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Earlobe Infection

Earlobe Infection

Redness or swelling near the earlobe, accompanied by pain, is an indication of some sort of infection. Here's more on the causes, signs, and effective treatment options for this condition.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2018
A earlobe infection is a swelling caused by staphylococcus bacteria that infect the skin of the ear. Also, an injury to the earlobe caused due to a piercing can cause this infection. If your earlobe is pierced with an unsterilized instrument, there are chances of getting an infection. It can also be caused by frequent and serious injuries to the earlobe. This is common in case of boxers and wrestlers. Furthermore, ripping of the ear because of earrings made from nickel or any other metal that does not suit sensitive skin can also infect the earlobe.

Signs of a Earlobe Infection
The early signs include inflammation and rash, resulting in pain when the ear is touched. Tenderness of the skin of the ear is also one of the symptoms. In case you got this infection from a earring, yellow pus oozes out from the infected area. The pus may dry off resulting in the formation of a stiff dry coating along the fissure of that area or the earring hole.

Treatment Options
If your earlobe is infected, the first thing you need to do is remove the jewelry you are wearing on the ear. Next, wash the infected area and apply alcohol that can dry off the yellow pus. Application of an antibiotic or antiseptic cream is advisable. Using hydrogen peroxide can also be of help. It destroys the bacteria present in the infected region. This infection can get cured in one or two weeks, but it might recur if you do not take proper care.

When to Seek Medical Help?
It is very unlikely for such an infection to be serious. But, it's always safe to consult a doctor if the redness spreads beyond the infected area of the earlobe, or if you get a fever after a few hours of primary treatment. This generally happens if it is ignored during its initial stages, or if there was any kind of abrasion during or after the insertion of any kind of jewelry near the earlobe region.

Preventive Measures
Ear piercings allow the microorganisms to live in the pierced region. If proper care is not taken, the infection might spread. To avoid this, get your ears pierced from a professional, and that too in the right manner. Go to a jeweler who pierces with a piercing gun. Be sure that a clean earring is being inserted in the cleaved region. Here are some aftercare tips that you can follow to prevent an infection.
  • Do not touch your earlobes with dirty hands. Bacteria grow faster over dirt. Hence, wash your hands before touching the newly pierced earlobe.
  • Clasp the newly worn earring loosely. Tight earrings block the air flow near the region. Also, they reduce the blood flow towards the earlobe, making that area susceptible to infection.
  • Keep your ears clean. It is a good option to wash the pierced area with an antibiotic ointment at least twice a day.
  • After a period of about three to four days after the piercing, you can wash it with soap and water.
  • Sometimes, it can also result from contact with a metal that your skin is sensitive to. Always wear pure metal jewelry when you get your ears pierced for the first time. This will help in preventing infection from an earring.
  • Prefer wearing gold in the pierced region for at least a month after ear piercing.
In case you get a earlobe infection, treat it at the earliest. Take due precautions and you'll be able to wear all kinds of stylish earrings without the fear of infection.