An infected ear piercing can be caused by unsterile piercing methods. As an open wound, an ear piercing typically takes 6-8 weeks to recuperate. A piercing in the cartilage, usually on the harder region of the ear might take a longer time to heal and at risk for infection.
Aside from unsterile piercing methods, an infection has a variety of causes such as:
- Touching the site with dirty hands or instruments
- Earrings are placed too tightly which does not allow enough space for the wound to breathe
- Too much handling of the piercing or the post of the earring is rough
Do I have an infected ear piercing?
An individual with an infected ear piercing has the following symptoms:
- Yellowish, pus-like drainage
- Itchiness and burning sensation
- Continuous ear pain or tenderness
For a minor case of infected ear piercing, it can be cared for at home. If a cartilage piercing appears infected, seek medical care.
Some of the measures that must be observed in caring for a minor infection include:
- Thoroughly wash hands before touching or cleaning the site of the piercing
- Clean the site using a saltwater rinse at least 3 times a day. It is recommended to use sterile saline or a combination of salt and distilled water.
- Do not remove the piercing since this can cause the hole to close and trap the infection.
- Clean the piercing on both sides of the earlobe. Make sure to pat dry the site using paper towels.
Once an infected ear piercing has cleared, the cleaning process must be continued 2 times a day until it has fully healed. Take note that a piercing can take 6-8 weeks to recuperate. During this period, routine care is vital.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on an infected ear piercing is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn how to properly manage this condition, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.