Salt water is all you need

If I’m understanding Ashy’s email, she made the mistake of putting some sort of aggressive antiseptic onto her fresh eyebrow piercing (done by Sean at Creative Tattoos and Piercings in Byron Bay) causing it to get irritated and ultimately seriously infected and in need of antibiotics to clear it up… Not that it can’t get worse, but this is definitely one of the more unhappy eyebrow piercings I’ve seen!

See more in Eyebrow Barbells (Eyebrow Piercing)

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

75 thoughts on “Salt water is all you need

  1. Poor girl, it looks like it’ll suit her once it’s healed. It’s shame that piercers give advice about other things except sss when it’s all that is needed (though I do rave about chamomile teabags!)

  2. what is it in salt that helps keep wounds clean anyway?
    i’m thinking of curing meat etc. where bacteria doesn’t really grow….

  3. Hang on, I’ve missed something: how does putting antiseptic on a wound lead to infection?

  4. if the antiseptic is too aggressive, then it also kills the human cells which are trying to regrow. Sea Salt soaks gently help the wound to drain of anything unclean while allowing the piercing to heal.

  5. JESUS! If it were me I’d squeeze it, put in a ring until it calms down a bit, take it out and by god cover it in salty water. (And this might be lol worthy but if any of my piercings get infected I put toothpaste on it and it draws out the infection)

  6. even thou its like that and looks like its gonna explode ppl STILL dont take them fukin out

  7. haha yeah LJ, definitely, squeezing an infected abscess on your forehead and then taking out the jewelry to trap the infection sounds like a great idea!

    so does putting toothpaste on your piercings. i’m sure the infectious bacteria are just drawn out by that minty freshness!

  8. #20, if you take jewellery out of an infected piercing like that, the wound can heal over and trap the infection inside, causing an abcess which would have to be drained by a doctor. Painful. Yus.

  9. It’s unfortunate that I photoshopped all my pics from when I was younger, deleted the originals, because when I was 16 I had an eyebrow piercing that rivaled this one in the “gross out” department.

    It wasn’t infected, but it looked horrendous.

  10. Aside from the general “holy shit swelling batman”, she has gorgeous coloured eyes.

  11. I’ll never understand why people don’t take out piercings after any real sign of infection.

    so stupid.

  12. oh wow. I had a surface piercing in my wrist that ended up looking similar to that. It ended up getting cellulitis (sp?) and i had to remove it. =\

  13. #31, I’ll never understand people who don’t do their research before commenting. So stupid.

  14. #17, yeah, I understand that part, but I still am skeptical that the antiseptic somehow *caused* the infection. I can see how antiseptic might slow the healing process, but something else had to get in there for it to get infected.

  15. Maybe the antiseptic killed specific bacteria/cells and created an imbalance so that others took hold? I know antibiotics can cause an overgrowth of nonsuseptible (?) bacteria. I wonder of an antiseptic could do something similar?

  16. #36, antibiotics and antiseptics work differently–there’s no such thing as bacterial resistance to an antiseptic. Carbolic acid is as good today as it was 100 years ago–unlike penicillin. I still can’t see any way that the antiseptic caused the poor girl’s infection.

    I do feel for her, though. She looks miserable.

  17. people, just because your piercing gets irritated and a bit swollen or angry after you have had it for awhile DOES NOT MEAN it is infected. im not referring to the girl in this photo, because hers is obviously infected, but all these other kids who say “oh, my piercings get infected sometimes so i put toothpaste on it.” that is not an infection. if as many peoples piercings got infected they claim, then.. uhhhh, i dunno, we would have a lot of dead morons.

  18. Owie. I would be in tears if any one of my piercings got that fucked up!

    As for takin it out? You think people would know enough after all the refrences and info on this site NOT TO TAKE IT OUT. I just see some person taking a piercing out and having a huge puss ball keep forming and getting bigger and bigger until the person sees a piercer about it (finally) and it pops and squirts into the piercers eye. Ick.

  19. This looks exactly like something I had around a surface bar on my arm, with the red and swelling and yellowish fluid filled bubbles, after I snagged it on a towel. I tried to treat is with sea salt but it made it much worse. I finally had it checked out and it turned out to be a form of shingles that starts around an irritated patch of skin. The antiseptic she used may have started a shingles outbreak not an infection and sss may make it much worse.

  20. so was I wrong in putting gentalyn on mine? my piercer told me to do so, and they perfectly healed. I’m puzzled now…

  21. oh, man, that must hurt like crazy. i’ve only ever had one piercing get infected (my first non-lobe one, a helix, when i was dumb and didn’t keep my hands off it) and it made my entire head hurt from the pressure of the swelling on my ear.

    and my GAWD are there a lot of ignorant fucks on this thread! change it to a ring? seriously? are there ANY circumstances when a ring in an eyebrow is a good plan? (though i might be able to see some sense in putting in a longer piece until the swelling goes down…but odds are it would just irritate it more and not be worth it unless the balls on this one are sinking in).

  22. I’m the kind of person that when something gets that bad I’d use any possible thing of cleaning it and if that doesn’t work, cut it.

    how does this happen? something nasty must have gotten in there. maybe the piercers fault???

  23. Ive been tattooed and pierced at this studio many times in the past. My first ink was when I was underage and the never even asked for ID.

    I had my first non-ear piercing done there too, and they put in a circular barbell which just ripped on everything and was NOT a nice experience!

    The last ink I got there was some lettering in a cursive script around my wrist and it is SHITE! I fucking hate it, the lettering has bled into eachother and it is uneven as fuck. The portfolio however looked pretty good…spose thems the breaks!

    As far as I can remember, I was advised SSS for the piercing I had done there, but it too became infected and I had to have penecillin and eventually remove it.

    Not saying that these guys are bad news, but I wont be going back.

    One reason I can think that an antiseptic could cause an infection is if it were in a cream or ointment base, were it gets into the piercing and junk ends up sticking in there and nothing can drain. Yicky!

  24. It worries me that people don’t seem to understand that removing it could potientally make it worse.

    I’ve only ever heard of stronger items than sss such as tea tree oil being used for the bump.

    Its like putting tea tree oil or stronger on say a cut. Youch! I do hope she is able to keep it, I would cry if I lost mine after nearly 2 years!

  25. This is NOT an eyebrow piercing. It’s a surface-to-surface in a bad place. Obviously a “pissed off” piercing probably caused by bad placement and too strong a salinity in a home mix salt solution. Best aftercare is sterile, isotonic saline (not H2Ocean) easily available in drug stores as wound wash or contact lens wash.

  26. A mi me paso exactamente lo mismo pero se me fue en un dia la hinchazon.

  27. From what I can see in the photos, the balls are already embedded, half her face is turning purple, and her eyebrow is swollen enough so that it is pushing her left eye closed. Infections sometimes spread if not treated quickly enough. She should have taken it out weeks ago before it ever came to this. I suggest sea salts and antibiotics and maybe a longer barbell if possible once the swelling eases just a bit. good luck girl – I hope you can heal this one. It does look cute on you : )

  28. how did it ever get to this point? yikes!

    as my brother-in-law would say – rub some dirt on it and get back in the game!!!

    is dirt really supposed to draw out infection? just curious because it sounds like a good way to get a parasite to me ;)

  29. Oh, wow. I feel so sorry for her. That is the saddest girl in the world. :(

  30. please could you get the name of that aggressive product so we don’t considere using it by mistake, thank’s in advance and more thank’s from our client who won’t, by your infos, suffer by ignorance.

  31. What would you do for that besides oral antibiotics? Put something like a long tygon bar in it and let it drain under a warm moist compress?

  32. Last night I was watching a program on British TV about embarrasing body problems, and this one guy had got a genital mod done.
    He thought it might have got infected, but it was just a little swollen still. After his bit of airtime, there was a a segment where the TV doctor gave “advice” to anyone watching on how to keep a piercing free of infection.
    Did they reccommend SSS?
    No. Peroxide solution is what they told us we should be using daily to clean our fresh mods.

  33. So I’m guessing the harsh antibacterial product killed all the nice immune cells that were frolicking about doing their thing, an opportunistic bug got in, possibly aided by the product if it was cream based.
    I’d like to know the name or the nature of the antibacterial product for interest’s sake, and to warn others to keep well away from it. Friends who get pierced refuse to take my advice of staying away from harsh alcohol and chlorohexidine based ‘cleaning solutions’ and this would be a nice example of why you keep that stuff away from puncture wounds/piercings.

  34. Diabolo: I saw that Embarrassing Bodies too, and when they mentioned peroxide for piercings, my boyfriend and I just looked at each other and made the ‘oh dear’ face.
    C’est terrible!

  35. #60, I have the same problem. So many of my pierced friends use hydrogen peroxide on mods they got done the same damn day…then wonder why they have big, ugly lumps around their perfectly placed piercings. When I suggest the cleaning solution they’re using is too aggressive, they nod and go “ohhh right, I didn’t know”, and then carry on soaking that bad boy in nasty chemicals.

    It’s a bitch.

  36. Its embarassing that doctors really haven’t looked into piercings as much as they should, considering even the younger generation now have ear piercings.

  37. hmm, I must use antiseptice. nothing else work for me actually, weird as hell…

  38. I just saw how much I misspelled, sorry guys.
    what can I say, I´m a swede…

  39. yea, i agree and believe the salt water comment is right, i have snakebites, and my monroe peirced, and i’ve also had my nose, webbing, and cartledge in my ear, i did my own webbing it rejected (only because your mouth is very dirty), and my ear i just didn’t want after. but my only peircings that ever got infected was my webbing… and all i ever use is salt water. i also do free peircings for friends, and i always tell them to use salt water!

  40. This is really upsetting to see, when she has not looked after it right. And i bet it was dodgy information from the person that did it for her :/ some people just dont have common sense :(

    poor lass :(


  41. Lotsa SSS and change to a longer piece of Tygon. Poor dear, I hope she gets better soon.

  42. About two thirds of these comments I just laughed at! Do you even know what you’re on about? This girl does NOT say what antiseptic was used on her piercing, how old the piercing is, whether she went back top the studio & asked for advice (probably not, it’s easier to try & get sympathy for it & blame somebody else), or whether she even took the piercer’s advice in the 1st place. A lot of eyebrows have trouble healing because they are in fact a surface piercing, entering & exiting through the same surface of skin. At least 30% of people DO NOT take the advice piercers or tattooists give them, I know this because I have been in the industry for a long time & have given lot’s of advice, only to have people come back & when I ask them what they’re cleaning it with they name some product I would never recommend. So I would advise those of you who blamed the piercer for this, that all he can do is give the instructiuons, he can’t hold their hand & make them do it.

  43. Me again. Just wanted to add about the comment from number 48… you didn’t mention what year you were tattooed underage at that studio, or who was working there at the time, it probably wasn’t even illegal to do underages then. I know they always ask for I.D. these days. Also your tattoo on your wrist… on bony thin-skinned areas the ink can spread, the body is not a perfect canvas, it stretches & changes everyday. If you were unhappy with this tattoo, why didn’t you go back & say something, or why didn’t you say something the moment it was done? I’ve been tattooed there many times also & they do a free touch up if you lose any colour, or if you’re not happy with anything. All of my tattoo’s are magnificent & I’ve won many trophies at tattoo shows for them over the years. People would just rather whinge about things than listen sometimes.

  44. I just got mine done today…and I hope it never gets to that point. My piercer told me to not us peroxide, neosoporin, or rubbing alchohol. Anything else I should be wary of? I really like it. Bring out my eyes(green)..and it would be a shame for my first piercing(other than my ears) to get infected. anyone who has information about what to use and wat not to use then please add me on myspace to tell me

  45. that is exactly what happened to both my eyebrows when i woke up two days after having both of them done

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