How is an infection from an ear piercing treated?


Quick Answer

The infected ear needs to be washed with rubbing alcohol on both sides of the lobe with the earring removed. In addition, the earring should be removed three times daily and doused in rubbing alcohol. Generic antibiotic cream must be rubbed on the earring before insertion.

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Full Answer

Specifically, the post of the earring must be coated in antibiotic cream, and this treatment should persist two days after the last signs of infection. If the earring becomes crusted to the earlobe because of the infection, an examination by a medical professional is recommended. A doctor should be consulted as well if a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit accompanies the infection, or if the infection seems to be spreading from the ear.

Piercing infections may be avoided by not handling earrings excessively, as hands have bacteria living on them. Earrings should be removed every night to let the piercing air out, and the backs of earrings should not be too tight to allow the hole to breathe. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of the earrings and telephones can prevent infections as well. During the first six weeks, a new piercing should be disinfected with benzalkonium chloride rather than rubbing alcohol. New piercings should only have 14-karat gold or stainless steel posts inserted into them.

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