Author(s): Meltzer DI
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Abstract The trend of body piercing at sites other than the earlobe has grown in popularity in the past decade. The tongue, lips, nose, eyebrows, nipples, navel, and genitals may be pierced. Complications of body piercing include local and systemic infections, poor cosmesis, and foreign body rejection. Swelling and tooth fracture are common problems after tongue piercing. Minor infections, allergic contact dermatitis, keloid formation, and traumatic tearing may occur after piercing of the earlobe. "High" ear piercing through the ear cartilage is associated with more serious infections and disfigurement. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are advised for treatment of auricular perichondritis because of their antipseudomonal activity. Many complications from piercing are body-site-specific or related to the piercing technique used. Navel, nipple, and genital piercings often have prolonged healing times. Family physicians should be prepared to address complications of body piercing and provide accurate information to patients.
This article was published in Am Fam Physician
and referenced in Reconstructive Surgery & Anaplastology