Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How To Tell If Your Ear Piercing Is Getting Infected

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Knowing The Signs Of An Infected Ear Piercing

how I clean out infected piercings + demo
Brace yourself: piercings hurt. Thats perfectly normal, especially when getting a cartilage piercing. Your aftercare guide may recommend ibuprofen the day of your piercing to relieve any pain. If the pain continues to increase past a mild discomfort during your aftercare, then you may have an infection.
A bit of swelling around the piercing site is normal. If, however, your ear looks like its growing another head, seek medical care. If the swelling is hot to the touch, then its definitely an infection.
Noticing the pattern? A bit of redness is normal! If it gets redder instead of fading, and combines with the other symptoms, start treating.
Excess or Discolored Pus
New piercings often have a bit of clear or whitish discharge that crusts over as it dries. This discharge is part of the reason you need to keep on top of your aftercare if any gets left behind, it will invite bacteria. Signs of a developing infection include if your pus turns a nasty colour or starts to reek.
If you develop a fever, make a doctors appointment or visit the urgent care centre immediately! Fevers are a systematic symptom, i.e. full-body. These indicate that the infection has spread beyond your ear and can no longer be treated at home.

If youre concerned about your piercing, its better to be safe than sorry. Dont be afraid to seek the advice of your piercer or a medical doctor. Your piercer cant treat an infection, but they can certainly recognize one!

Signs Your Child Has An Infected Ear Piercing

By Coastal Urgent Care Bossier

Is your childs recent ear piercing not looking as healthy as it should?

Studies have shown that about one in every five body piercings will get infected at some point. If left untreated, the infection could turn dangerous, possibly even deadly. Its important to keep an eye on any new piercing, even one as tame as an earlobe piercing.

Here are some signs that your child may have an infected ear piercing and needs antibiotic treatment.

All You Need To Know About An Infected Ear Piercing

When you get your ears pierced, chances are that the professional will provide with you list of aftercare tips. As you are making an artificial injury to your skin, it is more prone to infection. Heres what you need to know before you get pierced.

Body piercings have been popular since ages. As per the recent current piercing stats,72% of Americans have at least one body piercing.

So, if you are planning for one, you can look for somecool ear piercing options. All is well with them. But just one thing you have to be careful about is infection. You can consider the piercing as an open wound. And this can take somewhere around six to eight weeks to heal. The time varies as per the pierced area. For instance, cartilage piercings tends to be the most painful as these take place on the harder part of your ear. Hence, it can take a longer time to heal. Plus, it will be more prone to infection.

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Poor And Unhygienic Procedures

The first and most common cause of infections is the use of unsterilized equipment and poor procedures i.e. unsterilized needle, gun and other equipment. There has been reports of cluster of infections caused by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria in Oregon, US. This bacterial infection have been attributed to the piercing kiosk using poor procedures that led to multiple people getting infected at the same time .

How Do You Know If Your Ear Piercing Is Infected

How to clean infected ear piercing, ALQURUMRESORT.COM

If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor:

  • 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 have spread beyond the area of the earring

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Neilmed Neilcleanse Piercing Aftercare

NeilMed Neilcleanse Piercing Aftercare saline spray helps in healing piercings. It is an isotonic, drug-free, preservative-free solution for cleaning your piercing during the healing period with no burning or stinging to irritate the pierced area. The sterile saline solution can be used as part of your healing process with any fresh piercing, including ear piercings, nostril piercings and belly button piercings. Neilcleanse sprays in any direction for easy use without touching your piercing.

How You Can Get A Piercing Infection

A piercing is essentially an open wound. An earlobe piercing usually takes six to eight weeks to heal. Cartilage piercings, which take place on the harder part of your ear, generally take longer to heal and can be more prone to infection. There are several ways your ear piercing can get infected.

Any bacteria left to fester can quickly turn into an infection. If you touch your piercing with dirty hands or instruments, you can introduce an infection. If the earrings are on too tightly, not allowing room for the wound to breathe and heal, an infection can develop. A piercing can also get infected if theres too much handling of the piercing or the post of the earring is rough.

An infection can also occur if unsterile instruments were used, if the person piercing your ears didnt use gloves, or if the posts themselves werent sterile.

Its fairly easy to identify an infected ear piercing. Symptoms may include:

  • yellow, pus-like discharge

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How Is A Severely Infected Ear Piercing Treated

If you have a major infection or it involves the cartilage of your ear, you’re probably going to need to remove the piercing. “The piercing site needs time to rest and for the immune system to calm down,” Dr. Mankarious explains.

And really, as sucky as it is to remove a piercing you were psyched about, this isnt something you want to mess with. Failure to remove hardware in a timely manner could result in the need for hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics and/or surgical intervention for drainage of pus or to cut away the diseased, non-salvageable tissue, with a greater possibility of deformity as a result, Dr. Kaplan says. So, yeah…you dont want that.

That doesn’t mean you have to live a piercing-free existence, though. “Getting an infection does not mean you cannot be re-pierced, it simply means that technique surrounding the cleaning or the metal used was inadequate for your needs,” Dr. Mankarious says.

When To See An Ent Specialist For An Ear Infection


Make an appointment with an ENT specialist. As mentioned, a minor infection of an ear piercing can be treated at home successfully. However, if the following symptoms below develop, be sure to get medical assistance. A fever develops. Beyond the piercing site, the infection, or redness and inflammation, spreads. If within 2 days the infection doesnt improve with home treatment. The earring is immovable. The earring clasp is embedded in your skin.Remember, with proper care and cleaning, you can reduce the risk of ear piercing infections. In the event you experience an extreme case of infection, for assistance.

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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.

Why Are Cartilage Piercings Riskier

img source: inkwellkingston.com

If your pierced cartilage gets infected, ensure you get it treated as soon as possible since according to nhs.uk, this piercing is riskier than earlobe piercings. If the site becomes infected, you may develop a painful abscess. This is because the skin is close to the underlying cartilage and pus can become trapped.

In case your cartilage has developed an abscess, you need to go for surgery to remove it since antibiotics might not be of much help. Such surgical procedures require removal of the affected cartilage. This is likely to deform your ears.

Other risks associated with piercing on the ear cartilages include

  • Hypertonic scarring

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Fever And High Temperature

When the infection is severe, your body will start to experience a warm feeling, or have very high temperatures.

The warm feeling and the high temperatures can be noted every time you try to touch the area surrounding the recently pierced cartilage using your fingers.

It is something that poses a serious concern, and should not be ignored. If you note this symptom, it will be important for you to get immediate medical help from a GP, to prevent the occurrence of an ear infection, which could mean more bad news for your ear.

My Cartilage Piercing Is Infected Causes

Piercing Infection

According to Dr. Axe, cartilage piercing infection is primarily caused by microorganisms of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus Aureus. It is normal for many people to experience the symptoms after they have had their cartilages pierced, but it is also normal for the infection to occur during the piercing process.

So what causes an infection to occur?

Recommended Reading: How Long Can An Ear Infection Go Untreated

How To Treat An Infected Ear Piercing: Over

You dont necessarily have to run to the doctor at the first signs of an ear infection. In fact, there are several do-it-yourself treatments you can explore to help treat it before seeking additional assistance. Take dandruff shampoo, for instance.

The zinc pyrithione in dandruff shampoo is known to treat dandruff but also has antibacterial properties that can aid in the healing process of infected ears or work to prevent infection, Fusco said.

If your ear irritation seems more like an allergic reaction than a full-blown infection, Shah suggests removing the earring, then using a gentle cleanser to cleanse the ear twice a day. You can also try applying an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and a healing ointment such as Aquaphor or Cicalfate.

With blatant infections, cleaning the infected area with a saltwater rinse and steering clear of certain irritants can also help cure it. Avoid alcohol and hydrogen peroxide as these can potentially irritate the areas. Dry the piercing on both sides with a paper towel. If the infection is improving, continue this until fully cleared, Shah said.

If the infected area is oozing, try placing a towel on your pillowcase and changing it daily. Then once it subsides, apply an antibacterial cream to the earring post before inserting it.

I advise trying home treatments for about a week. If home treatments are not working or the area is worsening, it’s best to seek medical care immediately, Shah said.

What Causes A Cartilage Piercing Bump

One of the primary reasons why the infected cartilage piercing has developed a bubble is because it was handled in a rough manner, and no aftercare was practiced at all.

Additional causes may include wearing jewelry made from incorrect materials, using materials that have not been sterilized, or incorrect handling by the professional performing the piercing.

The formation of a bump is often viewed as part of the healing process associated with cartilage piercings. When you practice proper aftercare, it may be possible for you to avoid it all together.

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How To Tell If Ear Piercing Is Infected

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Secondly Why Does My Ear Piercing Keep Getting Infected


A piercing can also get infected if theres too much handling of the piercing or the post of the earring is rough. An infection can also occur if unsterile instruments were used, if the person piercing your ears didnt use gloves, or if the posts themselves werent sterile.


If a new piercing is infected, it is best not to remove the earring. Removing the piercing can allow the wound to close, trapping the infection within the skin. For this reason, it is advisable not to remove an earring from an infected ear unless advised by a doctor or professional piercer.

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Age For Piercing Ears

  • Parents often wonder what a good age is to have ear piercing done. It is best to wait until a child can play an active role. Most often, this is past age 8.
  • Children under 4 years may touch the earrings a lot. Playing with the earring with dirty hands can lead to infections.
  • Younger children also can get the earrings out and put them in their mouth. This can lead to swallowing or choking on them.

Saline Cleaning And Warm Water

The best way to take care of a cartilage piercing is by properly cleaning the area. You can go about this process by using warm water once you have taken a shower using hair shampoo.

Warm water is vital as it helps in relieving the pain caused by the piercing, while at the same time relieving any swelling that could be present.

Additionally, cleaning will also play an important role in promoting healing, as it will discourage microbes from accumulating on the surface near the piercing.

Using a saline solution to perform the cleaning will also guarantee better relief, especially when this piercing hurts. Saline solutions have also been known to help in accelerating the healing process of the piercing.

However, it is imperative to note that there are cleaning solutions which can cause terrible results when used on new or piercings that are just starting to heal.

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Symptoms Of Infected Ear Piercing You Should Not Ignore

Infection after an ear piercing is manifested if aftercare instructions are not followed properly. Some of the noticeable symptoms include redness, inflammation, itching, pain, and unusual discharge. Read on to know more about signs of infected ear piercing.

Infection after an ear piercing is manifested if aftercare instructions are not followed properly. Some of the noticeable symptoms include redness, inflammation, itching, pain, and unusual discharge. Read on to know more about signs of infected ear piercing.

Among the several options for body piercing, ear piercing is the most common type. The approach for ear piercing may be cultural practice or just to flaunt jewelry for style. Since piercings are done in the exposed body parts such as the ear, it requires less time for healing as compared to other types of body piercings, such as the belly button, navel, and tongue. Also, the chances of unusual complications are rare.

There are very rare chances of getting your ear infected, if the procedure is conducted by a qualified piercer and the aftercare tips are followed correctly. Without infections and other unusual signs, ear piercing heals in about 6-8 weeks. Nevertheless, there are risks associated with any type of piercing. Having a thorough knowledge about the causes of ear piercing infection and its symptoms will help you in getting over the painful complications.

CausesSymptomsRednessInflammationBurning painFeverFluid-filled Blisters

When Should I See A Doctor For An Infected Piercing

My sisters ear after taking an infected rook piercing out ...

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 it 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.

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Do Not Remove The Ear Jewelry

Removing can easily contaminate or cause germs being transferred to the earring bars leading to infection in earring hole after placement. Besides, it may cause unnecessary injury and lead to bleeding. Unless it is an old piercing or you are instructed to remove ear jewelry in order to clean properly, leave them alone.

How To Preventgetting An Infected Piercing:

  • Go to an experienced and qualified piercer instead of doing your own piercings.
  • Avoid picking at any scabs that form and use a warm saline solution to soften it.
  • Try a saltwater gargle or alcohol-free mouthwash to disinfect mouth piercings.
  • Refrain from having sex until your mouth or genital piercing has completely healed.
  • Clean your piercing twice a day to keep bacteria from entering the piercing site.
  • Don’t go swimming until the piercing fully heals.

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How To Tell If Your Piercing Is Infected And How To Treat It At Home

  • A piercing is infected if it is red, swollen, bleeding, and producing pus.
  • To treat it at home, use topical antibioitcs, a saline solution, and don’t remove the piercing.
  • See a doctor immediately if the piercing is worsening as it can lead to scarring.

Piercings are prone to bacterial infections, especially if you constantly fiddle with it or your piercer doesn’t sterilize their equipment before use. It’s important to get pierced by a professional and to refrain from touching the piercing to prevent any complications.

While soreness, slight bleeding, and clear fluid discharge might be normal in new piercings, increased redness, swelling, and pus are a cause for concern, says Anna Balabanova Shannahan, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

In some cases, you can treat minor symptoms at home by applying over-the-counter antibiotic cream like Neosporin or Bacitracin, but it’s better to see a doctor right away when you have signs of infection to avoid further complications.

Here are the signs of an infected piercing, how to treat it, and when to seek medical attention.

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