Eyebrow piercings gained popularity during the 1980s, especially among rebellious rockers like Tommy Lee of Motley Crue. While eyebrow piercings give an edge to any look, this fashion-forward accessory carries a risk of infection if cared for improperly. Touching the piercing frequently, cleaning it improperly and exposure to contaminants (make-up, sunscreen, dirt, etc) raises the likelihood that infections will occur. Keeping the eyebrow piercing clean and sterile is key to avoiding infection, as is choosing a reputable and sanitary body piercing technique.
Closely observe any discharge from the eyebrow piercing. A small amount of clear liquid is normal, but any liquid that is yellow, gray or green is a certain sign of infection. Liquid with a strange smell that runs thick or opaque is pus, which is composed of dead white blood cells and other detritus found in infection zones. Pus only occurs in infected areas, so seek medical attention if your eyebrow piercing begins to discharge any abnormal liquids.
Lay the tip of your index finger on top of the piercing site. If the skin is usually warm, the piercing may be infected. While some minor discomfort is common in fresh eyebrow piercings, shooting or stabbing pain is a red flag that you have an infected pierced eyebrow. If there is a raised area around the piercing, especially a hard bump, you are experiencing an infection.
Contact a doctor or physician if you experience any strange discharge, swelling or pain especially if these occur in addition to fever, nausea or vomiting. While eyebrow piercings may be swollen and tender for several days following the procedure, any symptoms lasting longer than a week are indicative of infection. Choose an experienced body piercing technician for your procedure, and make sure that all of the equipment is thoroughly sterilized before allowing the technician to pierce your eyebrow.
References and ResourcesBody Piercing Guide; Eyebrow Piercings; February 2003
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