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pierced ear question... help? (gross)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'll start off by giving some history... I was about 14 or 15 when I got my ears pierced... I'm now 35... I did the best I could cleaning and letting my ears heal back then... thought i did fine. One ear has always, off and on, given me trouble... a little discharge collecting on the earrings (only the gold, though - yes, gross, I know... it gets worse) - but for the most part, no real infections or anything...

Most of the time I wear either gold posts, silver hoops or occasionally I wear fancier earrings. Never had a problem until lately. I wore my last 'fancy' pair about a couple weeks ago (and they had hypoallergenic posts/hooks)... ear was irritated, but nothing happened... switched to gold posts... irritation stopped. the backs kept coming off, so I switched to a pair of silver hoops... teeny ones... no problem. except a burr on one kept snagging on things, so I took them out... found another pair of gold posts, these with better backs... put them on around Sunday or Monday. Now, my one ear is red, puss, the skin around the hole is raw, and it has released blood mixed in with the puss...

At first, I was thinking it was a reaction to one of the metals... but the more descriptions I saw this morning about it, it looks like an infection.

I've done rubbing alcohol (hurt like he** ... made the cats run when i yelled in pain), and mostly cold water to keep it clean.

For those of you who either have metal allergies and found them through piercings, or have had infections of piercings... what do you think it sounds like? It gets crusty in between cleanings... hence my thought of it being an infection.

Also, what do you do to help it heal? And could it get re-pierced someday? I love having my ears pierced... my other ear is fine.

Any thoughts? Anyone?

Thanks, gang...
Amanda
post #2 of 11
I think if you keep putting peroxide on it and some neosporin and keeping it really clean it will heal without closing the hole. I've had infections before and I still have my holes.
post #3 of 11
I had a heck of a time with my pierced ears. Every pair of earrings I ever wore caused the holes to be itching and weeping. Even plastic ones.

I recommend that you go back to the earrings you had when you first got them pierced. Probably those posts. You can find them at places where you gear piercings done. Put those in and leave them in. Clean the area with hydrogen peroxide several times per day and make sure you twist the earrings around well. even taking them out and cleaning them and putting them right back in again is better.

Once you have healed, don't use anything but plastic posts. You can buy plastic adapters in department stores.

Or you can do what I did and just let them grow back in and use clip-ons. I find that the best method for me.
post #4 of 11
I have a lot of earring holes. And back when I was younger I could wear any earring cheap or gold did not matter and had no issues. As I got older tho I started to have a lot of issues with different metals. Now I can only wear 361L Surgical Steel (I get them from a local piercing/tattoo shop).

As a matter of fact maybe stop by a shop (if you have one in your town) and talk to them. Most of the ones I have talked to say do sea salt soaks. They say peroxide and alcohol are big no nos for any piercing infected or not. If it truely a bad infection you may need to see a doctor for antibotics.
post #5 of 11
You are getting what is called contact dermatitis. You can use 316L surgical steel or titanium in them and should stop. It is mostly caused by nickel in the metal. Sterling silver has just enough to bother people that are very sensitive to metals. If it says stainless, it is not necessarily high quality. It should say surgical or 316L stainless steel.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
I recommend that you go back to the earrings you had when you first got them pierced. Probably those posts. You can find them at places where you gear piercings done. Put those in and leave them in. Clean the area with hydrogen peroxide several times per day and make sure you twist the earrings around well. even taking them out and cleaning them and putting them right back in again is better.

Once you have healed, don't use anything but plastic posts. You can buy plastic adapters in department stores.

Or you can do what I did and just let them grow back in and use clip-ons. I find that the best method for me.
I lost those original posts YEARS ago, hence buying new ones at various jewelers... cheapies, 14K, but from either jewelry stores or the counters at Dept. stores... it was all I could afford... still today.

Mind you, I can probably modify most earrings to either clip or some sort of alternative metal (like mentioned in following quotes), but I can't alter my plain posts or my much-loved silver hoops... I'll have to get new stuff, of course.... I hated having clips... my mother forced me to do that until she felt I was old enough to get the piercing done. Back in the 80's, we didn't know any better, so we did the mall shop. Now, I'd never do that (from reading a previous subject about piercings here)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping View Post
I have a lot of earring holes. And back when I was younger I could wear any earring cheap or gold did not matter and had no issues. As I got older tho I started to have a lot of issues with different metals. Now I can only wear 361L Surgical Steel (I get them from a local piercing/tattoo shop).

As a matter of fact maybe stop by a shop (if you have one in your town) and talk to them. Most of the ones I have talked to say do sea salt soaks. They say peroxide and alcohol are big no nos for any piercing infected or not. If it truely a bad infection you may need to see a doctor for antibotics.
Well, I did manage this time to numb it enough so my screams won't alert the neighbors... JK... I did a thorough alcohol and water cleaning... want to do a sea salt mix, but I'm not sure of the ratio of water to salt. I'll try it before going to bed. I did, however, put neosporin on it, as Renovia suggested... it feels better... still itches a bit, but not like before... I probably won't do the neosporin overnight... or it'll be all over the pillows by morning!!

I'll look into the surgical steel. Is the 361K and Krazy Kat's 316K the same? I assume it is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2 View Post
You are getting what is called contact dermatitis. You can use 316L surgical steel or titanium in them and should stop. It is mostly caused by nickel in the metal. Sterling silver has just enough to bother people that are very sensitive to metals. If it says stainless, it is not necessarily high quality. It should say surgical or 316L stainless steel.
I've had that!! On my hands... the powder from a certain brand of latex gloves when I worked in a hospital kitchen... oh man, I hated waiting for it to go away... we did find a brand I wasn't allergic to... the odd thing here is that it's only flaring up in one ear...

I'm searching for Surg. Steel earrings online now... there's a nice pair of man made diamond studs... with 316L steel... Very nice... and not bad on price... I'll hate throwing out all my other stuff though... maybe I can modify ones like my penguin earrings... I'm going to a bead show tomorrow, maybe someone there has 316L earring findings... hhmmm... must make LIST!!!

Any tips on water to sea salt ratio, gang?

Amanda
post #7 of 11
I think 316L is right. I don't have the package on hand from when I got my. You can go to any piercing and tat shop and get them. My CBR (captive bead rings) cost me 5$ a piece and my labret studs the same.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Piercing_aftercare

The LITHA method is what I did when I did my stretching. but that would not be a great idea for an infection. That link tho has the ratio in it.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubSluts'Mommy View Post
the odd thing here is that it's only flaring up in one ear...
I have one hole on my right side that still acts up. Actually a week ago it acted up for 3 days. It was sored and itched but I did LITHA and it felt better.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping View Post
I think 316L is right. I don't have the package on hand from when I got my. You can go to any piercing and tat shop and get them. My CBR (captive bead rings) cost me 5$ a piece and my labret studs the same.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Piercing_aftercare

The LITHA method is what I did when I did my stretching. but that would not be a great idea for an infection. That link tho has the ratio in it.

Usually, LITHA (now that I know it has a 'name') is what I've done... only occasionally pulling my posts out and cleaning the gunk off of them... I'll try the sea salt tonight... it'll be interesting trying to soak my ear... hmmm...

I'll mix up the SSS and see how it goes...

Thanks!!
Amanda
post #10 of 11
I have 4 ear piercings and my naval done and while I never had a problem myself, in the reading I had done about them I had always read that the sea salt and leaving them pretty much alone works best... My cartilage and naval rings always stay in but my first holes and my one second hole in my ears I only wear earrings like when I'm out (not in my sleep) I don't know if that has anything to do with possibly causing infections, but if you do keep rings in all the time you should take them out on a regular basis to clean the ring and the area

I would also suggest hitting up your local parlor though if you have more questions because they've been there done that with tats and piercings so I'm sure they can help... I don't see your holes closing up with healing but if they do you could probably get them re-pierced after healing they just might pierce them a little higher or a little lower depending on the the scar tissue
post #11 of 11
I was told by a former teacher who was a RN to NEVER EVER put alcohol on a wound. It strips the top layer of the cells off thus taking the infection/wound longer to heal. Use Iodine or neosporin instead. Plus alcohol hurts..Ouch! Sorry I really don't have any other advice about getting your infection to heal up. If you do let it heal and get it repierced it will hurt a little more than the first time you had it done. I had some second holes done a few years ago and at night one fell out and my hole closed up overnight. That was a few days after I initially got them pierced. I didn't want to just have one side pierced so I went back and got it repierced and ouch did that hurt. She did it in the exact same spot that it was pierced in before. I had a friend that let both of hers heal up and she said the same thing about it hurting a lot more the second time because of the scar tissue. I think she got her belly button repierced as well and she said it hurt like That's really my only experience with it though.
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