June 24, 2012,
T.G. asks from El Paso, TX on March 13, 2009
Newly Pierced Ears Problem
My 8 yr old wanted her ears pierced so bad for her b-day. Her dad and I finally agreed and it has been nothing but a headache since. She had them pierced the first week of February and she is still complaining about the pain. We cleaned them and rotated them at least 3x's a day missing only a few times. She took them out, for the first time, two days ago and it was a nightmare getting them back in. In just a few short hours the holes had already started to cover with skin and close up! The holes are a tiny bit red on the back of the ear but the worse part is that there are hard little balls inside where the holes are. Is this scar tissue? Is it safe for her to continue to wear the earrings? Going to the doctor is my very last option since it will cost me over $100. Today I went and bought her some more 14 kt gold earrings to keep in her ear instead of cheap ones. Any help or advice????
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M.D. answers from Longview on March 14, 2009
I had the same problem. One way to help get rid of the infection (the hard ball inside) is to dip the earing post in neosporin and the place in the earhole. That helps get the medicine to where the infection is. Also it runed out that I was allergic to nickel. Once I started wearing nickel-free earings. I didn't have any problems anymore.
A.O. answers from El Paso on March 14, 2009
I have an allergy to gold and silver. The only earrings I can wear are nickel free. One of my daughters has the same problem. The solution for us is simple. I take all earrings and put a clear coat of nail polish on them and no allergies. Try it, it really works. Good luck!
B.G. answers from Austin on March 14, 2009
My guess is that she has a sensitivity to the metal the original earrings were made of. Definitely see how the gold works out. Also, maybe try some hydrocortizone cream. See if that eases the discomfort.
V.H. answers from Houston on March 14, 2009
The piercing places give you their solution to clean them with. I am allergic to this solution, I use alcohol, they say not to, but alcohol works for me. The knot is a scab which needs to be pushed thru, I also use neosporin to lubricate and medicate at one time. See if you can get this done, then everytime they are taken out use neosporin to put back in. Saturate with alcohol several times a day, like you have been w/rotating.
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K.L. answers from Corpus Christi on March 13, 2009
I second what first poster said about metal allergies/sensitivity. A cousin of mine is allergic to gold...discovered it after piercing ears with a result that sounds similar to what you're seeing. My ears are also sensitive...especially to the "cheap posts" but also to silver and copper. I had my ears pierced nearly 30 years ago and to this day, if I wear cheap posts, within a day or so I'll get the redness and the little "knot" you described. If I then take out the earring and don't replace it within a couple of days with a "good one", skin grows over it (because of the healing related to the red/irritated skin).
I actually gave up a more than ten years ago...I bought myself a nice set of diamond studs set in white gold and I have probably taken them off to wear something "dressier" only half a dozen times since then (except for cleaning of course...but they go right back in when they are clean)!
For me, cleaning the earrings and the ear with alcohol works the best...stings but seems to speed up healing. I sometimes alternate with hydrogen peroxide but don't like how it turns the skin white! (I can always find one but not always both *laugh*).
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K.K. answers from Killeen on March 13, 2009
First of all what type of posts were used to pierce your child's ears (surgical steel, titanium, 10k gold, or 14k gold?) This can have make a drastic impact on the health and haeling of the piercings. If there is a history of metal allergy in the family I would avoid posts made of that metal.
For instance, I am allergic to gold and cannot wear any posts that contain over 10k gold. My husband is allergic to surgical steel and cannot wear that. So when it came time to get my oldest daughter's ears pierced we found out she is allergic to both (unfortunately she had to go throught he infections from both to find out) and we can only use titanium (the most exensive ones, of course) posts for her ears.
If the redness is larger than it was before and the skin is hot to the touch, then I would say that her ear(s) is/are infected, and you should probably take her to the doctor.
If not you need to put keep earrings in her ears for about 3 months making sure that you rotate them regularly. I would use a q-tip and some soap and water to clean them once every couple of days.
There is a saline solution you can get from the place you got her ears pierced or from any tattoo place that should help heal her ear faster.
To answer about the had place in her ear. IT could be scar tissue, but it could also be swelling where there is infection and you may need to have a doctor look at it.
You may be able to wait another day or two to determine if it's infected for sure...but you can take her to the place where she got them pierced and they should be able to tell you if they are infected and give you some tips as well.
Good luck ;-)
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J.P. answers from Austin on March 14, 2009
Keep up with the 14K gold ones (preferably not elecroplated). I got hard little knots in my ears from the nickle earings that they give you at the piercing. Hopefully, the gold earrings will clear it up in a week or so.
N.H. answers from Houston on March 14, 2009
She may have an allergy to the metal. I thought I couldn't wear earrings because when I wore the "cheap ones" my ears would fester up, red, crusty (for lack of better word), etc. so I quit wearing them not knowing I just couldn't wear cheap earrings, they hafta be gold or gold plated. I can wear sterling silver for a few hrs but my ears will be sore & red if I wear them for extended length of time so I hafta stick w/gold or gold plated. I ended up getting them re-pierced not knowing I could just use my first pair I got pierced with & just re-open the holes, no one told me so I have off-set 'holes' in addition to the ones I use now so don't make that mistake. The WalMart lady swore to me she knew what she was doing. Big mistake! I pierced the rest of my holes myself! My mom had the same issue but her's is opposite. She can wear the gold plated or some of the cheapies but not all cheapies & strictly no solid gold type or silver. I just told her to stick to what she got re-pierced with (I did the re-piercing w/a do it yourself gun...I have a salon license so I'm allowed so don't worry!). She did the hoop self-piercers a long time ago just like her mom (my g-ma) but g-ma's did just fine. My mom went w/o earrings for years til about 2003 or so & she wanted to wear pierced earrings again. So I think that must be your daughter's problem, having an allergy. I wasn't allowed to wear pierced earrings as a child. I finally "got permission" at age 22. You may just want to experiment w/different types & see what works. Good luck!
M.H. answers from Houston on March 13, 2009
1st. Take them out.
2nd. Wait til she can take care of them.
I say this because I have 16 piercings in my ears alone. This is not something for a child.
I had all my piercings done by a professional tattoo/piercing person.
I couldnt wear earrings as a child....but, boy howdy, did I wear them as an adult!!
I say let well enough alone for now.
P.S. As for scar tissue...not likely...they close like noones business!!! It will just be easier to pierce as an adult.
R.H. answers from San Antonio on March 14, 2009
You may read this a lot in responses,but if your daughter has sensitive ears, then gold or the earrings for sensitive ears are the only things you should keep in her ears for a long time. Others may disagree with this, but my experience - personal and my daughters is that, gold, or silver is the only thing we can wear that will not ultimately come back to haunt us with sore ears, and all that goes with it. My daughter has repiereced her ears three times now or is it 4? I forget anymore - she is 20. She always has an ear that takes longer to heal as do I and I suspect more people out there, so extra care and attention needs to be paid here. If the ear gets puss-like or really inflamed or she continues to complain, your safest option may be a Dr. I hope that you can safely allay this by being proactive with her and good luck ... girls are wonderful and high maintenance. I have two 20 and 17 .... LOVE them!
J.R. answers from Killeen on March 18, 2009
I had the same problem, and ended up getting my ears pierced 3 separate times because they got infected and we had to take the earrings out. Even the hypo-allergenic wouldn't work for me. The ones that I found that worked for me were titanium, and I never had any problems with them (I don't really wear gold, nor do i own any gold earrings). As I have gotten older, I can actually wear costume jewelry for about 4-6 hours, but then after that my ears will start aching. She may just be really sensitive to some metals, or she may just need to wait til she is a little older. I was 13 the last time I got them pierced, and still have the holes almost 10 years later, no problems, and I go months without earrings in them. I would recommend trying some high quality metals first, like gold, and make sure to keep them very clean, but without drying out the skin.