How do I know if a new ear piercing is infected?Ear, Nose & Throat Skin, Hair & Nails
I got a helix ear piercing 2 months back. However, it recently started to become red and swollen. How do I know if it is infected, and what can I do to alleviate it?
Thank you for your question. Without a full clinical history, clinical examination or at least a clinical photo, it is hard to advise you on the likely cause of the redness and swelling of your ear.
Dr Gan Eng Cern
Erythema (redness) and swelling are possible and early warning signs of a skin infection, given your recent ear piercing. Other signs and symptoms of a skin or soft tissue infection may include warmth, pain, especially pain on pressure/touching and presence of any discharge from the piercing site.
I highly suggest that you see your general practitioner to review this piercing for possible infection and to ensure other important structures in this area e.g. ear cartilage tissue is not damaged.
Dr. Joanna Chan