Infected Ear and Cartilage Piercing – Causes and Treatment

Piercings may look great, but they may cause many skin and other infections. If you have a cartilage piercing, you may have noticed small bumps around the piercing. These bumps may be caused by many factors and they may be very unpleasant.

However, these bumps are not dangerous, so you don’t have to worry. But, if they bother you and if you want to get rid of them, then you should read carefully this article.

You should also know that a little pain, redness and swelling are normal after getting the cartilage piercing but these symptoms should last only a few days. If you notice that these symptoms last too long, then you may be worried.

What are the causes of ear and cartilage piercing infection? How to take care of the newly cartilage piercing? How to prevent any infections and how to speed up the healing process of your piercing? Just continue reading and you will get the answers to these and similar questions.

In this article you will see some of the most common causes of the infected cartilage piercing. Also, we will tell you how to recognize the signs of an infection and how to treat it properly.

Proper treatment is the most important so you should follow our tips and instructions. We will give you some home remedies that may help you treat the infected ear and cartilage piercing.

Causes

Unhygienic Procedure. One of the most common causes of infected ear and cartilage piercing is poor procedure. It refers to the use of unsterilized needle, piercing gun and other equipment. Sometimes an infection is caused by the jewelry that is made from bad materials. If you want to have a piercing on your cartilage, it would be best to use the jewelry that is made from titanium.

Poor Personal Hygiene. Another cause of infected ear and cartilage piercing is poor personal hygiene. After getting a piercing, you should take an adequate aftercare. Wash the hands thoroughly before you touch your piercing.

It is also recommended to tie your hair a couple of days after getting a cartilage piercing. Your hair should not touch your piercing in the first couple of days after the procedure. Another recommendation if you have been just pierced is to change your pillow every day.

Frequent Touching. If you touch your cartilage piercing too often, it may also cause an infection, especially if your hands are dirty. You should never touch the piercing if your hands are dirty. Also, other people should not touch your piercing with their hands.

Loose and Cheap Jewelry. Loose jewelry that moves around inside your piercing is also one of the common causes of the infection. It can cause bumps that may appear around your piercing. In order to avoid any problems, it is best to choose the jewelry that fits properly.

If the earring has butterfly backs, it may be also one of the causes of the infection, so it is best to avoid this type of earrings.

Also, if you use jewelry that is too cheap, it may cause the infection or the contact allergy. In this case the bumps will appear around your piercing as a result of the allergic reaction. It can lead to the infection of your piercing.

Piercing Gun. If you have been pierced with a piercing gun, you will probably have problems with your piercing. The truth is that piercing guns should not be used for cartilage piercings because they may distort the cartilage of the ear and cause the infection. However, there are still some piercing studios that use piercings guns and you should avoid them.

Other Causes. There are also many other factors that may cause your ear and cartilage piercing to get infected. For example, physical injuries are a very common cause of the ear piercing infection. You should be careful when you are wearing your clothes or when you are on the training.

Symptoms

There are many symptoms that will help you know that your cartilage piercing is infected. Now you will see some of the most common symptoms of the infected ear and cartilage piercing.

Tenderness. One of the first symptoms that you may notice if your piercing is infected is tenderness of your cartilage.

Redness. Also, the area around the piercing may be very painful and red for a couple of days. The color around your cartilage piercing will probably change and this area will be too hot. Redness around your piercing is normal but it should go away two or three days after you have been pierced. If the redness lasts much longer, it can be a sign that your ear and cartilage piercing are infected.

Pain. It is normal to feel a little pain immediately after getting a piercing. But, if your piercing is painful to touch, there must be an infection.

Discharge. It is also possible to notice the discharge from the piercing that may be yellow or even green.

Bad Smell. Bad smell is also one of the symptoms that your ear and cartilage piercing are infected.

Bleeding. In some cases it is also possible to experience bleeding that lasts too many days. You should have in mind that a little blood is normal and it is a part of a healing process. But if your piercing doesn’t stop bleeding for a couple of days and if it is too red and swollen, then you should seek medical help as soon as possible.

Swelling. If the lymph glands around your piercing are swollen, then you may have a piercing infection.

Fever. Fever is also a symptom of the ear and cartilage piercing infection. If you didn’t have cold or flu before getting a piercing and if you experience fever suddenly, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.

Crusts. Sometimes also the crusts may form in the area around your cartilage piercing.

All these are the symptoms of the ear and cartilage piercing infection, so you should visit your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. Of course, these symptoms are similar to the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

But, if you have allergic reaction, you are more likely to have burning sensation on the area around the piercing and also a clear and yellow discharge. In order to determine the real cause of these symptoms, it would be best to consult with your doctor.

Also, we recommend you not to remove the jewelry before consulting with a doctor. If it is only an allergic reaction, you will have to remove the jewelry and the doctor will probably prescribe you some antibiotics.

But, what if you have the ear and cartilage piercing infection? How to treat this infection? Just continue reading this article and you will find out more about the treatment of the ear and cartilage piercing infection.

Treatment

Antibiotics. If you ask your health provider for advice, he/she will probably prescribe you antibiotics that may be very effective in the treatment of the ear and cartilage infection. However, the doctor has to check first if your infection is caused by bacteria.

It is important to know that ordinary antibiotics will not be helpful in the case of ear and cartilage piercing infection. If you have been pierced and if you have infection, you will need to use some stronger antibiotics. Cipro is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for piercing infections, but the children should not use it.

Saline Solution. Saline solution is a great home remedy for cartilage piercing infections if the condition is not too severe. Saline solution will certainly help you if you have a mild ear and cartilage infection. This solution is also used in the aftercare after you have been pierced.

You just need to boil a cup of water. When the water cools down, you should add several spoons of sea salt and clean the affected area with this solution. You can simply soak a cotton pad in it and apply it on the area around your piercing. Keep it on the piercing for about two minutes.

You don’t need to remove your jewelry while you are doing this, but you should be careful. It is recommended to repeat the process every day during one week. Most experts recommend using this solution twice a day until your bumps completely disappear.

Chamomile Saline Solution. If you add chamomile tea to the salt soak, you will get a great home remedy for you piercing infection. Chamomile has soothing properties and it will calm the affected area around your piercing.

You just need to put ¼ teaspoon of salt in hot water and to add a bag of chamomile tea. Let it brew about 5 minutes or so and then dip a cotton pad in this solution. Put the pad on your piercing and let it stay for about 5 minutes. It is recommended to repeat this process two times a day.

Another option is to brew a teabag of chamomile in hot water and to remove a teabag after a couple of minutes. When the tea cools down, soak a cotton pad in it. Apply it directly on the affected area on your ear.

Lemon Juice. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, lemon is great for the treatment of a cartilage piercing infection and it is proved that lemon can speed up the healing process.

You just need to use the half of a lemon and to squeeze the juice from it. Mix the lemon juice with water and soak a cotton pad in it. Apply the pad on your piercing and repeat this process 2-3 times during the day. We are sure that the bumps around your piercing will go away after a couple of days.

Honey. We all know about the health benefits of honey, but you may not know that honey is also beneficial for the treatment of cartilage piercing infections. Honey has healing properties and it is commonly used in the treatment of burns, scars and other skin problems.

Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil is also a very effective home remedy for the treatment of the ear and cartilage piercing infection. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and it will not cause any irritation. Of course, it is important to use pure tea tree oil that doesn’t contain any additional ingredients.

You just need to put 2-3 drops of tea tree oil on the cotton pad and to apply it on the area around your piercing. You should repeat this process two times a day and all your bumps around the piercing will disappear soon.

However, if your skin is too sensitive, we recommend you to dilute this oil with a few drops of water, in order to avoid any irritations.

Warm Compress. A warm compress may also be useful in the treatment of the ear and cartilage infection. It will improve the flow of blood to the cartilage.

It is recommended to mix hot water and sea salt and to soak a cloth in this mixture. Put it on the affected area on your ear and very soon you will feel relief.

Breathable Tape. You can also use a breathable tape and press it down on the area of your piercing. But, it is best to apply this compress on the piercing that is already healed. If the healing process is not over, then you should avoid using a breathable tape because it could even worsen your condition.

But, if you piercing is already healed, then you can safely use this method. You just need to buy breathable medical tape and to cut a small strip of it. Use the breathable tape to cover your bump around the piercing.

You should wear this compress continuously until the infection completely disappears. However, you should change the tape from time to time. It is recommended to apply a breathable tape at least two months and it will certainly make your bump go away. If not, you should find some other method that will help you get rid of the bumps around your piercing and treat the infection.

Anti-Bacterial Ointments. If you decide to use ointments for the treatment of your ear and cartilage infection, you should consult your doctor first. It is known that some ointments may affect the process of drainage, so your healing process will last much longer.

Piercing Solution. As a part of your aftercare, you should use also piercing solution that your piercer has given to you. However, you should never rub alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the affected area of your cartilage piercing.

Aspirin. Aspirin is also very effective in the treatment of the ear and cartilage piercing infection. It is proved that aspirin may speed up the healing process. It is recommended to take aspirin and to place the tablet in a bowl. When you crush the aspirin tablet, you should add a few drops of water.

This way you will get a paste and you should apply it directly on the affected area of your piercing. Let it stay for about 10 minutes and then rinse it with water. It is recommended to apply the aspirin paste on your piercing at least 2 times a day.

Proper Hygiene. It is very important to maintain proper hygiene in the area around your piercing. Actually, you should wash your hands every time you want to touch your piercing and you should also wash your piercing with antibacterial soap. It is recommended to wash it once or twice during the day. If there is a crust on your piercing, you should remove it by using a cotton swab. Of course, you should soak a cotton swab in a saline solution or antibacterial soap first.

Don’t Irritate the Piercing. Another important thing is not to irritate the piercing in the first few days after the procedure. As we have already said, you should tie your hair and not let it touch the piercing. Also, you should keep your clothes away from your piercing, because it can irritate your skin.

Other Tips. There are also some other tips that may be useful for you if you have the ear and cartilage piercing infection or if you want to prevent it. You should not be swimming in the pool because it may be full of bacteria and your infection may even get worse. Also, you should avoid lakes and rivers.

How to Prevent the Piercing Infection?



Now when you have seen how to treat the ear and cartilage piercing infection, there is also a question how to prevent it. We will give you some tips that can make you stay healthy and avoid any infections related to your piercing.

Choose the Professional. The most important step if you want to avoid piercing infection is to choose the professional. It means that you should be well informed about the person who will pierce you and to know something about his/her previous works.

It is necessary that your piercer use new equipment with every patient and to sterilize all the necessary equipment. Also, the piercer should wash the hands before every piercing and wear protective gloves. The piercer should change the protective gloves between piercings. This way the piercer will save the patients from infection, but also from HIV and many other similar diseases.

Remember that sterile equipment is most important for this procedure. You should never pierce yourself or let your friend do that. You should always go to a piercing studio that is properly licensed.

Another important thing is that your piercer uses surgical steel, titanium, gold and other hypoallergenic jewelry. You should know that nickel may cause many allergic reactions, so your piercer should never use it. It is also recommended not to use the guns for ear-piercings because it is impossible to sterilize these guns properly.

As we have already said, one of the common causes of the infection in your piercing is loose jewelry. You should consult your piercer and choose the jewelry that fits your piercing properly.

Avoid Smoking. We all know that smoking is a bad habit, but did you know that smoking can also cause the piercing infection? If you want to protect your piercing from any infections or if you want to treat the current infection of your ear and cartilage piercing, you should avoid smoking and smoky environments. You should keep in mind that smoke is considered as one of the most common irritants for piercings.

Don’t Change The Piercing. It is very important to avoid changing the jewelry until the piercing is completely healed. Of course, if you have any complications and you think it is better to remove or to change your piercing, we recommend you to consult your piercer for advice.

Now you have seen how to treat the infection of cartilage piercing and also how to prevent it to happen. If you don’t have piercings and if you would like to have it on the upper part of your ear, you should think well first. You need to know what are the cartilage piercing risks. You should have in mind that this piercing may cause many complications, such as constant infections, scarring, bumps, abscesses and many others.

Summary

Ear and cartilage piercing infection is a common problem of many people who have cartilage piercings. Some of the most common causes of ear and cartilage piercing infection is unhygienic procedure, which means that the piercer didn’t use the sterilized equipment. Also, cheap and inappropriate jewelry as well as poor personal hygiene may cause the infection to appear in your ear and cartilage piercing.

As we have already said, it is normal to have some symptoms immediately after the procedure, but they will last shortly. However, if the symptoms last more than three days, then you may have an infection. The most common symptoms of ear and cartilage infection are redness, pain, yellow or greenish discharge, bumps around the piercing, bad smell, swelling, crusts that may appear around your piercing and also fever and high temperature. In this case, it will be necessary to consult your piercer and to seek medical help.

Fortunately, there are many ways to get rid of all these symptoms and to treat the infection of your ear and cartilage piercing. As you have seen, antibiotics, saline solution, as well as chamomile saline solution may be very helpful. Some of the best home remedies for the treatment of the cartilage piercing infection are honey, lemon juice, tea tree oil and warm compress.

Other methods that you can use if your cartilage piercing is infected are breathable tape, anti-bacterial ointments, etc. Sometimes it is recommended to make aspirin paste because it will speed up the healing process of your piercing.

You have also seen how to prevent any infections if you have a cartilage piercing. Most important is to maintain personal hygiene and to choose the licensed piercer.

We hope this article has been useful for you and we are sure that you won’t let your piercing get infected. But, if your cartilage piercing is already infected, we hope you will follow our tips and try some of the medications that we have shown you. Remember that the health of your cartilage piercing is important for your overall ear health.

Infected Ear and Cartilage Piercing – Causes and Treatment
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