Problems with my pierced ear-lobes

Hiya guys,

I'm going to apologise for the grossness in advance, but I have a slight predicament.

I've had my ear lobe peircing for years!! I got them done when I was about 5 and now I'm 21, so it's definatly not a new peircing.

I don't really wear earrings all that much, but the last two times I've worn earrings, I've taken the earring out and one or both of my ear lobes bleed. The first time it happened was over a month ago, I was at Uni and my ears were really really sore, so I took them out & they both started bleeding. I cleaned them up and from then I avioded wearing earrings for a while to heal.

Until yesturday I hadn't worn earrings since, but yesturday I wore earrings yesturday at Uni and when I got home I took them out - my ear lobes weren't painful this time - but my left ear lobe bled slightly and the other one was fine. I cleaned them up and I'm taking care of them today and I'm going to avoid wearing earrings for a while again.

But I wasn't quite sure what the cause of it could be, I've googled it but all the articles seem to be on newly pierced ears. I'm not sure if I have an infection or not, there's no discharge just a little bit of bleeding. It could possibly be the type of earrings I wear (stuff from like Claire's Accessories), or it could be that I push the back of the earring in too tight. Or it could be a combination of them all.

I just wanted people's opinions, because like I said it's not a new pericing.

Oh by the way I forgot to add that I cleaned my earlobes & both pairs of earrings I wore before I put them in.

Thanks everybody xxx

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16 replies since 21st April 2010 • Last reply 21st April 2010

Hi Lolly!
I had a similar problem a few years ago with my pierced ears.I have 4 holes in each ear,that I had done 5 years ago and one in each ear that was done when I was a baby.I wear silver rings in each hole that I never take out.In the baby holes I have 4-5 silver rings,because Im stretching them out.So when I wear some extra earrings I put them in the baby hole too.
And I had the same problem,my ears didn't hurt,but they where bleeding a bit.I kept cleaning them with NaCl infusion like all my other facial piercings.And I started being careful on what I put in my ears.It was from the "cheap" earring hooks that I bought.So maybe thats the problem with your ears too.You can always buy earring hooks at craft stores and change them on your earrings.
Also there are some great creams for problems like this.
I use an eye cream called Hloramfenicol and its great for my piercings.

Hope I could help!Happy

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hi!!!
i had some similar problems... but my ears just hurt and were swollen because of the wrong metal... maybe your earlobes started to bleed because you didn´t wear earrings in them for quiet a long time. when you didn´t wear something in your lobe it starts to tighten until it´s nearly closed. it gets so far that there´s a thin layer of skin for covering. if you stick an earring through it, it will be destroyed. Although it gets stretched a lot in little time. for stretching it´s never good that the lobes start to bleed, because it means that the skin is hurt. it can happen that there will be scars left and you can´t "re-stretch" your earlobe.
a piercer explained this to me once! i think it´s plausible, but i guess there are several opinions

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Thanks guys, it sounds like it is probably the cheap earrings because both times this happened it was with cheap earrings. I've cleaned my ear with just warm water and left them this evening. I might leave them earringless tomorrow and put some in Friday. but like proper gold or silver studs or something and leave them in for a while incase it is a problem with the hole healing a little. If it bleeds with better metal earrings then I'll know it's not the cheap jewellry.

Thanks for your help guys I just got proper confused that it had never happened to me before so it kinda freaked me out since it wasn't a new piercing and all!! But your advice has helped. Thaaaaaaank yoooooou xxx

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Hi! I think the problem is that your ears might have healed over some over the years ...and since u dont wear earrings that often, when you do they get irritated and bleed.
Instead of taking them out, i'd go buy small Stainless Steel or Titanium (cuz thats the most hygenic kind) earrings or studs. It'll say it on the package. And always leave them in. You can take them out when you sleep if u have to, but leave them in most the time. Then your ears will get used to earrings again, and wont heal over anymore and bleed. The hole will heal properly again...like a new peircing would. I'd do this for maybe a month.
And i'd avoid heavy earrings cuz that will most likely make them sore and hurt. But this happens to some people when they dont wear earrings for long extended times.

Also, if you want to clean ears proporly, You can use "Blairex Sterile Wound Wash Saline" (can be found at Walmart/drugstore) with a q-tip maybe once a day. Or you can make your own Saline mix by mixing 1/8th Teaspoon of NON-IODIZED Sea Salt & 8oz. of warm water, the same way with a q-tip. This is what u use to treat any kind of new peircing or old peircings w/ irritation/trauma.
Hope that helped. =)

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Hey honey, thanks that has helped a lot. I'll give that a go tonight I think.

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Hi Becky, I've had similar problems in the past where the holes had 'healed' up a bit because I hadn't worn earrings for a while. I had to push my earring through....ouch. Once I made the hole again I put a thin 'sleeper ring' in so that I could bathe my lobes, keep them in when I was in bed and turn them to keep the hole open. When it stopped bleeding fully I could change them for other earrings. I slowly worked my way up to the thicker wired ones. I only wear silver ones now. Those cooling pads that are for eyes are really good for taking the 'heat' out of painful lobes Happy

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Thanks Sheila!!! Sounds like a plan... I'm going to put some simple studs in now and keep them in for a while

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I know I haven't commented on this thread for a good while but I thought I would update the situation.

I bought a cute pair of robot studs for £1 in Claire's accessories yesterday, I put them in my ears and I kept them in for about 6 hours and took them off before I went to bed. When I did my ear lobes were swollen again, this time they didn't bleed but like hard white puss kind of oozed from the hole (sorry if I gross anyone out btw!!) so I googled ear-piercing infections and costume/junk jewellry and earring problems.

With cheap jewellry the problem is either that it's made with more nickel then usual or the way that it is made so that the nickel comes in direct contact with the skin. Therefore people that can't wear junk/costume jewellry and earrings typically have a nickel allergy.

I wasn't sure whether I had an infection or a nickel allergy, however I have just noticed that part of my ear lobe has a rash on it, so I'm pretty sure that it is some form of severe nickel allergy :'( which sucks as I have loads of nice earrings.

I was wondering if anyone knew of a way that I could change the backs of the earrings with silver or something so that I could keep my awesomely funky earrings?

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I have nickel allergy....it's a total pain!!!
Try painting over all surfaces that are in contact with your skin with clear nail polish, it does wear off, so you have to do it again from time to time.....

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My nan suggested that to me the other day... I didn't think you could do it though. Strange that!! I would like to eventually get some jewellery making tools and stuff and replace the backs of earrings with silver - eventually - if that is at all possible. Thanks for the tip Nora, most helpful!!!!

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Hi Lolly.....it really does work, I've used that method too Happy

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buy silver backs or gold.

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Sheila: What putting clear nail varnish on the backs of the earrings?

Michelle: Is it easy(ish) to change the backs of studs? I can imagine dangly earrings are fairly easy to change... How much would they be? And where could I buy them from?

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I used to have that problem with my ears every once in a while, like my earlobes would swell or if I had a cheap back it'd get a little rash, but I've been stretching my ears for about two years now and I've never had a problem with my ears since.

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