Treating an Infected Ear Piercing

Ear piercings can become infected, especially when they are new. But there is plenty you can do to prevent it, and we will also tell you how to treat it should it occur.

If your child’s ear piercing is infected you will know because it will have any or all of these symptoms: pain, itching, burning, redness, swelling, tenderness, puss. What do you do for an infected ear piercing?

To treat the infected ear contact your pediatrician for advice. We recommend using the ear piercing cleaner you received when you pierced her ears, or a saline solution. Do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as these will irritate the already inflamed skin and will slow down the healing process. These substances may very kill bacteria, but they also kill the fresh skin cells her body is making to heal the area. When using ear solution for pierced ears, make sure to clean both sides of her earlobe.

As for the earrings in her ear, do not remove them, unless you know they are the culprit of the infection. Replace them immediately with sterile, clean genuine gold earrings in 14K or children’s earrings in 18K. Earrings that commonly irritate ears after immediate or extended wear are usually fashion earrings as opposed to gold earrings or rhodium plated sterling silver earrings. Removing the earring may seem like the natural thing to do, but in doing so, the hole will likely close up.

To prevent infection, make sure the skin around her piercing and the earring has room to breath. That means the backing on the earring shouldn’t be too tight against her skin. Children that are prone to infected ear piercings may do better with a hoop or lever back style which allows plenty of air to flow around the piercing and the earring. We hope we were able to provide some help on what to do for an infected ear piercing and how to prevent future ones.

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