What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- How will I know when the infection has cleared?
- When is it safe to remove my earrings?
- Do I need to clean my earrings?
- Can my ears get infected even after the piercing heals?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Getting your ears pierced is most often a safe, simple procedure. Be sure to go to an experienced piercer who practices proper hygiene procedures. Keep your new piercings clean, and dont remove the earrings until the piercing has healed completely. Be patient by preventing an infection now, you can enjoy your healthy piercing for years to come.
Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.
Why Your Ear Piercings Suddenly Smell Putridand How To Prevent The Stank
Follow this advice to avoid the common crustiness.
A gorgeous pair of earrings is a great accessorybut whats the deal with the holes in your ears smelling like rotten cheese? Turns out its a mix of skin cells and natural oils getting clogged all up in there. Um, gross.
Luckily, theres a super easy way to preventor get rid ofthat funky smell if you notice it. You should clean your old piercings in the shower and let warm water run over it, says Maria Tash, owner of Venus by Maria Tash, a fine jewelry and piercing spa in New York City. Cleaning the piercing tunnel occasionally with antibacterial soap also cleans off any skin cells that can collect in the jewelry and create odor.
Fluid Discharge Or Pus
Keep an eye out for pus coming out of your ear piercing. Pus is identifiable by its thick discharge. This discharge is white, yellow, or green in colour.
A foul smell accompanies usually the pus from an infected ear piercing. The smell is a result of the bacteria in the pus.
Is it infected?
A thick, pussy discharge with a foul odour is a near-certain sign of infection. Not all discharge is abnormal for a new piercing.
Odourless, clear or lightly coloured fluid is simply lymph fluid. Its normal for this fluid to drain from a new piercing. The fluid may crust around the piercing. On its own, this is no cause for alarm.
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How Do I Treat An Infected Ear Piercing
An infected ear piercing can be painful and can become extremely problematic if not treated correctly and promptly. If you suspect an infection, the area should be gently but thoroughly washed with a mild antibacterial soap and soaked with a warm saline solution. An over-the-counter antibacterial ointment should also be applied. If the infected piercing does not improve within three days, gets worse, or if you begin to run a fever, you should see your doctor immediately. Sometimes, an infection in the ear requires prescription antibiotics.
When washing an infected ear piercing, make sure you use a mild antibacterial hand soap. Before washing, carefully remove the earring, and using a soft cloth or tissue, squeeze the area slightly to clear away any puss or discharge that might be present. Work up a good lather on a soft washcloth, and gently clean the area, rinsing it thoroughly when done. This should be done twice a day.
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.
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When Can You Change Out Your Jewelry
The answer to this question is different for everyone. It all depends on how fast you heal and what kind of piercing you got.
If youre unsure whether youre ready to change out your jewelry, ask your piercer about a month or two after you got your piercing. They can examine the area and give you a definitive answer.
The typical symptoms of an infected piercing include the following:
- aching or throbbing pain in and around the piercing
How Can I Tell If My Ear Piercing Is Infected
The symptoms of an ear piercing are usually both visible, and irritative or painful. Pay close attention to the following indications of an infection:
- Painful to touch
If you experience any of the above, chances are you have an infection. But dont worry just yet. Read on to learn more.
If you recently had your ears pierced, and you begin to notice some time afterwards that things just dont look or feel right, then chances are an infection might be brewing.
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What Ear Piercings Are Most Likely To Become Infected
There are so many options for spots on your ear you can pierce and, TBH, you can get an infection anywhere. That said, some spots are riskier than others. Piercings that go through ear cartilage are much more likely to become infected and are more difficult to treat than infections through the ear lobe or the soft tissues just above the lobe, Dr. Kaplan says.
Dr. Mankarious agrees. “Piercing infections are most likely to occur in areas where the blood supply is low and cartilage is notorious for a low blood supply,” she explains. “Cartilage infections can be particularly dangerous just for that reason.” In other words, it’s difficult for antibodies and antibiotics to reach the infection site when it’s in your cartilage, giving the infection the opportunity to take over.
How Can You Treat An Infected Ear Piercing
Most of the time, you can treat infections at home if you catch them early enough. Dr. Kaplan recommends going back to the place where you got your piercing to have the area evaluated . Places that do piercings see this kind of thing all the time and should be able to recommend next steps based on your situation.
In general, though, these are the recommended steps, per Kim Nichols, MD, board-certified dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, and founding director of NicholsMD in Greenwich, Connecticut:
Typically, ear lobe piercings heal in about six weeks, with cartilage piercings taking longer. And despite your urge to rotate the piercingdon’t. At least not until after it’s healed. “Twisting and turning a new piercing could damage the delicate skin and hinder the healing process,” says Dr. Nichols. It can also expose your new piercing to germs and other bacteria on your hands, which could lead to another infection and scarring.
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Ear Piercing Infection Symptoms
Symptoms will help you to know if you have an infected ear piercing. Some of these symptoms may show up during the process of piercing. You need to know how old the piercing became compromised with infection for you strike the cause. The following are some common signs and symptoms you should be aware of your ear piercings.
This is one of the signs of an infection is marked by a noticeable change in color especially around the earring hole. Redness involved with persistent pain should be taken seriously. Sometimes there may be inflamed streaks or thread-like marks or lines that radiate from round the infected ear piercing.
Secondly, it is expected that slight swelling should occur after you have pierced your ear. It could be pierced earlobes or cartilage. However, if the swelling does not subside after the second day, that could be dangerous. In some cases the swelling may extend to the glands in the neck region and you should have a sore feeling in your neck or jaw.Swelling may be worsened by drainage from the piercing holes. A discharge with brown, grey, yellow-greenish color marked by a bad, foul smell will indicate there being an infection. Piercing experts have argued that a clear discharge is normal while your piercing is healing. This discharge would actually be lymph fluid.
Cleaning The Infected Cartilage Piercing
It takes a long time for infected cartilage piercings to heal because there is not enough blood circulation to that area. But it can heal faster with proper aftercare. Here is how to clean the pierced area for a more rapid healing process.
The recommended method for cleaning and aftercare is a saline solution. A saline solution is a mix of sea salt and warm water. Before applying on pierced site, make sure the area is properly cleaned and free of dirt, pus, dead tissue, and other material. Some individuals find the use of antibacterial soap more effective, but then you shouldnt have sensitive skin.
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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.
And to finish off, youre going to love this nifty hack
How To Take Care Of Infection In Newly Pierced Ears
This article was co-authored by Stephanie Anders. Stephanie Anders is the Owner and Head Piercer at Royal Heritage Tattoo and Piercing, a tattoo and piercing studio located in Los Angeles, California. Stephanie has over 10 years of piercing experience and her client list includes such stars as Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba, Cameron Diaz, Nicole Richie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sharon Osbourne. This article has been viewed 237,690 times.
Infection is a minor risk with virtually every ear piercing, but one that can increase with unsanitary piercing practices and/or improper care following the piercing. Luckily, the vast majority of infections caused by an ear piercing can be treated with easy home remedies. See Step 1 below to start learning how to deal with an infection in your pierced ear and to prevent future infections.
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How Can I Clear An Ear
If no fever is present, the infection seems mild, and there is very little pain, then it will be a lot easier to clear up the infection at home using simple over the counter washes. This statement pretty much goes for most all ear piercings.
To begin, thoroughly wash both hands using warm, soapy water. This will ensure that no other germs or bacteria will be introduced into the already infected piercing site.
Next, prepare a warm salt water solution to apply directly to the infected area. This can be made by taking one-quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt and mixing it with one cup of boiling water. Let the solution cool slightly.
While the water is still warm, use your fingers and a sterile cotton or gauze pad to apply the salt water to the front and back of the piercing site. After youre done cleaning the area, use a clean, dry paper towel to dry your earlobes.
Try not to reach for a towel or a face cloth as these things can be loaded with germs and bacteria, especially if they are not coming directly from the dryer.
Make sure to clean the infected area twice a day with the sea salt solution, and space out the cleanings as far apart as possible. A good rule of thumb is to clean the area once in the morning and once at night.
How To Treat Infected Piercings
This article was co-authored by Karissa Sanford. Karissa Sanford is the Co-owner of Make Me Holey Body Piercing, a piercing studio based in the San Francisco Bay Area that specializes in safe and friendly body piercing. Karissa has over 10 years of piercing experience and is a member of the Association of Professional Piercers .There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,107,905 times.
If one of your piercings looks red or swollen, it may be infected. This wikiHow will give you tips on how to treat infected piercings and how to prevent them from occurring.
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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.
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.”
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Is My Ear Piercing Infected
By chronicon February 21, 2018
Is my ear piercing infected? Its a question every piercing studio is familiar with. Identifying an infection is often difficult, especially if its your first piercing. Many of the symptoms of an infection are similar to the side effects of a new piercing.
Put your mind and ears at ease with this handy guide. We take a look at:
- How to identify infection
When To See The Doctor
Minor ear piercing infections can progress to perichondritis, abscess formation, and necrosis with or without systemic symptoms. Perichondritis is;inflammation of the perichondrium, a layer of tissue surrounding the cartilage of the external part of the ear known as the pinna. Meanwhile, necrosis is a form of irreversible cell injury that results in the death of cells in the affected area.
For the above reasons, you should see the doctor promptly if home remedies down work. Most experts recommend seeing the doctor if the symptoms dont subside after a week of home treatment.
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Apply A Topical Antibiotic Ointment
Applying a topical antibiotic ointment recommended by a dermatologist can be a great way to help heal the infected area . After cleaning, gently pat the area dry and pat a small amount of the ointment over the infected area.
If the piercing is hot to the touch and painful, you can cleanse by applying a warm-water compress. You can do this right at home by taking a washcloth, running it under warm water, and then applying directly to the infected site. Just make sure that the cloth is not burning hot. Keep the compress on for 20-30 minutes and repeat as necessary. “Its healed when the skin returns to normal color and is no longer painful or swollen and there is no longer any yellow discharge,” says Zalka.
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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Keep Your Piercing Clean
Cleaning is one of the most important aspects of taking care of your piercings. Ear lobe piercings can take 6-8 weeks to fully heal, and ear cartilage piercing 4 months to a year. Follow proper aftercare throughout this period.
Follow these steps to clean a mild ear piercing infection:
- Wash your hands
- Clean both sides of the piercing with a saline solution
- Do not remove the piercing jewellery
- Repeat twice daily until the piercing heals
You can also benefit from a gentle, unscented glycerine soap in the shower. Use after washing your hair and body, this will allow it to wash away any soap or shampoo residue.
If infection is suspected, never remove the jewellery until after the infection and piercing fully heal. removing the jewellery traps the infection inside. The skin can heal over the infection, preventing fluid from draining. This can lead to an abscess and a more severe infection.
For a severe infection, its best to consult a healthcare professional. If needed, they can prescribe antibacterial medication.
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