pierced ear problems

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Lamia

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Does anyone have any advice about pierced ear problems. I had my ears pierced when I was 12. I never wear earrings anymore. The last time was Sept of last year at my niece's wedding, but for years I've been dealing with knots where the holes are. Every couple of months I will notice they are swollen and squeeze infection out of the holes.

any advice on how to get this to stop?
 

Gingembre

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I know there are people around here who can probably give you better, more professional advice but I do know that if you can still get earrings in your ears, then you should put a good quality pair of small studs in and keep them in. Closing up an infected piercing just makes it worse, because the infection can get stuck inside your skin. Sounds like perhaps your piercings are infected and it never quite clears, hence the recurrence? Whenever any of my ear piercings give me trouble (not often, just occasionally I get a bit of irritation from my pinna -top of ear- piercing), I keep my earrings in and be sure to bathe the area in hot salty water a couple of times a day (I usually soak a cotton wool ball and then fold it round my ear and hold it there for 10-20 seconds or so) before twisting the earring a bit to make sure it doesn't get stuck with pus. If my ears are particularly 'gunky', i put tea tree oil on a cotton bud (q tip??!) and wipe that around the front & back of my earring to clean it and sanitise the area. Other than that, I don't touch em and they usually heal pretty quickly.

Sounds like the knots could be scar tissue? If it is, it won't go away.

Good luck!
 

Fat Brian

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Another thing is that the small studs that you leave in need to be real sterling silver or gold, these metals are less reactive with your skin and silver in particular has antimicrobial properties.
 

fritzi

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Normally you shouldn't have problems with pierced ears you've had for years.

The advice to wear sterling silver or real gold earrings is a good one - fashion jewelery very often contains nickel and many people are allergic to that.

To be on the safe side, dip your earrings in 70% medical alcohol to disinfect them and also clean the piercing from both sides with a q-tip dabbed with the alcohol. That really helped me after I had my ears pierced and it took some time to heal.

If that doesn't help - see a dermatologist.
Good luck!
 

moore2me

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Lamia,
I have had the same problem you described. Since you had your ears pierced years ago and did not use the holes much - they have healed (or sealed) up. You rebroke them when putting in the wedding earrings. Because the old holes are now infected and you use them infrequently, I recommend you abandon use of the infected holes. Let the old holes heal and close up. If you want to continue using pierced earrings, get new holes made at another location. (However, going to a dermatologist is not a bad idea either.)

For the old, infected holes and the new ones, use a cleaning solution specifically for healing ear piercings. (I bought mine at Merle Norman's.) I would use solid metal studs for the new holes or whatever the technician recommends. (They may require you to buy new posts and backs as part of the procedure.)

Now you can begin a strict, cleanliness procedure aimed at getting rid of the infection in the piercings so hopefully the old holes will heal and close again and the new holes will do fine. Here are some suggestions for that: You need a cleaner for your jewelry and a cleaner for the holes in your ears.

Soak the posts and backs in a germicidal jewelry cleaner (alcohol? or 1 part of bleach to 10 parts of water) to make sure bad stuff from your old infected holes are not transmitted to the new holes. Also. soak the earrings and posts (for the new holes) in cleaner when you eventually take them off. Note: This jewelry cleaner is not for use on your skin. Also, do not use hydrogen peroxide on the infected sites - it is too strong! You can use over the counter Neosporin or Polysporin (if you are not allergic to them). I buy the generic kind that also has pain reliever added.

Try not to swab the new holes with a cotton ball or cotton sponge after you have cleaned the old, infected holes. Clean the new holes with attached posts and studs first. Be sure you wash your hands with soap and water before you touch your ears and earrings.

Change your pillowcase frequently. Do not let your pet(s) lick the piercing sites. Do not twist or fiddle with the piercing or old infected sites without washing your hands first. Keep you hair clean as well - you may need to wash it daily during the healing process. But, be very careful when using a brush or comb around the new earrings - janking on one will hurt!

Avoid using heavy, massive earrings until the new holes are completely healed and toughened up.
 

Sweet Tooth

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Some of us are just not a good mix with earrings. I've had my pierced 4 times. I just don't wear them anymore at all.

I did the starter studs or pure gold. I washed and cleaned them daily. I put special treatments on them. I'd even had them for years and did this. I rarely went without earrings so they couldn't start closing up, save for the times when the infection was bad. Still, I had knots and regular infections and bleeding constantly. The posts of all my gold earrings are stained with blood as are the backs of the earrings I'd wear.

I think, in my case, my allergies are so bad that I just can't have holes like that in my body. I'm even allergic to aloe, which I didn't know at the time and is a major ingredient in a lot of those products to keep ears clean. I did also try doing it with alcohol or peroxide, because each time I had problems I got different recommendations and tried them all.

Now I just wear clips, if anything. I hate not being able to wear cute dangly things, but it's just better than what I went through. The knots are gone. The bleeding went away. I still have holes that go partway through my ears, but it would be too difficult to try to reopen them again. I've just learned to focus on other sorts of jewelry that don't require additional holes in my body.
 

NancyGirl74

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I have the same issue. My earring holes will become infected if I am not very, very careful. I have found that posts even good ones don't work well for me. With even good posts the hole might be fine but the place where the earring rests against my earlobe or even my neck behind my earlobe becomes irritated. Earrings that hook-through the hole work best for me. I keep mine in nearly all the time and only change them out when I have something specific I want to wear. Then I make sure I clean the holes and use Neosporin when I put mine back in. It doesn't always prevent infection especially when I wear different earrings for longer than a few hours or switch earrings often. But since I don't do it that regularly this way seems to work best. I am currently wearing hypoallergenic earrings I have had for years. If I don't wear them I get those bumps mentioned. The gunk that comes out is white and pimplish looking (sorry to be gross). I'm not sure it is infection or just a part of the bodies natural healing process. It's annoying so I like to keep my earrings in more often than not.

Here is a picture of the wire hook-throughs I almost all the time:
View attachment 98103
 

ValentineBBW

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I've had experience with this issue as well and finally decided to just leave a good pair of gold earrings, shaped like Nancy's in the photo above and did a daily cleaning with peroxide and/or rubbing alcohol and eventually the knots went away and the ooze stopped. It took a good year for my ears to even out, but I never go without earrings anymore either. I have a couple of pairs I can leave in so I don't have to think about it. When I want to change the earrings to something else, I do but I always put a pair that won't fall out back in when I take the others out.

The other thing that helped me is stay away from post and clutch types, especially if your lobes tend to be fat (like mine). Fish hooks or locking hoops are your best options.
 

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