Ear Piercing Infections
When your teen decides to have her ears pierced, know that there is risk involved. Many don’t think about it because it is such a simple procedure, but you are introducing a foreign object into your body. Whether the earring is 24-karat gold or surgical steel, it is still not part of your natural tissue.
The lobe is different from the cartilaginous portion of the ear when it comes to incidence of infection. Most piercings take place in the lobe of the ear. The blood supply here is rich. When piercings are done further up the ear, the blood supply is not as good in the cartilage. It needs to pull blood from nearby vessels. This can create a more extensive infection if it occurs here.
Dealing with an Infection
But, even with precautions an infection can still occur. Clearing it up as soon as possible is best to avoid pain.
* Remove the earring – This is advised when the ear is not newly pierced. If it is, removing the piercing can seal the infection in the ear tissue. This can stem the source of the infection.
* Cover the ear in a solution of salt – Using balanced salt solution or Epsom salts will flush the wound and promote healing. Do this at least twice a day.
* Squeeze the ear – This might be painful, but it is necessary to remove any pus and bacteria from the ear that is forming there. Constantly removing infected fluid and irrigating with salt solution will clean it out.
* Use warm compresses – It will bring more blood supply to the area to speed healing. Try it twice a day for several minutes. Be sure to completely dry the ear afterwards. Bacteria love moist places and you don’t want to spread the infection.
* Apply antibiotic ointment – This ointment can seal the wounds and keep other bacteria out. Just apply a small amount around both sides of your ear.
* Still turn your earrings daily – The infection has interrupted the healing process. As it is stopped, the ear will recommence closing. Turning the studs will prevent the tissue from attaching to the piercing.
* See a doctor – If the infection seems to be getting worse instead of better after a few days of at-home treatment, seek medical attention. A doctor can take a look and prescribe an oral antibiotic for more aggressive bugs.