Ear and body piercing aftercare product linked to infection risk
Date issued: 31 May 2021
Issued by: Dr Bruce Bolam, Executive Director, Communicable Disease
Issued to: Health professionals including general practitioners, plastic and ENT surgeons, infectious disease physicians, emergency department clinicians and the community.
- New South Wales Health has reported ear and body piercing-related infections caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
- All patients reported by NSW Health had used batch number BF996 of the aftercare product ‘PROTAT Sea Salt and Tea Tree Spray’.
- Subsequent testing found batch number BF996 of this aftercare product to have been contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This product was available for retail purchase in-store or online with a use by date of 10/23 (October 2023).
- Anyone with bottles of ‘PROTAT Natural Sea Salt and Tea Tree Spray’, Batch number BF996 should discard these immediately. The batch number of a bottle can be found on the product label.
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa contamination was found in only batch BF996 of ‘PROTAT Natural Sea Salt and Tea Tree Spray’ and other batches of this product can be used safely.
- The Pseudomonas bacteria can cause piercings to become seriously infected, requiring admission to hospital for intravenous antibiotics or surgical management.
- Clinicians should consider Pseudomonas infection in any patient who presents with infection at a piercing site, following procedures in the past month.
- Anyone who has used this product and develops pain, swelling, inflammation or discharge from the piercing site should seek medical attention.
Read the full advisory: Ear and body piercing aftercare product linked to infection risk