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Infected Ear Piercing Treatment

Is your new ear piercing showing signs of an infection? One must take immediate and effective action in such cases, as this condition can lead to other health complications. This article deals with the causes, symptoms, and treatment of infected ear piercings.
ThoughtfulTattoos Staff
Ear piercing is a type of body piercing that has been a part of several cultures since many centuries. In today's world, ear piercing which was usually done by women, has become a craze among young men too. The reasons vary from person to person. While for some, it is part of their culture, others do it to show themselves as a member of a particular group. Some people also get their ears pierced to rebel against their parents. However, in this frenzy, many times, people do not focus on several factors, which can lead to infection in the piercing. Nevertheless, there are certain methods that can help in curing the infection completely. However, before we go into the details of infected ear piercing treatment, let us take a look at the factors that cause this infection.
Causes
The most common cause of an infected ear piercing is not following the aftercare instructions carefully. People tend to touch their piercing quite often with unwashed hands, exposing it to bacteria which can cause infection. Sometimes, the method used to get the piercing done can also be the culprit. Some piercers use unsterilized equipment, causing infection to occur in that area. Other than this, another reason for the occurrence of infected ear piercings is the use of very tight earrings during the healing process. The problem with tight earrings is that they prevent air from entering the pierced area and also too much pressure hinders normal blood circulation, leading to infection. Apart from this, infection can also be caused due to improper use of jewelry during the healing process. This condition can be seen in people who have an allergy towards certain types of jewelry, especially those inexpensive ones that have nickel in them.
Symptoms
It is normal to observe some kind of swelling, redness, crustiness, yellow discharge, etc. on the ear during the healing process. However, when an infection occurs, along with these symptoms, one may also experience soreness, irritation, and pain in the affected area. It can also cause discharge of dark yellow or green colored pus from the piercing area.
Treatment Methods
Though noticing these symptoms is a matter of worry, there is absolutely no need to panic. There are some measures that help in curing this problem completely. However, before you try any of them, it would be beneficial to try to find out the real cause of the infection. Majority of the times, the cause is improper aftercare. However, if you are sure that you have followed all the aftercare instructions carefully, it is important to consult your piercer or a doctor who can look for the exact cause. Here are some infected ear piercing treatment measures that will relieve you from the symptoms caused by the infection.
Saline Solution: One of the most effective infected ear piercing treatments is by soaking the ear in saline water. You must take warm water in a container and add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to it. However, do not use the regular salt that has iodine, instead use rock salt or pure sea salt. The reason for this is that iodine can irritate the infection, worsening the condition further. When the mixture is ready, soak a cotton swab in this solution and place it on the piercing. Applying a little pressure to this area can also get rid of the pus inside it. Let the cotton swab stay on the affected area till the water becomes cold. Repeat this procedure 1-2 times a day and remember that the quantity of salt should not go beyond what is recommended, as this can also cause irritation.
Home Remedies: Many people may recommend you to use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to get rid of the infection. However, these have to be avoided as they are made of harsh chemicals that can cause damage to the tissues of the surrounding areas, increasing the irritation. Instead, using a home remedy will be effective as well as safe. Make a paste using turmeric powder and clarified butter and apply it on the infected ear piercing. Turmeric powder and clarified butter have healing properties that help in getting rid of the bacteria causing the infection. Exposing the piercing to a warm compress can also help in many cases.
Change the Jewelry: If the problem that caused the infection is because of the wrong type of jewelry that is used, it is important to change the jewelry as soon as possible. You should always use an earring that is made of 24 carat gold or silver. Other than these, you can also use those made of surgical steel during the healing process. Also, do not forget to clean your earring post with antibacterial solution while cleaning your piercing.
Try some of these remedies for at least 3-4 days continuously, however, if the infection does not lessen, it is advisable to consult a doctor immediately. Nevertheless, as the saying 'prevention is better than cure' applies in this context perfectly, you must realize that taking certain precautions before as well as after the piercing such as following the aftercare instructions properly will help in preventing the infection from occurring, thus saving you from the pain and discomfort caused by it.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.