Use Of Poor Piercing Equipment Or Unprofessional Piercing
Before you get any piercing done on your body, one of the most important factors to consider will be sterilization.
When piercing any part of your body, the equipment in use will be coming into contact with your blood supply.
Even though there are people who will argue that piercing guns cause less pain, there is a need to understand that any external object that is exposed to your blood supply is likely to cause problems.
When piercing the cartilage, the piercing gun will force a stud through the skin surface, and this will cause the skin to rip for it to make room for the jewelry, thus exposes it to trauma, and the chances of getting an infected cartilage piercing.
Prolonged Bleeding And Scabbing
Of course, there may be a bit of blood on the first day or two after receiving a new piercing you have a wound in your ear, after all. Despite this, when everything is going smoothly, the bleeding should clear up relatively quickly. If your piercing continues to bleed after a few days, it could be infected.
What Causes Infected Ear Piercings
If bacteria gets into a new piercing, it can lead to infection. You may expose your new piercing to harmful bacteria by:
- Getting your ears pierced in an unhygienic environment or with unsterilized equipment.
- Touching your ears with dirty hands.
- Removing your earrings before the piercing heals.
- Neglecting to clean your new piercings daily.
- Swimming or submerging your head in a pool, hot tub, lake or river before your piercings fully heal.
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What Antibiotics Treat An Infected Ear Piercing
The best antibiotics for treating auricular cartilage infections caused by piercings should be fluoroquinolones . Furthermore, there is a bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa that causes disease from ear piercings, so you should take an antibiotic to fight it, such as Ciprofloxacin or Levofloxacin.
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What Piercing Gets Infected The Easiest
Of all the body sites commonly pierced, the navel is the most likely to become infected because of its shape. Infections can often be treated with good skin hygiene and antibiotic medications.
Most commonly, an infected ear piercing is caused , which can happen in several ways. Handling with unclean hands. If you clean your ears without washing your hands first, you run the risk of exposing your piercings to bacteria. Not cleaning the piercing enough.
A cartilage piercing creates an open wound. As it heals, it may look swollen, lumpy, or like a bump. In the days immediately following a cartilage piercing, the bodyâs immune system triggers inflammation and swelling to heal the wound, sometimes leading to a cartilage bump.
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When To Call A Doctor
How do you know when to call a doctor? The first thing you should check is the symptoms. If you experience any of the following symptoms, then it signifies you should contact a doctor:
- The clasp becomes implanted into your skin
- The infection worsens even after home treatment
- Redness and inflammation spread beyond the site
Regarding This Do Antibiotics Help Ear Piercing Infection
As long as your infection is minor, you may be able to take care of it at home. If youve had a cartilage piercing and it seems infected, seek medical treatment. These types of infections are harder to treat and may require oral antibiotics. Significant infections of the cartilage can require hospitalization.
What Does An Infected Ear Piercing Look Like 10 Photos To Help You Spot An Infection
Plus, doctors explain what to do if you have one.
BY KORIN MILLER
In a perfect world, youd get your ears pierced and spend the rest of your life effortlessly rocking cute earrings. In reality? Sometimes piercings get infected, andnot gonna sugar-coat itit can be really effing gross.
Luckily, infected ear piercings arent the norm and, if you get pierced at a reputable place and practice solid piercing after-care, youre probably going to be just fine. Still, infected piercings can and do happen to good people. Whomp, whomp.
If you find your piercing looking or feeling a little…off, it can be hard to tell the difference between minor irritation and a full-blown infection. But Kenneth A. Kaplan, MD, an otolaryngologist with ENT and Allergy Associates in New Jersey, and Leila Mankarious, MD, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, are here to clear things up that confusion and answer all the burning questions you have about infected ear piercings.
Plus, the 10 photos ahead can help you identify if you’re indeed dealing with an infection.
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, Dr. Kaplan says: 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.
Do only new ear piercings get infected?
What ear piercings are most likely to become infected?
Determine If Your Piercing Is Infected
The first thing is to determine if your piercing is actually infected. “A piercing may be infected if you notice redness, swelling, pain or tenderness, warmth, crusting, and yellow drainage around the piercing site,” says Chang. “More severe infections can lead to spreading redness/swelling, fevers, chills, and swollen lymph nodes.”
“My experience is that bellybutton piercings are the ones most at risk for infections. The second most common would be nose piercings,” says Zalka.
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Who Should Perform My Body Piercing
Before getting a piercing, do some research. Find a clean, safe piercing shop. Choose a professional with a good reputation to perform the piercing.
Do not pierce yourself or let anyone pierce you who is not a professional. Select the body site and jewelry carefully. Avoid jewelry made of nickel or brass. These metals can cause allergic reactions. Look for jewelry made of titanium, 14-carat gold, or surgical-grade steel.
The person doing the piercing should:
- Wash his or her hands well with a germicidal soap before doing the piercing.
- Wear disposable gloves.
How Do You Treat An Infected Cartilage Piercing
Tammie McKeownTreating the infection at home
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S In Treating Minor Ear Piercing Infection
Step 1: If you touch or clean your piercing, make sure you wash your hands.
Step 2: Clean your piercing with a saline rinse thrice a day. If you can’t find a good product online, you can create your own by combining ¼ teaspoon of salt and mixing it with 8 ounces of distilled water.
Step 3: Don’t attempt to use antibiotic ointments, hydrogen peroxide, and even alcohol, as this will only irritate your skin and worsen the infection.
Step 4: Never attempt to remove your jewelry. The hole could close up and trap the bacteria.
Step 5: When cleaning your piercing, make sure you clean both sides of your ears and then pat it dry with a clean paper towel.
When the infection has cleared up, don’t stop cleaning the piercing. Continue to do it but taper it down to twice a day up to 8 weeks. Routine care is also essential to keep infection at bay.
What Causes A Cartilage Piercing Bump
One of the primary reasons why the infected cartilage piercing has developed a bubble is because it was handled in a rough manner, and no aftercare was practiced at all.
Additional causes may include wearing jewelry made from incorrect materials, using materials that have not been sterilized, or incorrect handling by the professional performing the piercing.
The formation of a bump is often viewed as part of the healing process associated with cartilage piercings. When you practice proper aftercare, it may be possible for you to avoid it all together.
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Medical Mystery: A Teen’s Ear Piercing Goes Awry
Her pediatrician prescribed an antibiotic when her ear turned warm and red after a piercing. Why wasn’t it working?
Three days before she came to our emergency department, a teenager named Jessica had been seen by her pediatrician for what seemed to be a skin infection on the outside of her right ear. The redness, swelling, and pain had developed a few days after a new ear piercing, so Jessica’s mother called the doctor’s office.
Jessica’s pediatrician diagnosed a mild case of a bacterial skin infection known as cellulitis, and gave her a prescription for an antibiotic, cephalexin, along with the standard precautions. If the redness spread or the ear became more painful, or if she developed fever, chills, or fatigue, it could be a sign of worsening infection, and she would need to either return to the office or go to the ER.
“It’s just not getting any better,” the girl complained to us.
She was understandably frustrated with a high school dance just a few days away , she was worried how her swollen red ear might appear in photos, especially on social media. Was there anything we could do?
She seemed healthy to us. Her heart rate was normal, 86 beats per minute. Her blood pressure was 112/70, oral temperature 98.6. She had no headache, visual changes, or neck pain that would suggest extension of her infection into the brain or spinal cord , and an inspection of her ear drum, where diagnoses of middle ear infections are made, was normal.
Consider The Jewelry Material
If you have a nickel sensitivity, you may not be able to handle jewelry made of nickel-laden metals. “Its best to see your dermatologist or other health care provider as an infection can be mistaken for an allergic reaction and vice versa,” says Zalka. “Some people react to the metal in the piercing object. This can happen to those with a nickel allergy.” Silver, gold, and steel may still have small amounts of nickel in them enough to bother someone who’s very sensitive. In this case, niobium or titanium jewelry may be necessary. You may also have allergic reactions to other kinds of metals, even if they don’t contain nickel. Always consider the jewelry first if you’re having a problem, and have it changed to a high-quality metal if you think that could be the cause.
An infection does not necessarily mean that you need to remove the jewelry and jump ship from your new piercing. Many infections will clear up with some extra care, and you can keep your new jewelry. “Minor infections can be managed conservatively with saltwater or sterile saline soaks, and it is not necessary to remove the jewelry,” says Chang.
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Inexpensive And Wrong Jewelry
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Secondly, some people suffer from allergic reaction that often lead to more serious infection due to the use of wrong jewelry. Nickel for instance has been noted to cause allergic reaction to many people. Ensure you only use jewelry made from stainless steel, gold or titanium. Furthermore, avoid going for a post that is too tight or loose.
Recognizing Signs Of Infection
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Apply Diluted Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal, antiseptic, and antimicrobial agent. Because of this, many people swear by its ability to treat piercing bumps.
If you want to use tea tree oil on your bump, youll need to dilute it with water or saline. You should also do a patch test before use.
To do this:
Once youve done a successful patch test, you have options for how to add tea tree oil to your cleansing routine. You can:
- Use a cotton swab to apply the diluted oil directly to your piercing one or two times per day.
- Add three to four drops of tea tree oil to your saline or sea salt soak.
What Is A Cartilage Piercing Infection
A cartilage piercing infection occurs when bacteria enter the opening of your new piercing. Infections typically crop up early in the healing process, when the wound from the piercing is still open.
Although minor redness, swelling and soreness can be expected after getting a cartilage piercing, more serious signs of infection can include intense pain, burning sensations, green or yellow discharge, or a bad odor coming from the piercing site.
Of course, it can take quite a while for a cartilage piercing to fully heal, a minimum of three months and usually more, so the likelihood of infection remains for a longer period of time when compared to ear lobe piercings or piercings in other fleshy areas.
Unlike infections in other areas, an infected ear piercing can spread from the surface down into the cartilage itself. This means it can cause further complications and become difficult to treat.
Infections can also be the reason for that unsightly bump that forms around the site of the piercing sometimes, although a bump isnt always the sign of an infection .
Apply A Warm Compress
In addition to soaking with warm salt water, you can put a clean, warm cloth or gauze soaked in salt water on the infected area, or use a chamomile tea bag that has been steeped in hot water.
Let it cool to a comfortable temperature before applying it to your piercing. Salt helps to disinfect, chamomile has natural healing properties, and the warmth can help with blood flow to the area of cartilage.
How To Prevent Helix Ear Piercings From Getting Infected
As we said above, the first stage of helix piercing infection prevention is going to a certified and well-reviewed piercing studio. However, there are other things you can do to help ensure the healing process goes smoothly :
Now you know how to heal a helix ear piercing specifically, you can learn some more general piercing care with our guide to treating an infected ear piercing.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Treat an Infected Helix Ear Piercing, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.
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How Is Piercing Performed
A single-use, sterilized piercing gun is typically used to insert an earring into the earlobe. For other parts of the body, a hollow needle is used to pierce a hole in the skin. The person doing the piercing will insert a piece of jewelry into the hole.
The safest piercing guns are single-use guns. That means its only used on one customer and then thrown away. This decreases the risk of infection. Piercing guns with sterilized disposable cassettes are also acceptable. But they dont promise the same level of sterilizing that single-use piercing guns do.
Dont receive a piercing from a reusable piercing gun that does not have sterilized disposable cassettes. These types of piercing guns cannot be autoclaved. An autoclave is a sterilization machine that uses heat to sterilize all non-disposable piercing tools. It helps make sure all tools are clean before they touch your body. It is an important piece of equipment in a clean piercing shop. Not being able to autoclave a piercing gun increases the risk of infection.
Also, dont have a piercing performed with a piercing gun on any part of your body except your ear. Doing so can crush the skin and cause more injury than a piercing performed with a hollow needle.
Baby Ear Piercing Infection And Risks
Does your babys ear-piercing appear to be infected? The once admirable pierced earlobes of baby daughter with cute looks may end up regret if you do not consider the factors before getting childrens ear pierced. This implies that if you rush into making quick decisions to pierce your child is very risky.
Basing on the fact that infants still have developing immune systems, Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., strongly encourages parents to be patient until their babies have reached 6 months or older prior to piercing plans.
In addition, young children have juvenile and poor judgments which may make them begin to pull the piercing jewelry earrings or bars. Doing so repeatedly and traumatizing the area greatly increases the chances that a person will develop keloids, Dr. Murase warns.