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Doctor insights on: Ear Cartilage Piercing Infection Symptoms

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Why does my ear cartilage piercing have smelly liquid coming from it? I clean it often but when I squeeze it the liquid still comes out?

Why does my ear cartilage piercing have smelly liquid coming from it? I clean it often but when I squeeze it the liquid still comes out?

Infection: Foul smelling discharge from the ear suggests an infection. Keep the area clean and dry and apply Bacitracin or neosporin to the area daily. If discharge continues, see your physician to see if it is a fungal infection or a cyst.

Cartilage (Definition)

Cartilage is a specialized type of tissue found in joints and areas that two bones come together. It is made up of specialized cells that live in the midst of proteins and sugars that absorb and release water similar to a sponge. Healthy cartilage helps decrease friction in joints, absorbs shock and protects the ends of the bone. Degradation of ...Read more


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What to do if my ear cartilage piercing is infected?

What to do if my ear cartilage piercing is infected?

Remove the earring &: Remove the earring and see a physician immediately. Antibiotics, often for a prolonged period, may be necessary. See a facial plastic surgeon as infections of the cartilage of the ear can cause significant deformity.

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I have a year old ear cartilage piercing that hasn't healed--it gets red and puffy on & off. I use saline washes & warm compresses. What should I do?

I have a year old ear cartilage piercing that hasn't healed--it gets red and puffy on & off. I use saline washes & warm compresses. What should I do?

Ear pierce/infection: If this is a chronic subacute infection than the cartilage is your issue. It is serving as a nitus for recurrent cellulitis/infection. Best to see ENT? Plastic Surgeon to incise, open, remove damaged tissue including the cartilage. Than allow healing by secondary intention or suture closure. Make sure on PO antibiotics and maybe even obtain a C&S of the tissue to see if strange organism is growing

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Advice to ensure a ear cartilage piercing is healed properly with minimal complications?

Advice to ensure a ear cartilage piercing is healed properly with minimal complications?

Don't do it: I strongly discourage any piecing through cartilage. Although many people have gotten away with it, others have experienced severe pain during the piercing and some have gotten serious infections resulting in potentially defigurement of the ear. Cartilage heals poorly due to its poor blood supply.

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I think I have a keloid growing from my piercing on my ear cartilage. Its red & it hurts. Is it a keloid? I don't recall any pain from keloids. Help?

I think I have a keloid growing from my piercing on my ear cartilage. Its red & it hurts. Is it a keloid? I don't recall any pain from keloids. Help?

Piercing: You are right. Keloids are not usually painful and red. Sounds more like an infection of the cartilage, which is generally not something you should pierce through. Get to your doctor asap for antibiotics, possible drainage of any fluid collection.

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What is the best procedure to get rid of keloids? Permanently? I have one on my ear cartilage on the top by my piercing.

What is the best procedure to get rid of keloids? Permanently? I have one on my ear cartilage on the top by my piercing.

Keloid removal: Keloids from ear piercing at the cartilage can be excised surgically with minimal chance of recurrence. Steroid injections can also sometimes be helpful.

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Can you use hydrogen peroxide on a 5 day old ear cartilage peircing 3 times a day? Or how many times should u clean it?

Likely is fine: This is not likely to be a problem. However, if you think there is a problem (i.e. An infection) then you probably should have this examined. Sometimes a person can develop an allergy to nickel and it can simply appear chronically irritated.

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What to do if I have ear cartilage infection. Help!?

See a doctor NOW: Infections in the cartilage of the ear can be very serious and lead to permanent deformity and/or loss of the cartilage of the ear. Get medical treatment now.

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I have very painful nose cartilage and my upper teeth hurt, mild pressure in my ears and mild transient blurred vision. No fever/swelling. Infection?

I have very painful nose cartilage and my upper teeth hurt, mild pressure in my ears and mild transient blurred vision. No fever/swelling. Infection?

Possibly: Could also be Neurologic. See your Dentist to rule out Dental infections/fractures/grinding-clenching. See your physician to evaluate sinus/nose/ears. Don't be surprised if Dentist and Physicisn refer you for specialty consultations. Blurred vision must be evaluated.

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What to do if I have ear piercing possible infection?

Piercing infection: Check for signs of infection: ^'ed redness, warmth, swelling. ^'ed tenderness, pus, red streaking, swollen lymph nodes or fever. Recommend keeping piercing in place unless directed by Dr (if removed – drainage tract will close up w ^'ed risk of abscess formation). Call Dr for medical evaluation. Your Dr may prescribe oral antibiotics or antibiotic ointments to apply to piercing site.

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I feel a ball in my ear cartilage, should I be concerned?

Ear cartilage: What you are feeling could be a myriad of things. You would be better served to have a board certified otolaryngologist evaluate this lesion.

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What to do if I have ear piercing infection prevent future piercings?

What to do if I have ear piercing infection prevent future piercings?

Use correct cleaning: Techniques. New piercings are usually cleaned twice a day. Do not twist jewelry / post. Saturate gauze w saline solution (pinch of sea salt in warm water), place on piercing & allow it to gently drip into the piercing. Or you can buy pressurized saline solution at a drug store.

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Dr. Suzanne Galli
9 Doctors shared insights

Infection (Definition)

Infections are invasions of some other organism (fungus, bacteria, parasite) or viruses into places where they do not belong. For instance, we have normal gut bacteria that live within us without causing problems; however, when those penetrate the bowel wall and enter the bloodstream, ...Read more


Piercing (Definition)

Body piercing, a form of body modification, is the practice of puncturing or cutting a part of the human body, creating an opening in which ...Read more