Staph bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) live on the skin of many healthy individuals without causing any symptoms. When the skin is pierced, especially in or around the nose or mouth, in the armpits, under the breasts, or around the genitalia, bacteria may enter the skin and cause its inflammation.
An infection usually appear in first days before skin puncture heals, as reddened, slightly swollen patch of the skin (cellulitis), or as a painful red bump (boil) that may start to drain pus in few days.
An infection of the breast nipple may cause scarring of the breast tissue, what may cause problems with breastfeeding.
A pierce in the mouth may enable bacteria to enter the blood and reach the heart valves, what can result in bacterial endocarditis.
Treatment. If an infection is suspected, a pierce has to be removed immediately, and in most cases infection will resolve by its own in few days. Symptoms and treatment of staph skin infections.
If fever or headache develops, doctor has to be contacted, and appropriate treatment (usually with prescribed antibiotics) started.
Beside staph infections, a viral infection may occur during or after piercing. In year 2007, a 20 year old woman from Boston/UK died from viral meningitis, 1 month after piercing the tongue.