Infected Earring Hole

Updated on January 21, 2009
S.J. asks from Tulsa, OK
12 answers

Hello! I have had pierced ears since I was a kid, but I haven't worn earrings in about two years, except I've put them in maybe twice in that time just to see if the holes were still open - they were. Anyway, I haven't worn them in quite a while, but today I noticed one of the holes had pus and appreared to be infected somehow, which I found strange since I no longer wear earrings and haven't in a year. I've always used alcohol to clean them, but is there something else I should try? Hydrogen Peroxide, etc.? I never bought special earring/earring hole cleaner because I thought it was just alcohol anyway. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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answers from New Orleans on

I agree with the rest, peroxide and Neosporin maybe inserted with an earring?-I would clean twice a day.

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answers from Texarkana on

With my health, I could not let my pierced ears get infected. I always cleaned my ears with alcohol and then added antibiotic ointment. I also poured a little bit of alcohol into the cap from the bottle and soaked my earrings in it as well. Then put the antibiotic ointment on my ears and dipped the posts of the earrings in antibiotic ointment before putting them back in. Doing this twice a day, they should be better in no time!!



answers from Little Rock on

This happened to me the other day for the first time. I haven't worn ear rings in a few years, so I was shocked to see my ear look like that. I got a paper towel and put really hot water on it and folded it around my ear. This drew the infection out. I then filled the peroxide cap with peroxide and let my ear sit in there for a minute. I did this twice that day and the next day it was better. GL!!



answers from Baton Rouge on

What kind of earrings did you put in? The reason I ask is that my daughter's holes frequently got infected when she was a kid, and we found out from our pediatrician's nurse that it most likely an allergy to nickel. Nickel is used in a lot of jewelry, expecially the inexpensive stuff, because it's cheap and easy to work with. We started buying her only earrings that were nickel-free, and she stopped getting infections. Many stores carry entire lines of nickel-free jewelry, it's clearly labeled as such, and it's not expensive.

In the meantime, the best way we found to clean them was to use peroxide first to clean out the pus, then witch hazel - it's not as drying to the skin as alcohol and it doesn't burn. The earring cleaning solution that you get from the store is also good - it's not alcohol, it's a benzalkonium solution - the same stuff that they use in those ittle packets of hand-wipes. It also doesn't dry the skin like alcohol does, and it doesn't sting.

We didn't use antibiotic ointment because it's greasy, and just means more to have to clean off the next time.



answers from Fayetteville on

Clean the earlobe with peroxide or alcohol, then apply an antibiotic ointment for a few days.



answers from Birmingham on

When I got my cartilage pierced, they told me to clean it with H2Ocean cleaner. You can probably find it at any tattoo or piercing place or order it online. It's basically sea salt and water, and won't dry your piercing out the way alcohol can. You basically spray it on in the a.m. and p.m. By the way, I mentioned that I had used alcohol to clean my other ear piercings to the piercer and he got a horrified look on his face and said "NEVER!"
Also, if they're really infected, you can clean them in the shower with Softsoap antibacterial soap, as well as soaking a washcloth in a mixture of Epsom salts and hot water to make a hot compress to draw the infection out.
My second earring holes tend to do what yours are every time I put earrings in, whether I try it for a few days, or just every now and then. It usually goes away on its own if I don't mess with them too much. Hope this helps!

By the way, they also said to not use Neosporin or antibiotic ointment because that would make the hole grow over and close up instead of healing around the earring.



answers from Jackson on

My ears tend to get infected easily, and antibiotic ointment works well. Just apply 2x a day (morning and evening) and it should be cleared up in a few days.



answers from Monroe on

Can I just add that if you put antibiotic oinment on the post of an earring and put it in your ear, then the ointment is going into the infected part and you may have more success. I would make certain I cleaned the earrings with alcohol first.




answers from New Orleans on

hey S., I'd go with the Hydrogen Peroxide for cleansing the earlobes. Then use only hook style earrings for awhile,even though you're not wearing earrings right now. Where them for awhile so as to aid the inner hole to heal. I suggest using hook style for the same purpose as the posts tend to fill the hole and not allow air flow. THEN most important, use only 14k or above in gold earrings OR my preference which is Sterling Silver or pure silver. White gold as long as it is more than 10 K is as good as yellow gold of the same quality.

That should heal your lobes quickly! Good luck and God Bless your new baby girl! I'll bet she's the most beautiful baby you've ever seen!

take care,




answers from Oklahoma City on

this too happens to me as an adult. No problems as a kid. Almost never wear earrings now, but still will have infected hole every so often. No idea what triggers, but generally goes away in a few days. Reappears several times a year. No other problems, so I just ignore it.



answers from Tulsa on

if this isn't cleared up in a couple of days with antibiotic ointment. CALL THE DR. If you haven't worn any earrings and the earrings you put in are ones you have worn before with no problem then this could be an infection that was on your hands. In these times there are many infections that are very dangerous. Don;t play around with something that is just a copay away from being fixed



answers from Hattiesburg on

Hi there S. J.

I have always used Peroxide to clean my ears antc. I use it to clean my drain and drain board in the kitchen.
any way Best wishes