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to ask what the HELL is going on with my ear?? Please help

(20 Posts)
FortunesFave Thu 18-Jun-20 07:44:00

I should have said ears. Basically, years ago in my late teens I got pierced in both ears about halfway up. So I think it's a cartilage piercing.

Anyway...I took the studs out within days as my ears swelled up so badly I could not put my head on the pillow.

I wonder now if it went wrong because I just went to an ordinary piercer...when I should have gone to a proper place who'd have done it with a needle or something.

Cut to now...20 odd years later, the areas where I was pierced have suddenly begun to swell itch madly and go hot every evening...there's a hard ball in there. Which I assume is cartilage. But could it be infection or something even though I've not had an earring in there since they were done?

It's agony! What can I do?

OP’s posts: |
Justgorgeous Thu 18-Jun-20 07:47:55

Take pain relief and call the doctor urgently !

healthylifestylee Thu 18-Jun-20 07:48:39

Have you tried to use a salt water rinse on cotton wool? That would usually work on a fresh piercing infection (I've had it before on lobes)

FortunesFave Thu 18-Jun-20 07:50:18

Gorgeous "Urgently"? Why?

Healthy isn't that for an infection though? This doesn't seem like an infection, it only happens in the evening...they're fine all day.

OP’s posts: |
surlycurly Thu 18-Jun-20 08:03:06

It could be the start of keloids/ keloid scarring. It's not unheard of for them to start years after a piercing. Not sure if they're itchy or not though.

FortunesFave Thu 18-Jun-20 08:06:48

Surly there's no change in size or shape...the hard ball inside has always been there.

OP’s posts: |
BelfastNonBlonde Thu 18-Jun-20 08:07:39

Could be keloids forming which you would want to avoid. Go get it checked out.
I don’t wear any jewellery in my piercings anymore or have done for years and they still get sore /itchy the odd time as if infected

Justgorgeous Thu 18-Jun-20 08:21:11

You said it’s agony, if I was in agony I would call the doctor urgently, as in the morning.

FortunesFave Thu 18-Jun-20 08:31:36

Oh well....I don't think it warrants a trip to the doctor as of yet. It's not oozing or massively swollen. It's agony as in the's not painful unless I press on it. THen it's a bit sore...but the burning is driving me mad/

OP’s posts: |
eandz13 Thu 18-Jun-20 09:01:10

I get the same thing, on and off, every few weeks. I also took my stud out over 10 years ago. Wake up every now and then with a very warm, throbbing, aching upper ear that takes an hour or so to ease up but it's fine during the day. I've never got any answers for it either. And I don't understand why it doesn't do it every night, it seems to pick and choose when to flare up. I'll google and see if I can find anything more useful

AllyBamma Thu 18-Jun-20 09:18:36

Sounds like keloid scars, probably once you took the piercings out and your body has tried to heal the holes over, it resulted in a build up of scar tissue

Spagoot224 Thu 18-Jun-20 09:19:35

I second getting some medical oversight. I got an infection in my (very old) earlobe piercing (twice!!) and ended up in a&e with 21 days of antibiotics! I did leave it for days just thinking it was fine, and got told off by the doctor as apparently it can be very nasty if it takes hold!

Anamechanged Thu 18-Jun-20 09:25:09

Weird it only hurts at night but scars are common access points for skin infections like cellulitis

Davincitoad Thu 18-Jun-20 09:26:17


TheBodyPiercer Thu 18-Jun-20 09:33:14

It's not a keloid firstly so please don't panic. Keloids form when there's trauma, they don't just pop up years later.

Most people think they're piercing has a keloid but most people have never even seen one! They generally keep growing and you're genetically prone to them so you would get them on a scratch!

I'm guessing they were pierced with a gun, in which case the lump is just scar tissue from the trauma of the gun and one of the reasons all piercings should be done with needles.

TheBodyPiercer Thu 18-Jun-20 09:37:11

Forgot to add like any scar, heat, trauma etc can cause them to flair up every now and again.

Sterile saline or hot salt soaks once a day, apart from that leave alone and it should settle.

FortunesFave Thu 18-Jun-20 09:38:14

BodyPiercer thank goodness! Yes, done with a gun....I was ignorant and it was the early 90s. I didn't know I should not do that. What is the reason behind the flare up? Do you know?

OP’s posts: |
FortunesFave Thu 18-Jun-20 09:39:29

Oh you added....thanks. So I shouldn't try to squeeze it or anything? It does feel as though there's something IN there that wants to come out...

OP’s posts: |
otterbaby Thu 18-Jun-20 09:42:52

Are the holes still open? One of mine that I don't wear earrings in very often is and occasionally gets a bit itchy and hot. I put some savlon on an earring and push it through so the cream goes inside, then take the earring back out. Usually sorts it out by the next day.

TheBodyPiercer Thu 18-Jun-20 09:43:28

It's like any old scar, they can just play up every now and again, same as peoples joints can be stiff in the weather.

I have one particular tattoo that swells when its above 25 degrees! Unless its hot, swollen, oozing browns and greens then its unlikely to be an infection.

Piercings heal from the outside in so although they look closed they can still have an open fistula inside which can clog with dead skin cells etc. Hot soaks will draw anything out, squeezing will just cause more trauma.

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