If you have a pierced ear infection, don’t panic! Here’s what to do
How can you prevent them and are there DIY treatments?
Raise your hand if you remember going to Claire’s to get your ears pierced for the first time. This adolescent rite of passage was pretty darn exhilarating — until it inevitably resulted in your first earring hole infection.
Although you’re older and wiser now, you’re definitely not immune to the occasional pierced ear infection. But you can avoid them with the help of a few simple tricks. We spoke to experts to understand everything from the warning signs and causes of an earring hole infection to dissecting the various at-home treatments available.
What you need to know about pierced ear infections
Preventing earring hole infections all starts with proper hygiene — both right after a piercing, and for years to come. If you recently got a piercing, make sure to wash hands thoroughly before touching the piercings to avoid exposing the area to any unwanted bacteria.
If your piercing is fully healed, make sure to clean both the earrings and piercing site whenever you remove your jewelry. Keep earrings clean by wiping them down with an antiseptic cleanser (such as alcohol), Purell, soap and water or even mouthwash in a pinch. And do so often (at least once a week) because buildup of any sort in your earrings can spell trouble.
“Dead skin can build up around the backing as a result of dandruff or infrequent removal and serve as a nidus for germs,” said Dr. Francesca Fusco of Wexler Dermatology in New York City.
Article by Chrissy Callahan