Piercing care

How to treat an infected ear piercing

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to treat an infected ear piercing

Ear piercing has been a popular fashion for many years. It's a type of decorative piercing that both men and women have worn since it became popular in the 1990s. Since then, the number and places on the body where you can have them has grown exponentially. Not only are earlobe piercings widely seen, but the tragus and cartilage of the ear are also very common places to have piercings. Problems arise when the area gets infected and eventually turns into a wound, which can be rather unpleasant due to the sensitivity of the ear. OneHowTo.com explains how to treat an infected ear piercing

You'll need:

  • Gauze
  • Saline solution or water and sea salt
  • Iodine
You may also be interested in: How to Treat an Infected Industrial Piercing

Steps to follow:


First, always use surgical, stainless steel piercings, since they're made of a hypoallergenic material that will prevent infections.


Avoid touching the piercing as much as possible and, if you do touch it, wash your hands well with soap first.


Clean the piercing three times a day. To do this, use a piece of gauze moistened with saline solution. Never use a cotton ball, since it can leave residual pieces which can get inside the piercing while you're treating it. If you don't have saline solution you can use boiled water and add sea salt until it dissolves.


Then, holding the piercing, wipe the gauze around the hole in the ear. Do this to the front and back of the ear, moistening the gauze as many times as necessary.


If you notice that it bleeds a little while cleaning it, you can apply an iodine antiseptic. You can also visit your doctor in case of complications.


Don't cover the ear; leave it to air-dry. Also, try not to put too much pressure on the ear while sleeping or doing anything else that could put excessive pressure on the piercing (wearing large headphones, using a helmet etc.) to ensure that it heals properly.

If you want to read similar articles to How to treat an infected ear piercing, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.


  • You may notice that sometimes the piercing oozes and weeps a whitish liquid. This is normal and you should continue treating it as we've indicated above. If you see that in a few weeks' time it doesn't improve, it's better to go to a pharmacy and buy an antibiotic ointment.
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How to treat an infected ear piercing