ZocdocAnswersWhat can I do if my ear piercing is infected?

Question

What can I do if my ear piercing is infected?

My friend pierced my ears for me, but now my ear lobes are itchy and red. My ear is also sore when I touch it. Is it infected? What should I do to make the infection go away??

Answer

One of the common problems with do-it-yourself piercings (as well as tattoos and other body art) is the increased risk of infection or other problems that can occur. Ear piercings, especially, seem to be especially problematic in this way. The first thing to do is to be seen by a physician. This is important because there is cartilage in the ear that can become infected. If the cartilage is infected, the damage to the ear can be both very difficult to treat, as well as potentially leading to unsightly cosmetic complications. Certain antibiotics are generally prescribed to make sure that the ear cartilage is protected appropriately, depending on the clinical appearance of the ear itself. Additionally, if you have had any fevers or chills, this could be a sign that the infection is spreading and needs to be treated even more urgently. Your primary care doctor should be able to evaluate the infection and recommend the appropriate treatment. Should you need further assistance, an ear-nose-and throat surgeon (ENT or otolaryngologist) would be able to provide the insight of a specialist. Please do see s physician in the very near future to make sure that your ear recovers fully.

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

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