Abscesses are among the most common piercing problems. This is a closed pocket under the skin that contains pus. The abscess is typically surrounded by inflamed tissue. This problem can be very painful and unsightly. While an abscess can develop with a new piercing it is very important to remember that this is commonly a problem for the old, well-established piercings. An abscess sometimes develops due to improper aftercare or because you twist and turn your jewelry too much. It can also develop if jewelry is removed and the piercing closes, trapping the infection under the skin. Sometimes, an abscess will develop directly adjacent to the piercing and jewelry. This is a common problem if you wear jewelry that is too tight, short or constricting.

An abscess typically manifests itself as a swollen, tender spot on or near your piercing. The trapped pus will feel like a hard marble under the skin. Pain, heat and general inflammation are common with an abscess. In case the abscess is close to the skin’s surface you can also expect some redness or darkening of the skin. Abscesses will worsen over time if not treated so it is very important to act quickly. If the abscess is only developing, you may try applying saline soaks or warm compress to the site. This may cause the abscess to drain . However, more serious cases will require medical attention, especially if you experience symptoms such as nausea and fever.