One of my three-year-old nipple piercings started acting up last week. I thought I was getting a cold (swollen lymph nodes on my neck, a bit of aches and pains), and both nippes started weeping a bit. But this is normal for me.
Then I caught my left nipple on a towel while drying off after a shower. Ouch! Within days it was swelling up, getting very crusty, oozing, and generally nasty. I started the routine of 3x/day sea salt soaks. Then I whacked it in bed one night, it hurt like hell, and it bled like crazy. Ugh.
I continued to do sea salt soaks, but the swelling didn't go down, it hurt to touch it, and the jewelry was starting to get covered by skin. The edges of the piercing actually looked like they were tearing. And it was bleeding a little every time I cleaned it. Double ugh.
I finally made an appointment today to go see a doctor about this. My other nipple is in perfect health, so it's easy to compare them and see how bad the infected one is.
At least it's draining well (except for when it gets all crusty, and then I do a sea salt soak). I pondered taking the jewelry out but everything I've read says not to do it to avoid ending up with an abscess. (Ick.)
Has anyone else ever encountered this? I've never heard of an old, healed piercing go though this kind of infection; the infections I've read about are always new piercings that aren't well cared for.
I'll post more after my doctor visit this afternoon...