ZocdocAnswersWhat are the red bumps that formed when I got my ears pierced??

Question

What are the red bumps that formed when I got my ears pierced??

I am a 21 year old student, I got multiple ear piercings in various parts of my ear and noticed soft bumps appeared. They itch and tend to get swollen when irritated.

Answer

Sometimes a bit of inflammation at the site of a new ear piercing is possible, but this should subside over time and you should definitely be noticing some improvement by now. If not, then there are a couple of possibilities. Very high on the list is that you have contact dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction to the type of metal in the earrings you are wearing. The most likely offending metal would be nickel, but others can also cause this. Switching to hypoallergenic earrings exclusively may help, and you may need to apply a topical over the counter steroid cream to get the itching and swelling under better control. Another possibility, if the bumps are hard, is scar tissue formation. If the scar tissue becomes raised and prominent, these is called keloid formation. This is a complication of ear piercings which your primary care doctor can diagnose for you. Finally, it would be important to make sure the ear piercings are not becoming infected. If there is any pain, or if the redness and swelling is getting worse, of if you notice any pus or warmth at the site, these may be signs of a skin infection and you should talk to your doctor to get treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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