A.B. asks from Matthews, NC on September 01, 2010
Hi there! My daughter is 4 years old. For her 4th birthday she had been asking to have her ears pieced. So as part of her b-day present we decided to get her ears pierced. Everything went great, except for those initial tears, (to be expected). She loved them!! She was very happy to show them to everyone she saw. I did my part in cleaning and turning the earring each day once to twice a day. This was back in May.
Summer time came and we went on vacations, we were in the pool, outside more, sweating, etc...I did my best to keep up with the cleaning. Sometime in June I realized it had been a few days since we had cleaned or turned the earrings. We were at the pool and I took a look and I was very surprised at what I saw. A big, red, pussy like thing that had sort of grown on the back of her ear and the back of the earring was stuck to this thing. Thankfully one of our cousins is a nurse and was at the pool with us and said it was infected. She suggested in taking the earring out, cleaning it, cleaning the ear resting both the earring and the ear for a day and put the earring back in. We did that and with continued cleanings it disappeared. Then it appeared in the other ear. I did the same thing. Except it has never really gone completely away. I go back and forth with using peroxide and alcohol. She doesn't like the alcohol, but that seems to do the best in drying up the infection and cleaning it. I was also told the peroxide is not good to use b/c it kills the tissue.
Today we went to the dr. It's been 3 months and there is still a small pin head size "pimple" that is behind her ear behind the back of the earring. When I clean this ear sometimes I see puss, and sometimes I see blood. When I take the earring out to clean it and clean the ear better I find that in putting the earring back in it wants to go if a different direction. And as the dr pointed out this morning as if there is another track in her ear. This "track" pushes right through the back of this "pimple" area. Of course when I try to push through she screams, it starts to bleed, I panic and pull the earring out. It's as if there is another "hole" for me to push the earring through. I'm afraid that she could have two holes in the back of her ear??
The dr wasn't sure what to make of it. He thought since she does have sensitive skin that it could be an allergic reaction to the stainless steel earring, and/or it could be eczema which she has in various places on her body. His suggestions were to go with gold earrings, and use the eczema ointment that I have. He also said it could take months for the hole to become permanent? Also the earrings were put in by her dr at the dr's office, not one of those jewelry or hair boutiques in the mall. He seemed perplexed, not worried, but not sure either.
My concern is it just doesn't look normal. Help? What do you all think? Any experience, any suggestions on what to try or do?
So What Happened?™
Thank you to everyone who offered their suggestions and opinions on my daughters earring situation. I wish I could have attached a picture to really show and explain what we were dealing with. It seemed that everyone either wanted me to switch earrings to a different metal or take the earring out and let the hole close and ear heal. I also took her to see our pediatrician and he suggested that we use our eczema ointment and switch to gold. I decided before doing anything drastic I would switch the earrings. I had gotten a small pair of 14kt gold earrings from my mom for her for her birthday. Within just a few days of switching the metal, and putting the eczema ointment on the "infection" it has decreased in size, no more puss, no more blood, no more weirdness going on. She has sensitive skin and I should have tried this a long time ago, I was just worried about the hole closing. But it also sounds like the hole will close up even up to 6 months after her initial piercing. We believe the initial earring might have irritated her ear and that it was a bit bigger than your normal size earring is so that it would make the initial hole in her ear.
In my defense, and for those who write in to other people's questions, sometimes our explanation are not always perfect, we don't always give all the details to the situation, nor does it really give great detail to the problem sometimes. I found that several people like to post their opinions, but their opinions were not very nice or helpful. Let's go by the old adage, by saying "if you don't have anything nice (or helpful) to say, don't say anything at all." "Don't judge a book by it's cover" without knowing the details.
My decisions on what we do as a family and what we decide to do is our decisions, not yours. If you don't like others having earrings then keep it to yourself. In some cultures, ear piercing is done at a very early age and is the norm. Beauty is not dealt by your looks or if you do or don't have earrings. Inner beauty is what really counts! If you really felt as though my problem was so offensive then you really have some major issues. I feel very strongly about breastfeeding and I don't go around criticizing others who choose to give formula vs breast milk. I don't bombard people who may choose to feed their babies solid foods before 6 months of age, as clearly stated by the Academy of Pediatrics. And if I went up to a mom or dad who was feeding their child soda and junk food and insulted them that they were feeding into the obesity problem we have in the US then I would be looking for a fight.
Just say positive helpful things and don't make negative comments on someone's innocent question. We're all moms, dads, and even grandparents on here and we're not all perfect!
I am happy and thankful my daughters ears look much better and I'm happy that this situation worked out for both her and I with no more drama.
S.C. answers from Nashville on September 03, 2010
When I had my hair salon and I did ear piercing,I found out that some do have such sensitive to any type metal in there ears,some times they do grow out of it and I had others that never had any problems till many years after.
I my self use to could ware any thing but now I can only ware gold.
K.S. answers from Raleigh on September 02, 2010
This seems to happen quite regularly. My daughter, now 33 got this when she was 5. We took the earrings out, waited 2 yrs. At 7, she was fine. Granddaughter had it too. She also took them out, and waited a yr, and they did fine. I wonder if some kids are more sensitive when they are younger.
M.L. answers from Houston on September 02, 2010
My daughters can only wear the real gold earrings. I can wear whatever. They get highly infected otherwise though. Good luck!
V.C. answers from Wheeling on September 02, 2010
Epsom Salt compress!
Epsom Salt is so cheap, effective, versatile, and easy, I don't know why we don't hear more about it's use! It's a good soak for sore, aching muscles (or the whole body, for that matter), infected areas (or areas that are susceptible to GETTING ifected such as a surgery site or irritated place), etc. Add 1 Tablespoon to 1 cup hot water, and wet a washcloth with it and hold it on her ear 4-5 minutes 4-5 times a day. You can even re-heat and re-use the same water and cloth. Just be careful not to burn yourself or her.
I'll bet it'll clear it right up!
I read your other posts, & I hope it's not MRSA; and different people are allergic to different metals. Some people can ONLY wear cheap earrings, and others need platinum, gold, sterling silver, titanium, or surgical steel.
1 mom found this helpful
B.K. answers from Chicago on September 02, 2010
I like KC R's answer -- "earrings are stupid." Is she like 12 or something? lol Also, I thought we were supposed to be helpful here. (Started out my morning with a good laugh anyway!)
Sounds like an allergy to metal and it isn't healing. It just keeps getting irritated by the metal. I have a step-daughter who can't wear earrings because they constantly get infected. Sounds just like that. Either try gold or let them heal and try again in a few years. (My SD is allergic to everything -- gold included.)
1 mom found this helpful
R.U. answers from Nashville on September 02, 2010
hi, i would let them heal up and wait a few years until she is older and able to take care of them herself. she may be messing with them all the time when you aren't aware. good luck and god bless, R.
1 mom found this helpful
E.H. answers from Raleigh on September 02, 2010
I know that it sounds crazy, but I would call a tattoo and piercing place and ask them. I had my ears pierced twice when I was young, only to have them get infected and heal back over. Finally, in my 30's I went to a piecing place and have had much more success. They used titanium earrings and gave much different advice on cleaning and turning than what I have ever heard at a doctor or earring place in the mall. It also took almost a full year before my ears stopped reacting and I was able to take the piercing earrings out. I have now found that I can not wear stainless steal earring at all without my ears starting to itch, puss and bleed. Surprisingly, sterling silver is OK but I just have to be really careful. The pool is also a bad place when my ears are reacting and I remember the tattoo place saying to stay away when you first get them pierced...which is really hard during the summer. good luck!
1 mom found this helpful
L.A. answers from Minneapolis on September 01, 2010
I used baby castile soap on my earrings. It is a liquid soap that you can squirt through the hole. That might help??
I am only able to wear real earrings (gold) and even those bother me sometimes. I would say that if lasts much longer I would probably take the earrings out and let the ears heal.
N.C. answers from Dallas on September 01, 2010
I am by no means a doctor, but usually blood and puss involves an infection. If it has been that long, and nothing is being fixed completely gone, I would contemplate taking them out. Could be a bad reaction to a metal, its highly common. Mine only gets slightly irritated to non gold metals though.
C.D. answers from Omaha on September 02, 2010
Sounds like she is having a reaction to the earrings. I have the same problem if I don't use 14K gold earring for any length of time. The ear lobe gets hot and infected overnight. I would take her earring out at night and put them back in the next morning, this will give the ears time to air out and you can attack the infection with ointment or whatever you perfer. And yes it does take a while for the hole to become permanent.. If I remember right it was about 6 months before mine healed correctly and stayed open. If you can not get her ears to heal I would suggest seeing your DR again and maybe antibotics to clear whatever is going on! Good Luck to you!
K.R. answers from Charlotte on September 02, 2010
Earrings are stupid. Wait until she is older to make that decision. My daughter has none and I get so many complements about her beauty. Earrings take away from the beauty and innocence of a child. I myself don't wear any.