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I think my cartilage piercing may be infected... Watch

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    Got it pierced just under two weeks ago (reputable place, they used a needle) and I got a stud put in.

    I've been cleaning it twice a day with saline solution. There has been no discharge at all (no blood, lymph stuff, pus, anything)!

    Yesterday it started to hurt. Now it is swollen so much my ear fills all the metal bit of the stud (as opposed to being able to see some of the pole bit and move it around etc.), it and the surrounding area are red. It's bled a little and there has been some whiteish yellow dishcharge. It hurts like **** and is giving off loadsa heat.

    Right so basically I'm assuming it's infected. I've bathed it in saline solution for 10 minutes today (as well as cleaning it like 5 times with cotton bud) but it is getting worse if anything.

    Is it worth me seeing a doctor or should I try and keep doing excessive cleaning of it for a week or so and if the infection hasn't gone away go and see a doctor?
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    Swelling in a healing piercing is normal, and so you should have a bigger bar to accomodate for this. Also you can over clean the piercing so as to interfere with the natural healing process. My advise would be to just use SSS (sea salt soak) twice a day for about 5 mins a time max. Try not to tug at it or touch it and let the body heal it itself.

    I have an industrial piercing that did this a hell of a lot when I first got it done but now it's completely fine.
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    Just leave it, don't bother with a doctor, your ear is not going to drop off. Leave your body to heal itself.
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      (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
      Got it pierced just under two weeks ago (reputable place, they used a needle) and I got a stud put in.

      I've been cleaning it twice a day with saline solution. There has been no discharge at all (no blood, lymph stuff, pus, anything)!

      Yesterday it started to hurt. Now it is swollen so much my ear fills all the metal bit of the stud (as opposed to being able to see some of the pole bit and move it around etc.), it and the surrounding area are red. It's bled a little and there has been some whiteish yellow dishcharge. It hurts like **** and is giving off loadsa heat.

      Right so basically I'm assuming it's infected. I've bathed it in saline solution for 10 minutes today (as well as cleaning it like 5 times with cotton bud) but it is getting worse if anything.

      Is it worth me seeing a doctor or should I try and keep doing excessive cleaning of it for a week or so and if the infection hasn't gone away go and see a doctor?
      WEll you have 2 choices here love.
      Take advice from the first 2 replies which are basically hoping for the best.

      Or seeing your GP who actually knows best.

      If it helps make your mind up I can point out that infections in the ear cartilage can very quickly
      a) Lead to death of the tissue and permanent scarring
      b) Spread back to the mastoid process and from there the brain.

      Your choice.
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      I might leave it till after boxing day because my doctors is shut at the min and I don't really feel it's worth going to A&E for this!

      Slightly less red after sleep!
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      Ewwy, just cleaned it and it had obviously been bleeding&pus-ing in the night! YUCK!

      However it is a little bit less swollen now so fingers crossed this is all just it healing!
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      I got a badly infected cartilage piercing once, ended up having to take the ring out and leave it to close up. If it gets to that get some ice/frozen peas and put it to ur ear to numb it a bit, should make taking it out less painful.

      Good luck!
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      Stop cleaning it so much, for goodness sake! You're irritating it by cleaning it so much.

      Once, to twice a day maximum and stop soaking it. That will only make it soft and less likely to heal - it needs to harden up.

      When you say saline, what exactly are you using?

      It doesn't sound infected, it just sounds like it's healing normally. The liquid excretions sound to me like ordinary lymph - which can be yellow or even sometimes green.

      Honestly now, have you touched it without washing your hands?
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      Wow, tending for a piercing sounds like tending for a child.
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      (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
      Got it pierced...
      I've worked in a piercing and tattoo parlour and I've seen this so many times. In short, you're over cleaning it. Quit using the solution they've given you and only clean it once a day (twice if you must) with boiled water (left to cool) mixed with sea salt (the proper crunchy stuff - no table salt).

      If you go to a doctor, the only thing s/he's going to advise is that you take it out and then tell you off for getting a piercing in the first place. If you want more advice, call the parlour that did it for you.
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      (Original post by Ilora-Danon)
      Stop cleaning it so much, for goodness sake! You're irritating it by cleaning it so much.

      Once, to twice a day maximum and stop soaking it. That will only make it soft and less likely to heal - it needs to harden up.

      When you say saline, what exactly are you using?

      It doesn't sound infected, it just sounds like it's healing normally. The liquid excretions sound to me like ordinary lymph - which can be yellow or even sometimes green.

      Honestly now, have you touched it without washing your hands?
      Just normal saline solution like you use for contact lenses

      Only touched it accidentally when haven't washed hands (e.g. when tucking hair behind ear have touched it)
      And have only cleaned it twice today, and it seems a bit better!

      Thanks for advice)
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      (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
      Just normal saline solution like you use for contact lenses

      Only touched it accidentally when haven't washed hands (e.g. when tucking hair behind ear have touched it)
      And have only cleaned it twice today, and it seems a bit better!

      Thanks for advice)
      I would recommend you bin your saline, and start making your own.

      The studio I work for specifically states that all customers are recommended to use SEA salt and boiled water, as sea salt contains no additives - unlike bottled saline solution (which, if you read the ingredients on the bottle you'll see the list of additives in it).

      So, one quarter of a teaspoon of SEA salt into a mug of boiled water and clean around the holes with a cotton bud. Use a fresh cotton bud to dip in the solution too.

      Hope that helps
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      Definitely listen to those who are saying you're cleaning it too much. Saline will do nothing whatsoever - if anything it will irritate your ear and prevent it from healing. Salt mixed with boiled water is the only thing you should put on it and this should gently clear any infection (it's definitely infected btw from the fact the skin is hot). Try this for a few days and if there's no improvement, take the piercing out.
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      (Original post by Ilora-Danon)
      I would recommend you bin your saline, and start making your own.

      The studio I work for specifically states that all customers are recommended to use SEA salt and boiled water, as sea salt contains no additives - unlike bottled saline solution (which, if you read the ingredients on the bottle you'll see the list of additives in it).

      So, one quarter of a teaspoon of SEA salt into a mug of boiled water and clean around the holes with a cotton bud. Use a fresh cotton bud to dip in the solution too.

      Hope that helps
      My saline solution is 0.67% NaCl (salt), 0.002% EDTA, 0.00005% PHMB (no clue what last two are but I think it should be okay

      I don't have any sea salt at home, just regular salt salt!

      But it is looking better just from cleaning it less today, so I'll stick to twice a day and see how it goes!
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      (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
      My saline solution is 0.67% NaCl (salt), 0.002% EDTA, 0.00005% PHMB (no clue what last two are but I think it should be okay

      I don't have any sea salt at home, just regular salt salt!

      But it is looking better just from cleaning it less today, so I'll stick to twice a day and see how it goes!
      If you're not going to take any advice, then why ask for it? :rolleyes:

      Saline (your contact lens solution) will aggravate your piercing as yes, those other ingredients are additives. There's nothing else in sea salt except 100% pure salt.

      It's entirely up to you whether you use sea salt or not, but bear in mind I do know what I'm talking about. It's what I do for a living
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      (Original post by Ilora-Danon)
      If you're not going to take any advice, then why ask for it? :rolleyes:

      Saline (your contact lens solution) will aggravate your piercing as yes, those other ingredients are additives. There's nothing else in sea salt except 100% pure salt.

      It's entirely up to you whether you use sea salt or not, but bear in mind I do know what I'm talking about. It's what I do for a living
      I have taken advice, I'm cleaning it less =D

      When I got it pierced I asked whether I could use saline solution and piercer said that would be fine! Plus as stated I don't have sea salt!
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      (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
      I have taken advice, I'm cleaning it less =D

      When I got it pierced I asked whether I could use saline solution and piercer said that would be fine! Plus as stated I don't have sea salt!
      out of interest, did the piercing hurt when you got it done?
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      As said above, less cleaning, absolutely no touching with fingertips. Change your pillowcase every few days and wash your hair daily.

      Not really a doctors job, I'd say go back to the studio where they pierced it if it continues to pain you.

      Never wash with table-salt solution as it has chemicals in it, you want the normal Rock Salt/Sea Salt. Make sure you've boiled the water before you mix it.

      Buy the salt from Tesco it's about 80p, a blue container with loads in.
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      (Original post by GildedButterfly)
      out of interest, did the piercing hurt when you got it done?
      Not hugely! More than when I got my lobes done, but they were done with a gun so faster! Throbbed a bit afterwards but not hugely! Didn't even bleed while got it done!

      Ear nearly back to normal size now (70% reduction in swelling!)
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      (Original post by greeneyedgirl)
      I have taken advice, I'm cleaning it less =D

      When I got it pierced I asked whether I could use saline solution and piercer said that would be fine! Plus as stated I don't have sea salt!
      Hmm actually it sounds like your piercer might have taken 'saline' to mean a normal sea salt mix, because I can't imagine why they might have told you to use it otherwise. :confused: It's most probably the extra chemicals in your mix causing the irritation, even more so than over cleaning.

      I was given instructions of how to make my own 'saline' wash using the sea salt and boiled water.

      You can continue using it if you wish, but I think it would be foolish. Cartilage piercings are a bit of a ***** in terms of healing time anyway (much longer than something like a lip piercing in my experience).


      Until you can pop into the shops and grab some sea salt, I'd say just wash it with boiled water for now.
     
     
     
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