How Common Are Infected Ear Piercings
Millions of people get their ears pierced, and most of them have no serious complications. Mild irritation and infections are common, however, for new piercings. In most cases, infections arent serious and clear up quickly.
The earlobes are fleshy and fatty, with strong blood flow. They heal quickly, reducing the risk of an earlobe infection. The upper ear is cartilage, a thick, stiff tissue with less blood flow.
Piercings in the upper ear are more likely to become infected, and infections in the upper ear are sometimes serious.
Using Cotton Buds To Clean Ear Piercings
This is a mistake nearly everyone makes, using cotton buds or pads to clean their piercings. Residue gets stuck in the piercing and can actually make it worse, so instead, you should just soak kitchen roll in saline and gently press it to either side of the piercing.
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Caring For Childrens Ear Piercings
Getting your childâs ears pierced is pretty common, even for babies less than a year old. Some doctors suggest waiting until your child is 8 or older to keep the risk of infection down. Younger children are more likely to touch their earrings and less likely to always have clean hands. â
Concerns. Aside from infection, thereâs little risk in piercing your childâs ears. Youâll just need to keep them clean and take good care of them. Common complications you should look for include:
- Allergy to metals or piercing material
- Accidentally swallowing the piercing
- Rejection of the piercingâ
When your child gets their ears pierced, youâll want to choose a gold post if possible. This lessens the chance of an allergic reaction. Other metals can cause irritation and itchiness. This can cause your child to touch their ears more frequently.
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What You Need To Know About Pierced Ear Infections
Preventing earring hole infections all starts with proper hygiene both right after a piercing, and for years to come. If you recently got a piercing, make sure to wash hands thoroughly before touching the piercings to avoid exposing the area to any unwanted bacteria.
Piercings should also be soaked twice a day for two to five minutes with a saline or salt solution. A soaked, clean gauze can be used to gently clean the area, said cosmetic dermatologist Sejal Shah, founder of SmarterSkin Dermatology in New York City.
If your piercing is fully healed, make sure to clean both the earrings and piercing site whenever you remove your jewelry. Keep earrings clean by wiping them down with an antiseptic cleanser , Purell, soap and water or even mouthwash in a pinch. And do so often because buildup of any sort in your earrings can spell trouble.
Dead skin can build up around the backing as a result of dandruff or infrequent removal and serve as a nidus for germs, said Dr. Francesca Fusco of Wexler Dermatology in New York City.
How To Tell If Your Piercing Is Infected
To be clear, infection is not the same thing as irritation, even though people commonly combine the two. Slight bleeding, crusties , swelling, tenderness, itching, bruising, or soreness are all normal symptoms of a new piercing, says Shannon Freed, senior manager of piercing operations at Studs.
A true infection, on the other hand, happens when bacteria enters the piercing site . We don’t want those items that are resting in, on, or around the ears to introduce bacteria to the site of your new piercings, notes registered nurse Samantha Alvarado, R.N., head of nurse training at Rowan. In some cases, it can result in fever, chills, and drainagemore severe symptoms that require a trip to the doctor.
Because a piercing is technically classified as a puncture wound , healing rates do vary from person to personand thus, some people experience more irritation than others. For example, you might overcome the tenderness around the six-month mark, while someone else with an identical piercing may still notice swelling or itching after a year. Everyones ear anatomy is different.
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Top 11 Tips To Clean An Ear Piercing
Published: Oct 10, 2021 by Allison · This post may contain affiliate links · This blog generates income via ads
Did you recently get an ear piercing? Are you worried about properly caring for it? Look no further! We know how cleaning a piercing can seem complicated, especially when you get one for the first time.
The risk of getting your wound infected is why we have compiled these top 11 tips to clean an ear piercing.
What Are Ear Infection Symptoms
If youve never had an earring hole infection before, you may not be familiar with the warning signs and symptoms, but theyre pretty straightforward. Warm, itchy, tender ears are a telltale sign of an infection, and your ears will also likely look red and a bit swollen.
Think of the four Ps: pain, pus, plumpness and pinkness
This usually would be accompanied by some sort of cut or scab on the ear, but not always, said Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital’s department of dermatology.
Some earring hole infections may also be accompanied by an oozy discharge, but not all ear discharge is cause for alarm. In fact, ears sometimes secrete a white to yellow thin liquid while healing from a piercing, and sebum from your oil glands can also collect on your piercings. If your discharge is light in color and not accompanied by pain, redness, warmth or swelling, it is probably not infected, Shah said.
An easy way to self-diagnose your infection? Fusco encourages patients to think of “the four Ps”: pain, pus, plumpness and pinkness. All indicate possible infection, she said.
The good news? Minor earring hole infections will typically only last a few days, and you can usually nip them in the bud with a few home remedies. If your situation doesnt improve in a few days, though, you may need to call in backup. Untreated infection could lead to more complicated infections that require drainage and oral antibiotics, Fusco said.
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Don’t Clasp Your Earrings Too Tightly
Don’t clasp your earrings too tightlyleave a little bit of space.
Don’t clasp your earrings too tightly if you are using a standard post earring. The butterfly backing can catch hair, dirt, pus, and dried blood and serve as a breeding site for bacteria. Make sure you leave room for your piercing to breathe.
What Is An Infected Ear Piercing
An ear piercing is a hole through your earlobe or the cartilage in your middle or upper ear. An infected ear piercing may be red, swollen, sore, warm, itchy or tender. Sometimes the piercing oozes blood or white, yellow or greenish pus.
A new piercing is an open wound that can take several weeks to fully heal. During that time, any bacteria that enter the wound can lead to infection.
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Treating The Infection At Home
As long as your infection is minor, you may be able to take care of it at home. If youve had a cartilage piercing and it seems infected, seek medical treatment. These types of infections are harder to treat and may require oral antibiotics. Significant infections of the cartilage can require hospitalization.
Follow these steps to take care of a minor piercing infection:
After the infection appears to have cleared, continue this cleaning regimen twice a day until the piercing is totally healed. Remember, an earlobe piercing can take six to eight weeks to heal. Routine care is important during that time.
Usually, a minor infection of an ear piercing can be treated successfully at home. But if any of the following symptoms occur, seek medical attention:
- The earring doesnt move.
- The earring clasp becomes embedded in your skin.
- The infection doesnt improve with home treatment within two days.
- You develop a fever.
Avoid Knocking Or Bumping Your Piercing
When it comes to how to care for newly pierced ears, avoiding knocks and bumps goes without saying. Simply go easy when doing daily activities, such as brushing your hair and getting dressed. Perhaps swap polo necks for other jumpers so you dont catch your earrings in your clothes.
Feeling sporty? Maybe give team games a miss for a while or wear a protective sports tape or plaster over your piercing to keep things nice and safe.
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Avoiding Trauma To The Ear
Ear piercings will be very sensitive the first few weeks, but your ears wont completely heal until one or two months, while other piercings take up to a year to heal. Avoid bumping or snagging it when you move. You may also have to change your sleeping position to avoid putting your weight on the piercing.
The Need For Ear Piercing Aftercare
After a procedure, your body becomes prone to any bacterial infection. At this point, it becomes essential to take good care of your piercing until it heals. There are several practices you must adopt to avoid any chance of infection. The piercing procedure is treated as an intruder by the body. After an ear-piercing procedure, the chances of infection are always there, so you must follow the proper ear piercing aftercare.
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Tip : Use Sea Salt To Clean Your Piercing
A sea salt solution is ideal for cleaning your piercing. You can find a saline solution online. Use a clean swab or a cotton pad to apply the saline solution.
It can safely get rid of dried discharge and enhance blood flow. These qualities will aid your piercing wound to heal faster.
The spray is easy to use and will work well with all skin types. However, if you are trying to clean the cartridge area, you need to use a Q-tip for better application.
If you want, you can make a sea salt solution yourself.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of sea salt to 1 cup of water. If sea salt is not available in your area, you can use regular salt.
- Just add 1 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of water.
Remember that iodized salt and pink Himalayan salt have impurities, so you should steer clear of them.
You can also use the antiseptic solution that your ear piercer might have suggested or provided to you.
And Help Things Along As Best You Can
“It takes a patient mentality to help piercings heal 100 percent. Your body’s job is to get rid of foreign objects, so it’s a little bit of a dance you have to do,” Smith says, “You must be patient and nurse it to health. Sometimes the simple things are the best: Soap and water to clean, and ice for the swelling. If you take your aftercare seriously, you’ll avoid any problems.”
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How Long Does A Piercing Take To Heal
It really depends on which kind of ear piercing you got. While everyones healing varies, theres an average estimate for different kinds of piercings. Earlobes heal the fastest in less than two months. Helix or tragus piercings, on the other hand, can take up to a year to heal completely.
During this time, you are not allowed to take your jewelry out for long periods of time. This may cause the hole to close, which may make it difficult to return your earrings or may require another piercing. You can move your earrings and twist it while cleaning, but make sure your ears are moist as turning it while dry can damage your skin.
Minimize The Risk Of Infection And Scarring With These Tips
Please keep in mind that I am not a professional, but I have learned and tested these tips through experience. These methods have worked well for me, and to this day, every one of my lobe and cartilage piercings has healed quite nicely. Below are the dos and don’ts for minimizing the risk of swelling, infection, and scarring when you get a new piercing.
Dos: Steps to Take for a New Piercing
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If Your Piercing Is Bothering You Don’t Panic
“If you notice excessive swelling, redness, or radiating heat, or if the piercing is secreting fluid, don’t stressnine out of 10 times, your piercing is only irritated and not infected,” Smith assures. “Any reputable piercer will take a look at your piercing and set your mind at ease. Never panicworst case we just remove the jewelry. Don’t ask your friends, search online, or go to the doctor. Your piercer should be your first stop if you are the slightest bit worried, no one else.”
How Long Do You Have To Clean Your Ear Piercing The Real Answers Here
Ear piercings are very common, with young children and adults having them at one point in their lives. There are many ways you can pierce your ears and show off your personality through the many awesome earrings available. Besides that, they are less risky to have compared to other body piercings.
But if you dont care and clean for your ear piercings well, it can still cause complications. With that said, how long do you have to clean your ear piercing? Read on to find out!
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How Long Should I Use My Ear Piercing Cleaning Solution
As celebrities like Meghan Markle, Lady Gaga, & Anne Hathaway can illustrate, showing off personality with piercings is more popular than ever before. While this is a great way for anyone to add a bit of edge to their look, with beautiful earrings comes great responsibility. Before you can start thinking about swapping out earrings and having a variety of styles to choose from, a new piercing requires aftercare. Follow along to learn more!
First, lets talk about the basics of Ear Piercing Aftercare.
Recommended Ear Piercing Aftercare
Note: you will also want to clean your piercing after exercise, swimming, or any exposure to perfumes or hair products.
Inverness Ear Care Solution is specially-formulated to keep your new piercing clean and comfortable during the aftercare healing period. Our ear care solution contains only purified water and Benzalkonium Chloride, an antiseptic that cleans and soothes a new piercing.
Still have questions about our ear care solution or aftercare? Contact us directly to learn more.
Caring For Oral Piercings
What to expect. When getting your tongue pierced, you should be ready for it to swell. This happens in the beginning, but your tongue also heals quickly.
Cleaning tips. To keep your tongue or cheek piercing clean, you should use an antimicrobial or antibacterial alcohol-free mouthwash.
As your oral piercing heals, rinse your mouth about 4 to 5 times a day. Swish the cleaning solution around for 30 to 60 seconds. You should do this after meals and at bedtime especially.
Concerns with eating. When you eat, slowly chew small bites of food. For a tongue piercing, try to keep your tongue level as you chew. With a cheek or lip piercing, youâll want to avoid opening your mouth too wide. Avoid spicy, salty, acidic, or hot foods and beverages in the beginning. Cold foods and beverages can be good to eat, and they can help keep your swelling down.
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Keep Your Earrings In
After all the excitement of having your ears pierced, youll want to make sure that the piercing heals nicely yet doesnt heal and close over. This means you should keep your earrings in.
In the first six months, we recommend you dont go without your earrings for longer than 24 hours. If the piercing does heal shut, you wont be able to get your earring back in.
Cleaning An Ear Piercing: Simply & Effectively
- Written By Dan Hunter on October 15, 2018Last Updated: November 28, 2020
- Medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer T. Haley, M.D., FAAD
Ear piercings are an awesome way to express your personality and sense of style. With the wide variety of piercing types that are available, you have seemingly limitless choices when it comes to what piercings you should get. However, no matter what type of piercing you get, cleaning your ear piercing will be a vital part of the overall healing process.
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Signs Of An Infection
It is important to note that your earlobe piercing may be tender or painful for up to 3-5 days after the procedure was performed. This is normal. Note that sleeping directly on your ears or side may prolong the tenderness on the earlobe due to the pressure on the piercing site.
Beyond this time frame, be on alert for a potential problem, and make sure to look for signs of infection. This includes redness, swelling, heat, pain, itching, pus or fever. In addition, look for signs of poor or slow healing, which may indicate a metal sensitivity or allergy. An infection may be caused either by bacteria or by an allergic reaction.
It is also important to consider that not every kind of metal will work well for your body. Jewelry comes in a range of metals, including yellow, white or rose gold stainless steel titanium sterling silver nickel and more. Knowing which metal is best for your body may not be obvious immediately. If you are performing proper piercing aftercare and the piercing site is still not healing well, you may have to switch to a different type of metal due to a possible metal sensitivity or allergy. Nickel allergies, for example, are quite common. It is best to avoid nickel or nickel alloys by selecting hypoallergenic earrings, like the Rowan Earring Club, which are always hypoallergenic and nickel-free.