Ear piercings are undoubtedly beautiful and classy. However, it’s all pretty and fun until your ear piercing gets infected. Some ear piercings such as the cartilage piercing are more vulnerable to infection than the standard earlobe piercing.

An infected ear piercing can turn out to be very serious if it’s not treated on time. Here is a list of steps you need to take to treat an infected ear piercing before it becomes a major problem.

How to Know If Your Ear Piercing Is Infected?

Some symptoms that indicate your ear piercing is infected include

  • The area around your ear piercing has become hot or painful
  • Swollen lymph nodes in or near the ear piercing
  • Discharge of green, white, or yellow pus
  • Oozing of blood
  • Excessive redness
  • Tenderness and pain
  • A feeling of being unwell

How to Treat an Infected Ear Piercing

If you have a minor ear piercing infection, you can easily treat it at home. However, if you have recently gotten a cartilage piercing that has become infected, you might need to seek professional medical treatment. Cartilage infections are quite difficult to treat and often need orally-administered medications and antibiotics. Some cases of serious cartilage infections even require hospitalization.

Here is a list of steps you should take to treat an infected ear piercing at home.

Step #1 – Wash Your Hands

Carefully wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before handling, cleaning, or even touching the piercing area. This ensures that all the harmful bacteria that can potentially aggravate the existing infection are removed.

Step #2 – Clean Your Ears with Saline Solution

You can purchase this simple antiseptic solution from piercing parlors and online stores. However, if you are not able to buy it, you can easily make it at home. All you need to do is combine ¼ tsp of non-iodized sea salt with 8 oz. of distilled water and stir until all the salt dissolves. To clean your piercing, dip a clean cotton swab in the solution and press it against the infection on your ear.

Repeat this step for 15 to 20 minutes, three times a day.

Step #3 – Apply an Over-the-Counter Antibiotic to the Infection

Over-the-counter antibiotic creams like Neosporin, Polysporin, and Bacitracin can help fight the bacteria in your ear infection. Apply the cream gently twice a day over the infection using a cotton sway or a Q-tip.

Important Note – If you feel that a skin rash is developing or you start experiencing some kind of itching or discomfort, immediately stop using the cream. This could possibly be the result of an allergic reaction.

Step #4 – Visit the Doctor

If you have an infection that lasts for more than 2 days or you get a fever, you should visit a doctor. Your doctor will prescribe you oral medications and antibiotics that will help fight the infection. Some symptoms that indicate the need for a visit to the doctor’s office include

  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Fever
  • Chills or shivering
  • Joint or muscle pain.

Parting Words

While these steps will help you treat an infected ear piercing, you need to remember that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, you must properly take care of your piercing to avoid an infection in the first place. Read this article for some effective ear piercing aftercare tips.