36 answers

Pain with Ear Piercing After 8 Weeks

My daugther - age 12 - has had her ears pierced for 8 weeks and is still experiencing pain when removing or putting in earrings. I took her earrings out on Sat. and had a problem with one. It seemed to have been stuck and when I got it out there was some gunk on it and the ear looked like maybe it was starting to close with the earring in it. It also bled a little bit. I cleaned both ears and we put in another pair. I had no problem putting the earring in the ear that we had the problem with. The other ear was a little more difficult to put an earring in. The earringds had been in for a while without cleaning, turning, or replacing them. I am a bit concerned that she is still having problems. She is a bit dramatic so it may be more than what it really is. I clean her ear and the earrings with alcohol and she complains it stings. She gets all flustered when I take them out and put them back in. Any help would be appreciated. Oh yeah, they do not look infected.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I had to send another update since it has been 4 months since my daughter had her ears pierced. After my initial email I started cleaning her ears regularly again and doing what we had from day 1. After several days her ears started to improve and am happy to report that we have been changing earrings every couple of days, for the last month, with no problems. She actually got brave and took them out herself. We are definitely on the road to being able to clean every couple of days and my daughter is SO HAPPY! Thanks again for all your help.

Featured Answers

My 4 year old had the same issue. I went out and bought her 14 kt. gold earrings and that semed to help.

My daughter had her ears pierced 4 years ago and she still has one that gives her trouble. It gets tender and is painful when we put an earring in it. I have debated letting it close but I'm afraid repiercing would result in the same problem. I have found that if she wears 18k gold or stainless steel she has fewer problems - we don't take them out very often. It annoys her because she wants to wear all the fun sassy earrings, but they cause her problems almost immediately. When I had my ears pierced they had me use hydrogen peroxide to clean them instead of the "ear cleaner" they now use - that might be worth a try. HTH...

I think you should keep them clean, rotate them and dont change the earings for a long time. I have a total of 13 earings and I never changed them for at least 6 months.

More Answers

Hi M.,

I have had my ears pierced longer than I care to think about, lol, but anyway, I go through the same type of thing if I wear a post earring too long. Try swtiching to a small pair of hoops, lever backs, and see if that won't help with it. And just be sure to clean them and move them around a bit.

It sounds like your daughter's ear is inflamed from the lack of care. Since the earrings were not turned, when the ear was healing, it was trying to close the entire wound instead of creating a hole. If she turns them daily and cleans them, it should heal fine. Try using neosporene as an antibiotic instead of alcohol (which will sting when applied to an open wound to delicate new skin). Coat her ear lobe and the earring post with neosporene before putting it back in. It should glide in easier and disinfect the inside. Peroxide also works as a disinfectant and will not hurt.

Good luck!

If she hasn't been diligent about the daily cleanings and turning the earrings then I think I would put a pair in and basically start over with the care instructions. Also, if I remember correctly, the cleaning solution you buy at the piercing counters is less harsh than alcohol. I used the cleaning solution years ago and don't remember it stinging as much as acohol, which is what I use now. The only other thing I can think of is to take her to the doctor (many peds do ear piercings) and discuss it with them. Maybe they can offer some insight or determine if she is sensitive to what the earrings are made of.

Hi M., we went through the same thing and we just had to clean them and turn the earring every morning and night to make sure the cleaner got into the ear hole. you can also dip the earring in bacetracin and then put it back in to clean it out. My neighbor had a similar problem as well and turns out her daughter was reacting to the metal of the earring and she can only wear 14 k. gold or plated. Hope this helps.

She may have the same problem that I have. I have to have pure gold or my ears get infected. Silver is ok but after a long day that starts irritating them as well. You may want to check the quality of the earrings. They can be expensive, which is why I don't wear them anymore, lol. Or she may just end up being the few who just can't wear earrings. If the earrings are fine, have a doc check them out. You'll want to be careful of infection.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

Chat and events, within 2 hour radius

I was always told not to change the earings until the ears were completely healed and it sounds like hers are not. I would replace the studs and clean/turn the earings twice daily until they are totally healed. It may also be worth picking up some of the cleaning solution that Claire's sells. Just dip a Q-tip in the cleaning solution and swab around the earing withouth removing it - front and back. I always had good luck with that.

I don't remember having much trouble, if any, with my first two sets of earings. My third set, up towards the middle of my ear were very infected and took a long time to heal, probably closer to 3-4 months. My cartlidge piercings, on the top of my left ear, took longer than those first 2 sets of earings also to heal.


Make sure that you are only using real gold or surgical stainless steel earrings. Other metals may cause a reaction. Also stop using alcohol to clean the ears, it can be too harsh. I would just use a mild antibactrial soap and warm water at this point. Follow that with a small amount of Neosporin (they make one with a pain reducer in it.) Do not remove the earrings when cleaning the new piercings. The more you take them in and out, the more you are opening up the possibiity of infection. The earrings really should not be removed until the holes are finished healing. SImply wash the earlobes, apply some neosporin then turn them while in the holes. They should heal up fine.

We went through a similar situation. Once we figured out that anything but gold earrings bothered her ears it took about 8 months to have her ears completely pain free. We cleaned them nightly and also did neosporin if they looked red. She is now able to wear any earrings but with caution. Give it some time and some extra TLC. Hoepfully that will help.

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