

  33. I got mu lip pierced like 2 months ago hasent showed signed of inffection no puss 1 is doing good the other the in side of my mouth around the lip pirceing is like a bumb outwards? Dont knoe if infecction or not it doesnt hurt or anything. Just outwards?

  34. My lip hurt really bad in I cant take my lip ring out it going in side my lip

  35. Leeann Sampson

    I had gotten my lip pierced a few weeks ago and it is really sensitive. The swelling has gone down but when I move it it stings a little and it hurts. Their is no signs of infection only a little white fluids and the tenderness. I’m a little worried, is this just the healing process or the start of an infection

  36. I just got my lip done about 3 days ago and I gave yellow whiteish discharge coming out of where the hole is. Is this a sign of an infection?

  37. Its been almost a year and i still get a swollen bump above my piercing and ive been doing salime soaks and it wont go away and now on the inside of my lip scar tissue seems to be coming out, suggestions?

  38. I got my medusa pierced like 4 days ago and like my teeth hurt when I tried to chew. I have a crown from a previous past Abcess. I’m not sure if the crown itself has anything to do with it. I wasn’t really chewing much when I got it. I barely stastarted chewing like the 3rd day. Is it normal for my teeth to hurt? As well as my lip it’s still swollen. Is it normal?

  39. Nancy Cardenas

    I got my lip re pierced two weeks ago. Now the skin inside my lip is closing over the labret. There’s a tiny hole and iam having trouble taking the labret out. What do I do?

  40. Blanca Vazquez

    I got my piercing done 5 days ago and I’ve been doing the cleaning prices and everything but there’s like 2 purple spots inside my lip but my piercing looks great still it’s not swelling it’s not red it does not hurt no bleeding nothing has happened to it. But idk if the two purple spots near the piercing could be a infection?.

  41. I re open my lip piercing last night and it’s a little tight around my lip ring and it had puss come out with a little blood but I also had to stretch my whole a little what do I do

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