With the trend of fashion changing by the day, more women and men are getting their ears pierced as a popular form of cultural, personal, or artistic expression.
Many people have their ears pierced and not even in one place, most people have piercing in their ear in several places.
What’s important to remember is that skin that has been wounded through piercing is vulnerable to infection. To minimize the risk of an infected ear piercing, always have a trained professional perform the piercing, and keep your newly pierced ears clean.
It’s perfectly normal to have some pain and redness at the piercing for about two days. However, anything longer than 48 hours might indicate the onset of infection which can be detected through the following symptoms:
Tenderness at or around the piercing, most common with children.
Any persistent swelling, more than two days after piercing.
Any thick yellowish or greenish opaque discharge (pus) from the piercing, indicating infection.
White or red bump(s) appearing on the earlobes.
Any elevated fever, especially in children.
Placeholder post earring becomes stuck and unable to rotate.
Other less common infected ear piercing symptoms include scaring, nausea, boils, and carbuncles associated with staphylococcus bacteria (Staph infections).
Here are few tricks on how to take care of your infected ear piercing.
Antimicrobial soap: This type of cleanser works by killing nonpathogenic bacteria. In mild cases of infection, using an antibacterial soap can help eliminate the bacteria that are causing the infection. It is applied in the same manner as regular soap and works best before alcohol and antibiotic treatments.
Avoid using hydrogen peroxide: The use of hydrogen peroxide should be avoided because it dries out the piercing site, kills healing cells and encourages a crusting. Over time, the piercing site may become raw and exposed to bacteria that cause infection.
Rubbing alcohol: Using rubbing alcohol is a good way to prevent infections, and it can also be used to treat infected ear piercing if it occurs. To treat the infection, rub the alcohol on either side of earlobes twice in a day. If the piercing isn’t infected, and the wound has already healed, apply it on the posts or earrings, after they have been removed, three times a day to help mitigate or prevent infection.
Employ great care afterwards: The skin around your ear piercing may be red, tender, and swollen for a couple of days after the piercing, this is normal. Meantime, you will have to take care of the wound to prevent any possibility of infection. However, if you think your piercing might be infected, there are some actions you can take to remedy the problem.
Wash your hands thoroughly before aftercare treatments, soak your earlobe in a saline solution. Gently wash the piercing no more than twice a day with soap and water. Remember to dry with a disposable paper towel (cloth harbors bacteria), do not rotate or remove your placeholder earring.