Pierced body parts might be cool, but some people susceptible to scarring might develop bumps on these parts. These bumps can be painful, turns red, or get swollen, as a result of bacteria builds up. Pierced-ear infection is caused by laceration you get from the piercing, which is exposed to bacteria which are already present on the skin. Infection of a pierced ear can also be caused by irritation to jewelry. Similar to infection occurring on the other body parts, the pierced-ear infection can be signed by redness, swelling, and pus-filled wound site.
Draining infected ear piercing
Pus-filled pierced areas can be painful and harmful. Before it develops into more severe infection, it is important to treat the wound properly. If the infection is not causing redness and swelling, it is likely that you can treat it properly at home. To drain and heal infected ear piercing, you might want to consider these steps:
- Remove your piercing earring and clean the pierced hole using a cotton swab dipped in the saline solution. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide as it may damage not only the bacteria but also the white blood cells which are responsible for combating infection. The topical ointment is also not recommended, since it may prevent the air from getting into the piercing.
- Apply hot compress consist of hot water and Epsom salt to the piercing. Leave it for several minutes to encourage the infection to drain. Since you need to compress a small area with limited access, make the hot compress out of soaked cotton gauze or cotton ball. You can also move the hot compress around the piercing hole carefully. This will trigger the pus to drain from the infection.
- Clean any drainage coming out of the infection. Use a cotton swab to absorb drainage which comes into the piercing hole. Dab the cotton swab cautiously to prevent drained pus from coming into the hole.
- Clean the area where pus gets out from, in order to prevent it from spreading the germs and bacteria.
- Pat the infection dry and avoid contact with unclean hazards by covering it with breathable gauze and change the dressing regularly.
- Some over-the-counter treatments for ear piercing can be found at the drugstore, but you can also use natural remedies, such as tea tree oil and neem oil to clear up the infection and promote faster healing by letting the substances kill the residing germs.
When to see a doctor
Infection in ear piercing seems dangerous since it is located at the site which is not fully visible. When untreated or treated improperly, this infection can possibly develop into a more severe infection. If you see these signs of an infected piercing, see the doctor immediately.
- The skin is swollen, that your piercing earring cannot be moved and removed.
- The infection spread into the surrounding areas, such as the holes and cartilages.
- The infection causes elevating pains, which do not improve with home treatments.
- You develop fever, which lasts for days.
- Inflammation develops around the piercing site, and it is painful to touch.
Preventing infection of ear piercing
Piercing is basically an open wound until it is completely healed. During this healing process, this open wound is prone to bacteria and germs, which reside around the skin. When a piercing gets infected, it is not only painful but sometimes, difficult to treat, as it happens to the area with limited access. Hence, preventing it from occurring at all is a wise decision. To do this, there are some things to perform, such as:
- Keep the piercing clean and avoid touching it with dirty hands or instruments.
- Do not wear too tight jewelry, or loosen them to get the room for the piercing wound to breathe and heal.
- Avoid wearing jewelry which triggers itching and irritation, as it may lead to redness and inflammation.
- Clean the jewelry often to prevent bacteria build up. Soak it in saline solution, hot water, or rubbing alcohol to kill all residing bacteria.
- Get the ear pierced professionally. Avoid doing it by yourself or at places with unsterilized instruments. Avoid scratching pierced ear after the piercing procedure is performed.