How to Treat an Infected Ear Piercing – 5 Effective Ways

How to treat an infected ear piercing? Is it a painful experience? What is the average time it takes for a piercing to heal? Should I go ahead and do it? What’s the best place to get a new piercing? These are some of the questions that may cross your mind while contemplating whether to have a piercing.

With the increasing popularity of playing with one’s appearance, piercing may be one of the things that youths appreciate and explore. People are willing to explore different forms of piercing since trying new things is the key to the developing trend.

1. Different Piercing Sites

With the expanding trend, there may be a variety of locations where piercing can be done. Over time, new sites are discovered.

Ear piercing, nose piercing, face piercing, and other body piercings are some of the piercing sites.

1.1. Ear Piercings

The most well-known and popular piercing is ear piercing. Piercings can be done in a variety of places in the ear.

Ear piercings are offered in a variety of styles. There could be up to 15 sites where piercing might be performed.

Cartilage piercings, earlobe piercings, Daith piercings, helix piercings, orbital piercings, auricle piercings, and many others are examples of ear piercings.

The most popular and regularly performed ear piercing is the earlobe piercing.

earlobe piercing
From UnlimPhotos

1.2. Face Piercings

Face piercing, like ear piercing, can be done in various areas. Lip piercings and eyebrow piercings are two popular face piercings.1

Some of the facial piercing choices are eyebrow piercings, medusa piercings, nose piercings, and bridge piercings.

1.2.1. Nose Piercings

Nose piercing is another popular piercing site. However, as time has passed, the possibilities have become more diverse.

It includes more options than only nostril piercing, such as Rhino piercing, Septril piercing, and a Septum piercing.2

1.2.2. Tongue Piercings

Piercing has progressed beyond the mere ear, facial, and superficial piercing. Frenulum piercing, horizontal tongue piercing, smiling piercings, and other tongue piercing alternatives are available.

1.2.3. Lip Piercings

Lip piercings come in a variety of styles. Monroe piercing, Jestrum piercing, Philtrum piercing, and Angel bites are some examples.

1.3. Other Piercing Options

There are a few more choices for body piercing accessible. Belly button piercing, wrist piercing, nape piercing, nipple piercing, and sternum piercing are examples of body piercing.

2. How Long Does A Piercing Take To Heal?

The amount of time it takes for a piercing to heal varies depending on the type of piercing.

  • Ear lobe piercings typically take 6 to 10 weeks to heal, and they may be the simplest to cure all the piercings. Other piercings, such as industrial ones, may take longer to heal.
  • Healing time for nose piercing might range from 3 to 6 months.
  • Navel and ear cartilage piercings such as the Daith, Helix, Tragus, and industrial piercings can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to heal. Generally, upper ear piercings are prone to infection compared to earlobe piercings, and it also takes a longer time to heal.
  • Lip and tongue piercings could take 6 to 8 weeks.

Another element that may influence the healing process of the newly pierced ear is the piercing procedure.

If the piercing is performed with a piercing gun, the healing process may be longer than if the piercing is done with a needle. Needle piercings heal more quickly.

3. Symptoms Of Infected Ear Piercing

The usual healing process for pierced ears includes some pain and redness. It is common to misinterpret people who exhibit symptoms of infection. There are cases where even the old piercing can also see symptoms of infection3.

The commonly infected ear piercing includes infected cartilage or upper ear piercings. If the following symptoms are noticed, kindly take timely action to heal the infection.

Here are some of the ear-piercing symptoms related to infections.

  1. Excessive redness
  2. Yellow pus or white discharge
  3. Crusting
  4. Swelling
  5. Pain

4. How To Treat An Infected Ear Piercing

How to Treat an Infected Ear Piercing

An ear-piercing infection scenario could be a common scenario. Slight redness and soreness are possible side effects after ear piercing. It’s vital to identify whether the piercing is infected or not.

The infection might worsen and turn into a more severe infection if treatment or detection is delayed. In the worst-case scenario, it can lead to a systemic infection.

Here are some of the ways to treat an infected ear piercing:

4.1. Sterile Saline

When cleaning the infected ear piercing, try to use sterile saline. At home, you can also prepare your saline solution.

  • Add some salt to a bowl of warm water and stir well.
  • A warm compress can help in reducing swelling and pain.
  • Clean the infected piercings with this solution.
  • Cleaning the infected piercing with saline solution twice a day or thrice a day will assist in maintaining it clean and prevent ear piercing infections from spreading.

A minor infection can be treated with a saline solution.

4.2. Ice Pack

Applying an ice pack to the ear-piercing area might help relieve discomfort and reduce inflammation.

Add some ice cubes to a clean towel and apply it to the infected piercing. This may be a temporary fix, but it will help you relieve pain.

4.3. Tree Tea Oil

Because of its antibacterial characteristics, tea tree oil is an excellent cure for infections. You can dilute the oil and apply it to the affected area if you have minor infections.

This would aid in reducing infections and preventing their spread.

4.4. Coconut Oil

coconut oil
From UnlimPhotos

Coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial qualities that aid in healing and infection reduction. You can apply the oil 1 to 2 times daily after slightly warming it to the infected ear piercings.

Other oils, such as castor or clove oil, could be used instead.

4.5. Medication

You can use over-the-counter medication to treat the infected ear piercings if required. You can use any antibiotic ointment or oral antibiotics to cure the minor infection.

Countermedications might sometimes be required to heal the infected ear.

5. When To See A Doctor?

Seek medical attention right away if home treatments aren’t working. If you have a fever lasting more than two days, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, or chills, you should immediately see a doctor.

It’s essential to seek medical treatment immediately because delaying treatment might spread the infection throughout the body. In the event of a severe infection, hospitalization may be necessary.

6. Precautions To Avoid Ear Piercing Infections

New piercing needs attention and proper care. Avoiding infection should be kept as a priority.

Here are some of the piercing aftercare solutions that would help prevent infection and help in faster healing:

  • Try to get your piercings done by an experienced piercer. Before getting ear piercings, ensure that the person piercing is wearing gloves and that your ear is thoroughly cleaned with an antibiotic solution (rubbing alcohol/iodine).
  • You must ensure that the earring you use is of good quality since this will limit the risk of infection and help avoid any allergic reaction.
  • Remove the earring only when the piercing is healed completely.
  • Take care of your hygiene. Before touching the pierced ears, wash your hands. Don’t touch your newly pierced ears with dirty hands.
  • Gently twist the earring using an antibiotic ointment or other lubricants for piercing. Turning the earring will prevent it from sticking.
  • Using a saline solution, clean the new piercings whether an infection appears; continue the cleaning regimen until the piercing is healed.
  • Don’t sleep on your piercing’s side.
  • Avoid using swimming pools; wait until your piercings fully heal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I change my new earring after 1 week?

No, you should not remove or change your new earrings so soon. You must wait for at least 6-8 weeks.

2. Do piercing bumps go away?

Yes, piercing bumps usually go away over time, on their own.


Getting your ears pierced is a prevalent practice. However, piercing carries the risk of infection and the hassle of proper aftercare. Because ear piercings can be done in various locations, the healing time and risk of infection are also affected by the piercing location.

Because there is less blood flow in the upper ear, it is more likely to become infected, so extra caution should be used to avoid this problem. Piercing is an open wound that requires special attention to heal correctly.

To avoid any injury or infection, try to follow the abovementioned precautions. However, if you have an infection, avoid using hydrogen peroxide or other medications that could worsen the condition.

The remedy mentioned above on how to treat an infected ear piercing will assist you in treating the infection.

Home treatments can heal infections, but if they don’t work, see a doctor immediately. Infection should not be taken lightly since treating it promptly can become quite serious.

  1. Carmen, Rachael A., Amanda E. Guitar, and Haley M. Dillon. “Ultimate answers to proximate questions: The evolutionary motivations behind tattoos and body piercings in popular culture.” Review of General Psychology 16.2 (2012): 134-143. ↩︎
  2. Battagin, Giuliana, et al. “Complication of nasal piercing by Staphylococcus aureus endocarditis: a case report and a review of literature.” Cases Journal 3 (2010): 1-4. ↩︎
  3. Gardner, Sue E., et al. “A tool to assess clinical signs and symptoms of localized infection in chronic wounds: development and reliability.” Ostomy/Wound Management 47.1 (2001): 40-47. ↩︎

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