Ear Piercing

Ear 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!

Risks of Piercing "Cauliflower Ear"

I was asked a question recently that I hadn't heard before:

At one of the tattoo shops I work in, one of the apprentice tattoo artists wants me to pierce a helix on both ears. No problemo. However he has "cauliflower ear" in both. I've been doing some research about specifically what causes it, also I've talked with him about it. He told me that he used to be a boxer, which is somewhat common. But he never had them drained.

I have never pierced a cauliflower ear, and honestly I've never been presented with this question. So I'm curious to know if its something that I should or should not do ? I'm also curious to know what your experience is, and what you think. :) Thanks.

My reply:

That's an awesome question! It is one I have never been asked before. And in all my years of experience, I've never had a request to pierce an ear that has been injured in this way.

From my understanding of the situation, I'd be very wary about piercing such anatomy. As I imagine you know, the condition itself results from the surface tissue being separated from the cartilage, and is a problem that is caused by a lack of vascularity. To me that would indicate that the healing capacity of the area is even worse than usual (and we all know cartilage is rather finicky when it comes to healing).

If he can bring you a doctor's note that says piercing is not medically contraindicated in his case, I'd consider it. Short of that, I'd personally stay away from an area that is highly likely to be problematic healing.


Bleeding Industrial Piercing

I received this message via email:


Hi Elayne,
I am having a situation with a piercing I did. Sunday afternoon I did an industrial piercing on a girl named Alex. I'm still an apprentice but this was the 10th industrial piercing I've done and I have never had a problem with any of them up until now.

Alex called me this afternoon, 2 days later, complaining that her piercing is bleeding and she can't get it to stop. It hardly bled when I pierced it, and up until last night when the bleeding started, she said that it was healing just fine. It wasn't sore, red, no signs of infection, and didn't hurt at all. First thing I did was try to figure out how the bleeding started. She said she took 500mg of ibuprofen and the bleeding started shortly after that. I understand that a side effect of ibuprofen is blood thinning but unless she was already bleeding I didn't think the ibuprofen would cause her to start. I just thought it would make it a bit harder to get the bleeding to stop if she did happen to start bleeding. Am I wrong about this?

She also said she thinks she accidentally rolled over onto it in her sleep which would make more sense except that it started bleeding before she went to bed. Is it possible she is just not telling me that she bumped it or something, or is it normal for industrial piercings to randomly start bleeding days later?

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