Is Your Piercing Really Infected — Or Just Irritated?

Photographed by Beth Sacca.
Instagram can teach you a lot about piercing trends, from the daith to the nipple to the one you'd never tell your grandma about. But what you won't learn on social media are the nitty-gritty details — like the healing process — that follow. In one scroll you might notice that rook piercings are the new It spot, but what happens if it migrates, you're allergic to your new barbell, or it gets infected? But better yet, how do you know if it's infected in the first place?
We asked L.A.'s most in-demand piercer, Brian Keith Thompson (whose client list includes Beyoncé and FKA Twigs) and Patricia Wexler, MD, New York-based dermatologist, to answer the top questions surrounding infections, migrated jewelry, allergic reactions, and more. Keep clicking for some of our top FAQs.

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