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Swollen ear after new piercing - should I be worried?

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Shocked About a week ago I got some new ear cartilage piercing's - one in each ear. A few nights ago I fell asleep on my right ear, and when I woke up the next morning, it was swollen. So, the next night I slept on my left ear, since the right was still swollen. When I woke up the next day, my right ear had returned to normal but it was now my left ear that was swollen - and it hasn't gone down since. There seems to be a slight lump just behind the closure piece of the earring. It doesn't bleed and there isn't any discharge but it can hurt like hell. At first I wasn't worried but now since my right ear seems to pretty much be healing up, my nerves are kinda rattled. I've taken some ibuprofen and used both hot and cold compresses but none seems to have helped. What should I do? Can anyone help?
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First Helper User Profile Asia03
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replied May 14th, 2009
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It sounds like it may have become infected. Do not remove your earrings but try to swab the area with an alcohol soaked cotton ball several times a day- front and back If this does not reduce the swelling within a few days you should have a doctor look at it.
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replied June 20th, 2009
Bath your ears in a salt solution, on the contrary to oppinions it doesnt actually sting at all i would say but for calming your nerves use a light salt solution then when your confident its not so bad use a heavier one (by salt solution; fill 1/3 of a mug add boiling water to it and let it cool down a little then just add salt )use a que tip to put in on (diffrent one per peircing). make sure you wash your hands befor touching the peircings you should be turning it round about 3times a day so it heals without sticking to the peircing, a slightly blocked feeling in an ear after cartilage feeling is normal but if they hurt like a full ear ake or you see puss then thats an infection, so it needs to come out and wash it with strong salt. Dont use TCP its to strong and will dry out your ear/skin & sting lots. Some pain, swelling and redness is normal though -its a wound- especially when hair catches it. personally i dont think ibroprofien or any pain meds is a good idea you need to monitor the pain & influation to know if its getting infected, thats part of getting a peircing a bit of pain
before hand i would not have advised you to get a cartilage peircing on both ears at the same time as you see C-peircings can easily take a year to stop being sore when you knock/lie on them so if u sleep on your side then yes it will be sore and that ear will be more swollen in the morning so as you have new ones in both ear sleeping on any side will be sore! it will be bit better by a month and then more and more better slowly. Its safe to change C peircings after 6/8 weeks some say 10, be carefull with what peircings you use, tho cartilage peircings are less problematic to types (ie nickle,silver) as its the flesh that reacts, but it will likley still hurt for about up to 12-15months easy

I have 3 carilage peircing (11 on my ears total, tounge twise & navel) so i have some idea what im talking about but im not a professional. If your worried about the infection go to a doctor, SALT is good though, sorted all the ones. I had an infection once first time i had my thirds done (both holes)i took them out & re-did them about 3months later -so 13times-.
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replied June 21st, 2009
Seriously NO ALCOHOL!!! do not use peroxide either. Salt water is your friend. A lot of piercing shops even have the nice little spray bottle for that. I have 15 piercings and i also know what im talking about. Alcohol or stuff like it will eat way the healed part. If it's not discharging thats whats causing the bubble. ITs not infected yet necissarly but working on it. The salt water will break that gunk up and get it out. Look onlie for the spray if a store near you doesnt have it. it's soooo much easier than sticking your ear in a cup for 10 mins. I have a doth peircing (a weird ear thing) and thats all i used and it healed perfectly. The stuff is call H2Ocean. When i was 12 i got my nose pierced. It got pretty bad as it was my first non ear pericing and i did use a q-tip with a dab of peroxide just one time and it helped. If it really wont go away try that just once though.
Hope this helps...really look up that H2Ocean spray though its awesome stuff.
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replied June 21st, 2009
oh yeh i used the H2ocean stuff before too ages ago tho, forgot Very good stuff Smile, out of curiosity what is peroxide/whats it do? i always thought that was to do with hair dye/bleech, think thats how i got dark dye out onece. sapose that would deffinatly work if its safe for skin :S lol
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replied November 16th, 2011
Cartilage infection
My cartilage is swollen, red, and tender. I clean it with the H2Ocean spray at least 2 times a day. Does this mean my ear isn't infected?
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replied November 16th, 2011
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New piercings often do swell a little, BUT if it swells more then I would mix LOTS of salt in a tiny bit of water (just so the salt is slightly sticky and not dry) and then cover your piercing on both sides (don't take jewellery out)in the salt, do this before you go to bed & sleep like that, it won't sting or hardly at all & the worst you will get is some salt on your pillow/bed the next day

Salt is the simplest way to get rid of any infection, repeat it two or three days in a row & the infection should be gone.

You cam also take Ibuprofen that reduces naturally swelling, but if you get an earache or the swelling persists or gets worse then go see a doctor but in my experience salt a couple nights in a row usually fixes it.

Swelling should go down after a few days though it may swell again when you fiddle with it (don't until its mostly healed or it will get infected), you can probably change it after 3-6months but cartilage piercings can take a year to heal fully ie; depending where it may still hurt to sleep in it or if you knock it doing your hair.

what piercing did you get??

I'm not a doctor! I just have 15piercings (ears, tongue twice & navel)
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replied December 2nd, 2011
Don't forget about alergic reactionsto metals
You know what? I've had a helix piecing for over 20 years now and it still hurts sometimes Wink Especially if I do something to irritate it, like change an earring or something.

One of the things I learned only after 5 years of having it, is that I'm very sensitive to most metals in the helix area. Even the surgical steal commonly used. Oddly I have two lobe piercings in each ear and can wear any metal, but in my helix it MUST be titanium. Only after I found titanium, which is hypoallergenic, did it heal properly and feel normal.

If its still irritated after the 3-6 months it usually takes cartilage piercings to heal, you might just be sensitive like me. A good quality titanium earring will cost around $20 but its certainly worth it if that' what you need!

Look luck!
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replied March 12th, 2012
I got mine done a week ago.... And i woke up yesterday and it was swollen and i didnt really sleep on it. its still swollen today. its soo swollen i cant even put a back on to the earing.. should i be worried like it was an infection?
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replied June 13th, 2013
I had my left ear cartilage pierced a few weeks ago and a lump has formed at the back. I took it out to see if any blood or discharge came out and it didn't. It was relatively easy to put back in. I know some people who have had the same problem and have had to take theirs out. I don't really want to do that if it is not necessary as I don't want to have to get it re-pierced or not be able to as the scar tissue is too damaged. Would the salt spray be the best thing to use and will it heal back to normal without having to let it heal up? Is my ear swollen/infected or just scared and does it need to be looked at by a doctor?
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replied June 13th, 2013
I had my left ear cartilage pierced a few weeks ago and a lump has formed at the back. I took it out to see if any blood or discharge came out and it didn't. It was relatively easy to put back in. I know some people who have had the same problem and have had to take theirs out. I don't really want to do that if it is not necessary as I don't want to have to get it re-pierced or not be able to as the scar tissue is too damaged. Would the salt spray be the best thing to use and will it heal back to normal without having to let it heal up? Is my ear swollen/infected or just scarred and does it need to be looked at by a doctor?
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replied June 13th, 2013
I had my left ear cartilage pierced a few weeks ago and a lump has formed at the back. I took it out to see if any blood or discharge came out and it didn't. It was relatively easy to put back in. I know some people who have had the same problem and have had to take theirs out. I don't really want to do that if it is not necessary as I don't want to have to get it re-pierced or not be able to as the scar tissue is too damaged. Would the salt spray be the best thing to use and will it heal back to normal without having to let it heal up? Is my ear swollen/infected or just scarred and does it need to be looked at by a doctor?
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replied June 13th, 2013
I had my left ear cartilage pierced a few weeks ago and a lump has formed at the back. I took it out to see if any blood or discharge came out and it didn't. It was relatively easy to put back in. I know some people who have had the same problem and have had to take theirs out. I don't really want to do that if it is not necessary as I don't want to have to get it re-pierced or not be able to as the scar tissue is too damaged. Would the salt spray be the best thing to use and will it heal back to normal without having to let it heal up? Is my ear swollen/infected or just scarred and does it need to be looked at by a doctor?
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