Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council wants to alert piercing studios to a warning issued by Public Health England about an unsafe cleansing spray.
This product, (details of which are shown below), is provided by studios for aftercare use but it may cause severe infection. Public Health England is strongly advising piercing studios and their clients to stop using the product immediately. Wherever possible efforts should be made by studios to contact clients known to be using this spray to advise them to cease using it and if there are any concerns about infection to seek medical help urgently.
The product, which has been linked to cases of serious infection, is provided by piercing studios in many parts of the UK. It is a 100ml bottled aftercare saline spray and is manufactured by Lion Care Products Ltd. However, there is NO consistent brand or label being used on the product. Some labels, using only black and white lettering, will have the manufacturer’s trading name, Body Art Supplies, or may carry the Lion Care name. Other studios’ labels will use neither, but possibly just their own studio name or brand on the label.
If unsure, use of the spray should be stopped immediately. The spray has so far been linked to 26 cases of severe ear infection, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, across England and monitoring for further cases is ongoing. The product is known to have been distributed widely in England therefore more cases are likely.
The cases of infection have occurred in people where piercings were undertaken between mid-July and late August 2016, however there may be other more recent cases which have not yet been reported. Aftercare following body piercings should be in accordance with the guidelines provided on the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health website as follows:
When checking the pierced site hands should be clean; Soak the piercing for a few minutes by submerging the area of skin containing the piercing in a clean bowl containing a warm water solution (1/4 level teaspoon of preferably sea salt to an egg cup/shot glass of warm water); Alternatively wet a clean cloth or gauze in the solution and apply as a warm compress. This will soften any discharge and allow you to clean the entry and exit points of the piercing with a cotton bud or gauze; It is also possible to use mild antibacterial solutions and soaps to wash the wound site of an ear piercing.
Ask your local pharmacist to advise you and always follow the manufacturers’ instructions; If irritation, redness or drying occurs discontinue use. Antibacterial wash is NOT suitable for piercings on the nostrils, septum or vertical lips due to the tissue’s delicate nature.
After cleansing, dry the piercing using ONLY fresh disposable paper towel/kitchen roll. A communal hand/bath towel should never be used. It is expected that some swelling and soreness from new piercings may occur. However, signs of infection to be aware of include:
- Swelling and redness that increases around the wound;
- A severe burning or throbbing sensation round the site; Increased tenderness and becoming increasingly painful to touch; An unusual discharge (yellow or green) with an offensive smell;
- Raised temperature and fever. Dr Richard Puleston,
Consultant at Public Health England said: “Infection is not uncommon following piercings, but the particular type of bacteria linked to this outbreak can cause severe infection. It is important that people take extra care in ensuring any piercing is properly cleansed and to follow professional advice available from local environmental health teams.
If people are concerned about possible infection they are strongly advised to seek medical attention urgently.”