When To See A Healthcare Provider
If youexperience any of the following symptoms, contact your healthcare provider:
- Pain and swelling in the cartilage or earlobe
- Discharge or yellow pus from the area of the piercing
- Fever or chills
- The area of the piercing is red and swollen
- The earring or clasp is embedded in the ear or stuck in the earlobe
- Swelling and redness has spread beyond the area of the earring
How To Treat An Ear Piercing Infection: What To Know Before You Go
“It is important to choose a reputable place to have your piercing performed,” Dr. Anna Guanche, a board-certified dermatologist and celebrity beauty expert, tells My Imperfect Life. “Many dont realize that even your local dermatology office may offer this service.”
Dr. Doris Day , a New York City-based dermatologist, echoes that sentiment and insists that people do their research before scheduling an appointment. She believes that piercing guns are the most effective method.
But it’s not all about a dependable source those who choose to have their ears pierced have to be proactive. Dr. Guanche insists that it’s important to follow the rules and directions of the piecer. Some of those instructions, per the Cleveland Clinic, are as follows:
- Don’t touch your ears with dirty hands, as this can cause bacteria to build up
- Don’t remove your earrings before your piercing is healed
- Don’t forget to clean your new piercing on a daily basis
- Don’t submerge yourself in water until your piercings are healed completely
Youre Piercing What Medical Complications Of Cartilage And Ear Piercing
It was almost midnight when 14-year-old Kyla came to the emergency room with her mom and two friends but they knew that infected ear cartilage could not wait until the morning. Cartilage infections spread rapidly and can cause permanent disfigurement to the ear. Her ear didnt even look too bad just a little red and sore where she had pierced it five days before. Ive included a picture of her ear with the piercing studs still in place, and a picture of her ear after the earrings were removed and the piercings cleaned. We didnt realize how bad the infection was until the earrings were removed.
Kyla had done everything right. She had her upper ear cartilage pierced at a reputable jewelry store using sterile conditions and gold earrings. She cleaned the piercings appropriately with antiseptic solution. But five days later her cartilage piercings became infected, a medical emergency.
You May Like: Blocked Nose At Night Only
Do Only New Ear Piercings Get Infected
If youve had pierced ears for eons, youre not totally off the hook, but you are at a lowered risk of just randomly developing an infection. Infections are most likely to occur during the first week following the piercing, but can arise later on, Dr. Kaplan says.
Infection symptoms won’t pop up the moment your piercing is exposed to bacteria. “Surprisingly, piercing infections do not typically happen until three to seven days after the initial piercing, sometimes more,” says Leila Mankarious, MD, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. “Bacteria need time to proliferate.”
What Causes Ear Piercing Infection
In essence, a piercing is an open wound. It typically takes six to eight weeks for an earlobe piercing to recover. In general, cartilage piercings, which are done on the more durable area of your ear, take longer to heal and are more likely to become infected.
However, some of the common causes of infection in ear piercing are:
- Getting ear piercing in an unclean setting or using unsterilized tools, you run the risk of exposing your new piercing to dangerous microorganisms that may lead to infection.
- Using filthy hands to touch your ears.
- Taking off your earrings before the piercing has had time to heal.
- Not cleaning your new piercings every day.
- Exposing your new piercing to pool water, hot tub, lake, or river water before it gets healed.
Also get to know about belly button infection.
You May Like: Glacier Ear Nose And Throat
How To Treat An Ear Piercing Infection That Has Already Developed
OK, so you’re noticing some redness and itching, and you’re thinking there might be a slight problem with your new piercing. Nip it in the bud as quickly as possible.
“For minor infections, it is best to soak a cotton ball in warm water and cleanse the area twice daily,” Dr. Guanche says. “Then add either Neosporin or Polysporin to the affected area. It is important to turn the post gently so that the skin doesn’t stick to the post.”
Dr. Day suggests applying bacitracin ointment twice dailyprovided you’re not allergicto soothe any irritation. Though most of these issues can be solved relatively quickly, you should keep a close eye on what’s happening.
“See a dermatologist for proper evaluation and guidance if it doesn’t improve or if it worsens,” Dr. Day tells us.
How to pick an ear piercing, according to the experts
Are You Looking For A Safe Product To Clean Piercing Sites
Finding the perfect product can be challenging, but you don’t have to dig deep. We’ve got a solution for you. If you’re looking for an effective and safe product to clean your piercing, Dr. Piercing Aftercare can help.
At Dr. Piercing Aftercare, we’ve developed convenient medicated swabs that you can use to clean your piercings and keep infection away. We are proud of our products. They are made and tested in a cGMP compliant and FDA-registered facility in America.
We use advanced technology on our swabs for easy application. Each pack contains thirty-six medicated swabs that are proven and tested to promote your body’s natural healing process while preventing infection. Contact us today,or check out our website if you want to learn more about our products.
Read Also: Why Is My Ear Beating
What’s Normal For A New Piercing
For the first few weeks a new piercing might:
- be tender, itchy, and the surrounding area may look slightly red on white skin, or a little darker than usual on dark skin
- produce a pale fluid that forms a crust
If you’ve had an ear or nose cartilage piercing, small lumps can sometimes form around the piercing.
The lumps, called granulomas, are trapped fluid. You can treat them by soaking a pad in warm water then holding the pad against them once a day.
S In Treating Minor Ear Piercing Infection
Step 1: If you touch or clean your piercing, make sure you wash your hands.
Step 2: Clean your piercing with a saline rinse thrice a day. If you can’t find a good product online, you can create your own by combining ¼ teaspoon of salt and mixing it with 8 ounces of distilled water.
Step 3: Don’t attempt to use antibiotic ointments, hydrogen peroxide, and even alcohol, as this will only irritate your skin and worsen the infection.
Step 4: Never attempt to remove your jewelry. The hole could close up and trap the bacteria.
Step 5: When cleaning your piercing, make sure you clean both sides of your ears and then pat it dry with a clean paper towel.
When the infection has cleared up, don’t stop cleaning the piercing. Continue to do it but taper it down to twice a day up to 8 weeks. Routine care is also essential to keep infection at bay.
Recommended Reading: How Does Your Nose Get Stuffy
How To Treat A Minor Ear Piercing Infection
You may be able to take care of it at home with minor infections. However, seek medical treatment if youve had a cartilage piercing and it seems infected. Oral antibiotics may be required as these infections can be difficult to treat. In severe infections, hospitalization may be necessary. To treat a minor infection, follow the steps below.1) Before treating your infection, wash your hands well.2) With a saltwater rinse, clean around the piercing 3 times a day. Be sure use a sterile saline or make it by mixing /4 tsp. of salt with 8 oz. of distilled water.3) Avoid using hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, or antibiotic ointments as they can impede the healing process and cause further skin irritation.4) Do not take out the piercing, otherwise, you risk letting the hole close and trap infection.5) On both sides of your earlobe, do not remove the piercing. With paper towels, pat the area dry. Do not use other materials or fibers can remain behind.6) Continue this cleaning regimen twice a day until the piercing is totally healed once the infection appears to have cleared. Routine care is vital during the 6-8 weeks of healing for an initial piercing.
Can An Old Ear Piercing Still Get Infected
An old ear piercing can get infected. It is important to keep the area clean. The following situations can lead to an infection of an old piercing:
- Touching earrings with dirty hands
- Putting the posts of earrings in at the wrong angle
- Not cleaning posts and earrings daily
- Wearing heavy earrings that could cause a scratch or tear in the ear channel
- If the post or back of an earring has nickel, this can cause an allergic reaction.
Recommended Reading: Body Aches Sore Throat Cough
Symptoms Of Infected Ear Piercing
The usual healing process for pierced ears includes some pain and redness. It is common to misinterpret people who exhibit symptoms of infection. There are cases where even the old piercing can also see symptoms of infection. The commonly infected ear piercing includes infected cartilage piercing or infected upper ear piercings. If the following symptoms are noticed, kindly take timely action to heal the infection. Here are some of the ear-piercing symptoms related to infections.
What Are The Symptoms Of Infected Ear Piercings
Some pain and redness are part of the normal healing process for pierced ears. It can be easy to confuse those with signs of infection. Symptoms that may indicate an infection include:
- Discharge coming out of the piercing.
- Redness, warmth or swelling around the piercing.
- Tenderness in the pierced earlobe or cartilage.
Recommended Reading: Acid Reflux Burning Throat Relief
When Should I Go To A Doctor For An Infected Ear Piercing
If you think you may have an infection, especially if it’s a cartilage piercing, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid complications and get started on antibiotics, says Shannahan. Don’t wait to see if an infected piercing will heal on its own, especially if you already see it worsening.
A doctor may recommend topical antibiotics such as Neosporin, or oral antibiotics, depending on infection severity. Infections can occur near the piercing site, but they can also affect the whole body, so medical attention is critical.
“If an infected piercing isn’t treated, it can lead to issues at the site like abscesses , scarring, or deformities. More commonly in body piercings than ear piercings, there can also be conditions that affect the entire body like blood or heart infections,” says Shannahan.
Pierced Ears: How To Prevent Painful Infections
Driven by family tradition or fashion, thousands of kids get their ears pierced each year. Generally, ear piercing is a safe procedure, but a common complication is infection. Although pierced ear infections usually arent severe, they can cause a great deal of discomfort. Heres what you need to know to help keep your little ones ear piercings healthy and infection-free.
Read Also: How To Unblock Your Nose
When To Seek Doctor
Normally, you can treat your infected ear piercings at home itself, but sometimes the problems could get exaggerated and could not be solved at home, then you definitely need to seek some professional help from your doctor.
Under the below mentioned circumstances, you should call out for medical help:
- If your earring is embedded in the earlobe or cartilage of your skin.
- If your body develops fever.
- If your body develops cold.
- Redness and infection surrounding the area of the ear piercing.
- In case, there is no improvement within 2 days of ear piercing.
How Do Ear Piercings Even Get Infected
Anyone can get an infected ear piercing, but it usually happens due to one of two major reasons. Either your piercing site wasnt adequately sterilized before you were pierced, or you kinda-sorta-definitely didnt take great care of it after you were pierced, explains Kenneth A. Kaplan, MD, an otolaryngologist with ENT and Allergy Associates in New Jersey.
Touching your piercing a lot, while it’s still a new, open wound, can also expose it to bacteria that can cause an infection.
Read Also: Does Vicks Help Stuffy Nose
Causes Of Ear Piercing Infection
Developing into an infection, any bacteria left to fester is a detriment. You can introduce an infection simply by touching your piercing with dirty hands or instruments. Not allowing room for the wound to breathe and heal, an infection can develop in the event the earrings are on too tightly. Should there be too much handling of the piercing or the post of the earring is rough, a piercing can also get infected. If the person piercing your ears didnt use gloves, or if the posts themselves werent sterile an infection can also occur if unsterile instruments were used.
Er Or Not: Infected Ear Piercing
Your recent ear piercing is red and swollen and you suspect it might be infected should you go to the emergency room? On this ER or Not, emergency room physician Dr. Troy Madsen discusses the potential serious complications that can come from an infection of the ear, including hearing loss and hospitalization. Learn what you need to look for and when to seek immediate care.
Dr. Troy Madsen is an emergency room physician at University of Utah Health. All right, here is today’s ER or Not. You’ve got your ear pierced. Now you believe that there might be an infection in the ear. ER or not?
So the ear is made of cartilage. If you get an infection that’s spreading up beyond just the site of the piercing, where the full ear appears red and swollen or just even the lower half of it, then I would be a lot more concerned about an infection in the cartilage itself, and that would definitely be a reason to go to the ER.
Recommended Reading: Whooshing Sound In Ear When Lying Down
How To Identify A Qualified Piercer
Apart from how much you are excited about getting the ear piercings done, you must always make sure that you are getting the piercing done by a qualified piercer. It is essential to make sure that you are getting the treatment done through a legit piercer as they might take a professional approach to get the piercing done and on the other hand, might have some soothing ways to calm your pain.
Things to look for when identifying piercer:
- Make sure the piercer is certified and licensed
- Make sure they are specialized in the field of ear piercings
- Look out for testimonials or reviews of the previous clients
How Can I Prevent An Ear Piercing Infection
A huge factor is choosing a piercing shop thats sanitary. In general, the more experience someone has in doing piercingswith a reputation for good resultsthe better the odds of a favorable outcome, Dr. Kaplan says. Read reviews on the shop and on your piercer beforehand if you can find any. And if you go into a piercing shop and it seems like its not clean or you just dont get a good vibe, go someplace else.
The spot on your ear that you choose to pierce matters, too. No physician will ever recommend piercing the cartilage of the ear, Dr. Kaplan says. Of course, that’s never stopped anyone. That’s why following your after-care instructions if so crucial, even after it seems like your piercing is all healed up. Not strictly adhering to the post-piercing care instructions would increase the odds of infection, Dr. Kaplan says.
Also Check: Good Medicine For Runny Nose
How To Treat A Piercing Site Infection
Unless the piercing is through cartilage, this is generally a small infection that you might try treating at home.
For minor infections in soft tissue, take these steps:
- Initially, wash your hands with soap and water.
- Then make a saltwater solution by adding around 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of water. Stir, until the salt melts.
- Soak the cotton ball in the solution and place it on the afflicted area while keeping the piercing jewellery in place.
- Using fresh gauze or a tissue, gently pat the afflicted area dry.
- Then, as instructed on the product label, apply a tiny amount of an over-the-counter antibiotic cream .
- To keep the piercing jewellery from adhering to the skin, give it a couple turns.
- Up till the infection becomes well, repeat this three times every day.
Additionally, make sure your phones are clean, and switch your pillowcase every two days for a clean one.
What Does A Severe Ear Piercing Infection Look Like
Your infection is bad if you have these symptoms:
- Abscess formation
If the skin around your piercing becomes red and tender and you have a fever greater than 100.4 degrees, you may be dealing with cellulitis, a common and potentially serious bacterial skin infection, and you’ll want to get yourself to a doc right away.
Of course, you can also have an allergy to the hardware in your ear and that can look like an infection. But unfortunately, it can be tough for non-doctors to figure out the difference, Dr. Mankarious says. “Professionals often think of allergies based on a history of allergies to metals as well as a lack of response to antibiotic treatment,” she says. So if you’re unsure, it’s best to see a doc.
Read Also: Soar Throat And Runny Nose