Recognise and Treating Infection

Determine if your piercing is infected. While some minor swelling, redness, and tenderness is normal for the first 3-6 days after a piercing, extended pain and swelling may be a sign of an infection. If you’re worried your piercing is infected, check for these symptoms:
  • Pain and swelling that extends beyond the hole
  • Bleeding
  • Yellow discharge or a crust around the hole
  • The earring becomes stuck in your ear
  • A fever above 100-degrees Fahrenheit

Use a saline solution to treat the infection. Most piercing infections are easily treated and don’t progress to anything harmful, so long as they aren’t left to run their course. To treat an infection, use the same saline solution as you would to clean your ear shortly after getting it pierced. Mix a solution of ¼-teaspoon non-iodized sea salt with 8-ounces (1 cup) of warm water. Pour this mixture into a small bowl or shot glass and soak your ear in it for 3-5 minutes. If using a cup is too difficult, soak sterile gauze in the solution and hold it to the infection for 3-5 minutes. Repeat this up to two times a day until the infection has cleared.

Use ice to reduce pain and swelling. Although holding ice to your infected piercing won’t reduce the infection, it will reduce the swelling and numb some of the pain. Hold an ice cube to your piercing for 5-10 minutes until the swelling has gone down. You can do this daily 2-3 times, or whenever you notice swelling.

Make an appointment with your doctor of the infection does not subside. If you’re dealing with a particularly tough infection that does not go away after 2-3 days of treatment, you may need to visit your doctor for a prescription antibiotic. If your earring is stuck in your infected ear or if it won’t stop bleeding, you should also make an appointment with your doctor.


This advice has been taken from wikihow to help you avoid further discomfort, and treat infections quickly. To find out more, visit