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Have an infected ear piercing?

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Will an infected ear piercing heal on its own, or does it always require some sort of intervention to help it heal? There's always a chance that an infection will heal on its own. If an area is painful, such as the back of your ear, it would need to be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Under what circumstances can old piercings get infected? Are old ear piercing infections typically mild or severe? Any area of the skin can become infected. Sometimes there is a cyst or an opening in the skin in which bacteria gets into whether that's an old or new piercing it is possible. It is more common for a new piercing to become infected.

Are old and new ear piercing infections treated the same way? If not, can you provide some home remedies that are used for infected old piercings? Skin infections are treated based on severity. Sometimes we can do local interventions such as cleaning the area with peroxide and water or hibaclens soap. Other times we need to do oral antibiotics if the infection is more severe.

What medical treatments are used to make severely infected piercings go away? Is a specific medicine/antibiotic used? We use topical antibiotics such as mupirocin or Polysporin in addition to cleaning the area three times a day with soap and water. If it is severely infected, we need to use oral antibiotics.


For an infection we generally recommended using saline solution, soaking the piercing with a cotton swab, and letting it air dry 3 times a day. Should someone perform those same steps for a minor ear piercing infection or should you always seek help from a medical professional and avoid home treatments?

Saline solution will not treat an infection. To treat an infection the best way is soap and water, topical antibiotics and/or oral antibiotics. Keep the area clean with saline. If there's no infection it is fine, but we always recommend soap and water to remove bacteria.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.