Infected Lip Piercing Bump Sign and Care

How long does an infected lip piercing take to heal? This will depend on how timely treatment is and how well the infected piercing is cared for. That is why we researched on the causes of infection, the treatments, sterilization and home remedy options to help hasten the lip piercing healing

Infected Lip Piercing

A lip piercing is any piercing done around the mouth. The placement and positioning of the piercing varies and so do the names. Monroe piercings are found on the upper lip, labret piercings centered on the lower lip, Monroe on the upper left lip, Medusa piercings at the top lip center, Dahlia on both sides and angel bites. Whichever type of piercing you opt for, proper hygiene during the procedure and adhering to set after care procedures are necessary to ensure healing. The right jewelry is also important. Where these are not observed, you end up suffering a lip piercing infection.  

Lip Piercing Infection Causes

The mouth and by extension, the lip area stays moist most of the times. This provides a perfect environment for proliferation of micro-organisms and thus opportunistic infections. Oral infections coupled with poor hygienic practices all make it quite easy to have a lip piercing infected. 

In most cases, infection does not occur immediately you leave the piercing studio. It takes a while for it to manifest and for the signs to show. Some of the causes of lip piercing infection include:
  • Poor hygiene within the piercing premises during the process. Where the piercing equipment used was not sterilized. This could include use of contaminated piercing needle or jewelry.
  • Handling the fresh piercing using dirty hands either by the pierce or other people.
  • Lip piercing jewelry being pulled either by hand or by getting caught in things such as food and thus inflicting trauma on the piercing wound.
  • Improper jewelry whereby it could be too tight, small or the wrong material. Jewelry could also cause allergic reactions and see you suffer infection.
  • Consumption of foods and drinks rich in yeast. These include beer and wine consumption.
  • Poor general and oral hygiene including the use of dirty face towels, napkins
  • Ineffective lip piercing after care.

Infected Lip Piercing Symptoms and Signs

So, how do you tell if a lip piercing is infected? Immediately I got mine I kept wondering “Is my lip piercing infected or just healing?” Well, the telltale signs of a lip piercing infection are usually obvious. The area will show symptoms common to other forms of infections like seen below.


One way to tell if your piercing is healing or infected is by observing the discharge produced. A healing piercing will produce a clear discharge. This is the most obvious sign that the lip piercing site is infected. Serious infections usually take a green or yellow coloration and will come with a foul smell while minor infections will have a whitish appearance.

Crusty Scabs

Where the above discharge is not cleaned off, it will accumulate and start crusting. The lip piercing site will also start scabbing. These will end up slowing the healing process further.

Irritation and Inflammation

In cases where the infection is as a result of allergic reaction and sensitivity to the type of jewelry used, the piercing site will have a burning sensation. This will not go away even after properly cleaning the area. Additionally, wearing the ring too tight or too loose could cause irritation. In case the raw wound is subjected to cosmetic products, irritation could also occur.

Lip Piercing Swelling

While it is normal to have some swelling, redness and tenderness immediately after the piercing procedure, these should subside with time. If after the swelling has gone down the site starts swelling again and feeling hot, lip piercing swelling is likely the cause. This is usually accompanied by a hot feeling.

Infected Lip Piercing Bump

Once a lip piercing gets infected, it is likely that it will develop a bump. This is usually an abscess meaning it is filled with pus. This will mostly occur if there is inefficient drainage of discharge around the piercing or as a result of the jewelry rejection thus causing the body to react in defense.


In addition to the above, a pierce may experience a stinging or throbbing kind of pain when the piercing gets infected. Other additional signs of infection include:
  • Itching
  • Chills and fever
  • Nausea

Infected Lip Piercing Treatment    

Occurrence of infection on any kind of piercing prolongs its healing duration and could also lead to other complications such as scarring. To facilitate smooth healing, it is important to ensure infected lip piercing treatment is done immediately it is noticed. Talk to your professional piercer immediately so they can evaluate and advice on whether to see a general practitioner. Here are some treatments they may be recommended.

Saline Solution

A salt soak is common treatment for piercings. This can be bought in a drug store close to you. Depending on whether the lip piercing infection is on the inside or outside, gargle the solution or use the same to cleanse the pierced site. This is most appropriate where the infection is only minor. Use it for up to three times a day until the infection clears.

Antibacterial Mouth Wash

Since a number of lip piercings go through the mouth, the use of antibacterial ointments and creams is not recommended. Instead, using an antibacterial mouth wash is. Settle for one that is sterile and alcohol-free. This should help hasten the healing process.

Oral Antibiotics and Pain Relievers

These are most appropriate for sever lip piercing infections. In case you are experiencing pain, ibuprofen can help. Where the cause of infection is suspected to be bacteria, oral antibiotics can help clear the infection fast.

Home Remedies for Infected Lip Piercing    

In addition to the above treatments, there are other ways on how to treat an infected lip piercing at home. Try the following home remedies to relief the symptoms and enhance healing.

Ice: Sucking on some ice cubes or using them as compresses can help reduce swelling and pain on the infected site. 

Yoghurt: Consume some to help balance the natural flora in the mouth and prevent further proliferation of bacteria.

In addition to these, you can use turmeric, witch hazel extract and aloe vera natural remedies to treat the infection.

How To Clean Infected Lip Piercing - How To Disinfect A Infected Lip Piercing       

In addition to knowing how to treat the already infected lip piercing using medication and home remedies, it is important to know how to disinfect an infected lip piercing. This will help hasten healing as well as prevent further infection. Below is the procedure on how to clean an infected lip piercing.
  1. To start with, wash your hands thoroughly with soap to ensure that you do not transfer more infection causing microorganisms to the piercing site.
  2. With the piercing cleansing solution given to you by your piercer, dip some sterile gauze into the solution. Use this to gently clean the piercing. Where there are crusty debris, soften them up before removal.
  3. Once done with removal of any crusts and discharge, rotate your jewelry gently while cleansing it too. Ensure no trauma is inflicted on the piercing while at it.
  4. Rinse off the area using warm water before dabbing the piercing site completely dry.
  5. Where you have no cleansing solution, a saline solution will suffice. This cleansing procedure may be repeated up to three times within the day.

Infected Lip Piercing Care Tips

Caring for an infected lip piercing 10 should be aimed at ensuring the infection clears up and that it does not worsen. To help achieve this, below are some infected lip piercing care tips.
  • Whatever you do, do not be tempted to remove the jewelry. Doing this results in closing up of the hole before healing leading to discharge being trapped. This will result in formation of an abscess.
  • Do not use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to clean the piercing wound as these only promote surface healing.
  • Settle for jewelry made of hypoallergenic material to avoid allergic reactions.
  • Keep your hands off the piercing. Avoid touching and playing around with the jewelry.
  • Avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits such as drinking and smoking until the lip piercing heals.
  • Stay away from spicy food as this will only irritate the wound.
  • Avoid foods that could tug on the jewelry.
  • In addition to the above, put into place the lip piercing after care instructions given to you. Where home treatment of an infected lip piercing does not help, see a doctor.


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