Infected Ear Piercing

When you get an ear piercing, some discomfort, redness, and swelling is expected. Normal healing will involve dried lymph and drainage. But, if you have excessive redness, swelling, heat, pain, and pus, you may have an infected piercing.

Normal healing will have a clear or pale yellow drainage and a little bit of blood, whereas an infected piercing will have a darker coloring along with blood.

Generally, an infected ear piercing is caused by playing with it, irritating it, not cleaning it properly, or poor piercing practices. In some cases, you may develop an infection if you are allergic to the material the jewelry is made of.

To heal an infected piercing, you’ll want to ensure clean and sanitary techniques. Use warm salt water compresses, using sea salt and not table salt. Soak a cotton ball in the warm sea salt and apply to the affected area for 5-10 minutes at least twice a day.

If the infection does not get any better within 7 days, you’ll need to consult your body piercer or physician. You may need an oral antibiotic.

Do not remove the jewelry, as the outer tissues can heal, trapping the infection inside the body.

The longer you wait out the infection, the harder it can be to treat.