ear lobe piercing

Ear Piercing Problem

I received a message from a gal who was having problems with an ear piercing:


I can't get a good picture of the piercing so I'll try my best to describe the situation. I got my 4th piercing on my earlobe around the end of May 2012, and I think I may have created another hole next to the actual piercing. The piercing is probably around 90% healed; the front hole is healed and never bleeds, but the back hole (where the earring comes out of) is still healing and sometimes will bleed a tiny bit. I've been cleaning my piercing with salt water and anti bacterial soap, I have not used any creams or lotions on it, it does not hurt or ache and there is no pus. However, I think I may have poked another hole at the back of my ear when I pushed the earring back through the hole after I took it out to clean it. So now, I think I have one front hole, and two holes in the back. The earring can go through the front and out the back in two separate holes, and the two back holes are not connected. Something might have ripped on the inside of the piercing. I'm trying to close one of the holes, and the skin on the new one has already formed over but the area around it looks a bit red. Should I continue to clean it as I have been doing? Or should I get it checked out?

Any information would be helpful, thanks!

Hi there,

Your description is good, but I'm still not going to be able to offer thorough advice without seeing you, or at least a clear, close up photo or two.

Are you wearing body jewelry or a traditional earring? When you wear body jewelry there is NO REASON to take the jewelry out to clean it!

Ear Stud Guns

There was an article on the ABC news website about what parents permit their kids to do. It discussed matters like staying out at night, using cell phones, surfing the web--and ear piercing. Interestingly, it said that parents would let their girls get ear piercings as young as 9, and  27 percent of parents said ear-piercing is OK for girls younger than 6 – no other item scored more than 1 percent in that category. Another 20 percent say ear-piercing is appropriate between ages 6 and 11.

Knowing exactly how and where much of this early piercing takes place, I left the following comment:

Parents should know that ear piercing (while quite socially acceptable for young girls these days) is not without its own risks. Especially if the piercing is done by a gun at a kiosk or mall. According to "The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing" (Random House, May 2009):

"These gadgets were originally invented for tagging cattle and other animals, and later adapted for use on humans. The gun forces a pointy earring through the skin, which causes more tissue trauma and discomfort than the razor-sharp needle used by body piercers. The one-size post length does not “fit all” and cannot accommodate a plump earlobe or any swelling; it is certainly not long enough to be worn in a body piercing. The stud earring typically employs a butterfly-style clasp that can inhibit the healing process and increase the risk of infection by compressing the tissue, limiting circulation, and trapping secretions and bacteria."

The book then goes on to describe how disease transmission can take place:

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