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Help! Infected Earlobe For 3 Years Won't Go Away!

Help, anyone. Ever since getting her earlobes pierced 3 years ago, my daughter has had on-again, off-again problems with an earlobe infection in her right ear. She has gone to our regular md several times, and the md has had her using both oral and topical antibiotics, of many different kinds. The infection clears up--for a week or a month or so--and then the earlobe swells up, turns red, and has pus leaking out of it. Not a lot of pus, maybe a water droplet amount, and my daughter says little, if any, pain is felt. When the earlobe is not in the "infected mode" it looks and feels fine, no bumps or anything indicating a foreign body inside the hole. [of course, my daughter is no longer wearing earrings].
Just don't know what to do about this ongoing infection. Regualr md doesn't have any answers. Who should we go to next? Thanks, kim Laughing
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First Helper kimanjo
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replied April 9th, 2004
Same Problem With My Ear
Your daughter's problem sounds like the exact same thing that has been affecting both of my earlobes for the past few years. Sometimes one, or both (usually both at the same time) of my earlobes will, over the course of two or three days, become red, swollen and hard. The lobes get to a point where they become quite painful, sometimes making it hard for me to sleep on the side of my head. I eventually get the nerve to just pick at them or squeeze them until a thick mixture of blood and puss oozes out. Unlike your daughter, however, I generally get a lot of drainage. But after I squeeze most of the white stuff out of the lobe, it goes back to normal. This has been a recurring pattern for around three years or so. It happens maybe four or five times a year. I really wish I could find some way of preventing this, but nobody seems to have any good explanation of why this is happening. I am a 23-year-old male that has never had my ears pierced.
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replied April 9th, 2004
Re: Infected Ear Lobe For 3 Years
Hi, just to update, I am bringing my daughter to an ent (ear-nose-throat ) specialist on monday april 12th. I was told by primary care md that this could be a plugged pore/follicle [some people have pores on their earlobs wheich are prone to infection, kind of like pimples]; a small body of irritating matter (eg sa patient once had a piece of an eyelash in a cut which wouldn't heal!), or a wound that is continually getting infected because my daughter may inadvertantly touch it (and today I noticed her leaning her chin/jaw/ear onto her hand while she was reading). Will keep you informed.
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replied April 17th, 2004
About the Earlobe
I had this same thing when I was little. One of my earlobes became infected right away after I got my first set of holes pierced. My mother diligently cleaned them and cleaned them to no avail. Finally we just let it go. I was heartbroken, I wanted pierced ears soo bad. Later when I was few yrs older we pierced the bad one again but not in the same spot my mom had another hole pierced right next to the bad one, just a "smidge" next to it. Guess what? It worked! But then later(can't remember how much longer) both became infected.
But!
We later found out my ears were just very sensitive and needed the "sensitive" earrings. We even got the ones that were made entirely out of plastic w/plastic backs, this was back in the 80's. But I think they are making a comeback, I saw them in the store once and was surprised to see them.
Now today I have 5 piercings on one side and 4 on the other! The following piercings never "acted up".

I hope this helps!
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replied April 17th, 2004
Re: Infected Earlobe Follow-up
Hello, all. I took my daughter to the ent the other day and he knew right away what it was, a cyst. The cyst had somehow closed inside itself and new skin was growing inside the cyst, and then the cyst would swell and pop and ooze decaying skin/pus, whatever. The remedy is a very quick 5 min outpatient procedure--either with novocaine or general anesthesia--to incise the cyst, and the doctor says to repierce the area because it will help the cyst heal. The doctor/ent said that it's not hazardous but as time goes on the cyst will grow larger and larger, so it's a good idea to get it done sometime soon.
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replied March 1st, 2007
I have two sets of holes in each ear...

I've been stretching my oldest (about 3-4 years now) lobe piercings, and recently, when I got it done via a method called tapering, I've begun to swell up.

Like others have described, my lobe feels hard and there seems to be a lump close to where the ear comes to the head.

I don't get a lot of discharge, but it is yellowish in colour.

I've done a little reading, and I'm now convinced I should go to my doctor and have it looked at, and forgo asking my piercer.

Has anyone had any luck with treatments recently? (as this thread is 3 years old) I've been trying sea salt and warm water, but I haven't noticed much change.

Thanks!
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replied March 1st, 2007
It could be a biological reaction. I had it too, but mostly because i was allergic to gold....but i heard that sometimes it happens because the piercing somehow changes something in your biological structure...
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replied January 27th, 2009
my ears
I need help. I have pierced my ear since 2007 Christmas and it got infected. ever since then it was infected and it dont want to go down. it has a bump at the back and is purple like. I havent put it an earring since it got infected once now and then to see if the hole is still open and it is. But it doesnt want to heal up. i have tried salt and water but it didnt help at all. It hurts and sometimes it lets out a little of puss
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replied February 17th, 2009
Mine!
My ears have the same problem, so if anybody finds something, tell me!



~Sarah
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replied June 15th, 2009
I have been suffering from infected ear lobes and infection around the crease at the back for 17 years, my Doctor told me that with recurring ear problems like this, when antibiotics keep failing is to remove all the infected skin through surgery, it sounds rather drastic, but when you have had your ears infected for so long (extremely smelly too) it seems like a little light at the end of the tunnel.
My Doc also said that some people are more prone to these type of infections and although medication will help for a short while, the infection will always rear its ugly head again
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replied August 23rd, 2009
Earlobe infection for over 2 years!
HELP! ok so i have had my ears pierced for over 5 years. About two years ago around spring time my ears would hurt very badly when i would wear earrings and would smell like ear infection(ewww)..i stopped wearing earrings all together hoping if i waited long enough it would just heal on its own. Every once in a while i would use peroxide but thatâspam�s it. i tried wearing earrings again and i even have real gold ones but they hurt so bad when i do(and smell)that i have to take them out. now every once in a while my ears will puss still and they only stop if i squeeze out the puss and put peroxide on them.
i wish so bad to wear earrings again and when i asked my doctor about it they just said to use peroxide(bla)..Please someone tell me where i can go or something i can use that will work(or i can try)
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replied February 4th, 2010
Pierced ear infections
Hi everyone. This has happened to me for over 12 years. I found out I was allergic to nickel which is in TONS of jewelry. You need to start buying nickel free earrings and you will start to see a drastic difference in the number of infections you will get.
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replied December 12th, 2011
Infected pierced ear....this way worked to clear it up!
I have cleared up several ear hole infections using a needle and thread, saturating the thread with first peroxide, then lots of neosporin, and running the thread back and forth through the hole. I left the thread, tied into a loose ring, in for a few days, repeating the peroxide and neosporin routine. Pulling the knot through one time, I think I finally popped a cyst, as the little lump I had had for years went away. I have been clear for over 10 years now. The thicker thread works best, and use the dull end of the needle to push through the hole or it hurts too much.
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replied January 27th, 2012
Can such cysts be permanently removed? While the ear lobe may heal after draining out the pus, it seems that the cyst remains dormant and is waiting to "erupt" the next time when the conditions are ripe. The last time my ear lope swelled was about ten years ago and now the swelling is threatening to come back. (I feel a small lump in my left ear lobe - hopefully it will subside and won't erupt again!). I never have any ear piercings before.
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replied June 13th, 2012
Hi,

I got my ear pierced about 9 months ago and it got infected. I left the earring in meanwhile still spraying disinfectant around the hole for a while but eventually gave up after about 3 months. Now the hole has completely closed up but I still have a lump in my earlobe that gets sore and a bit swollen every now and then. Would anyone have any idea what to do, considering the fact that the hole is closed?
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replied September 3rd, 2013
ear lobe
I had a bump on the back if my ear for years. It was not sore just large and looked nasty. I used tea tree oil and water. A yellow stinky stuff came out. A week has went by it keeps filling back up not as larger with a liquid. I squeeze it and it comes out. Its sore and keeps filling up. Any iidea what I can do?
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replied September 3rd, 2013
ear lobe
I had a bump on the back if my ear for years. It was not sore just large and looked nasty. I used tea tree oil and water. A yellow stinky stuff came out. A week has went by it keeps filling back up not as larger with a liquid. I squeeze it and it comes out. Its sore and keeps filling up. Any iidea what I can do?
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User Profile
replied August 8th, 2019
Thank you for asking at Ehealth forum!

I read your question and I understand your concern.
Allergic contact dermatitis and immunodeficiency are the two differentials in this case. I would suggest fasting blood sugar and HIV to sort out the underlying cause.
I hope it helps. Stay in touch with your healthcare provider for further guidance as our answers are just for education and counselling purposes and cannot be an alternative to actual visit to a doctor.
Take care
Khan
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