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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?

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (2)

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. 

If your ear piercing site is infected, you would experience pain, tenderness (painful on touch/pressure) and the skin will be red and swollen, sometimes with even yellow discharge. It is also possible for ear piercing sites to develop keloids (excessive scar tissue) which are hard reddish lumps without any pain (sometimes may also be itchy).
 
I would strongly suggest that you visit a general practitioner or an ENT Specialist for an assessment.
 
Hope this helps and all the best!

Kind regards,

Dr Gan Eng Cern

Dr Gan Eng Cern
MBBS, MRCS, MMed, FAMS

38 Irrawaddy Road #08-45
Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
Singapore 329563


243 views 26 Feb 2019

Hi there, 

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. 

Best regards,

Dr. Joanna Chan


Dr Joanna Chan
MBBS, MMed, Dip Prac Derm

Mizu Aesthetic Clinic

Mizu Aesthetic Clinic

8A Marina Boulevard

#B2-12 Marina Bay Link Mall, Singapore 018984


250 views 26 Feb 2019
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