Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How long does it take a piercing to heal?"
I am an 18 year old male, who has gotten his ear pierced around 2 months ago. I cleaned my earring everyday since, and it has just swollen up and become itchy. I recently switched earrings from a stainless steel one to a silver one. Does it sound infected and should i take it out, or does it sound like an allergic reaction to the silver?
And while I am happy to give you some information as to what I think may be going on from what you have mentioned, I cannot tell you with certainty exactly what is happening. This is something that will need to be determined from a thorough history and exam which will be obtained from your physician. You should be able to see a primary care physician for this. However as far as answering the question about how long it takes a piercing to heal...it depends on exactly what was pierced (skin alone, skin and cartilage, etc). Assuming there is nothing abnormal going on, an ear piercing should be well healed two months out. Thus I would suspect that you are either having an inflammatory reaction to the new earring (silver perhaps), or you may have developed a small infection. If it was a developing infection, it would get warm, red, be painful, and swollen. Also the surrounding skin might even begin to turn erythematous (red and warm). It doesn't necessarily sound like that is exactly what is going on with you. On the contrary, a reactive allergic type reaction may cause erythema and itching...which sounds more like what is going on. Try changing the type of earring back to stainless steel and see if it helps. If not, or if it is getting worse at all, I would definitely have a physician take a look at it. I hope this helps.
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