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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Infected cartiledge peircing, possibly keloids?

 cmsta85 - Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:55 pm

I'm writing hoping for some advice on treating an infected snug (cartiledge) peircing. I have had this peircing for a few years, and it was irritated near the beginning and has never fully healed. I have talked to the person who peirced it a few times, and she changed it to larger jewlery, advised not touching it aside from cleanings, given me bactine, and at a different point advised me to see a doctor, which I did and took antibiotics which helped temporarily.

Currently, it is fairly swollen, though not too sore, and has a little bump on one side, and quite a big bump on the other size (about as big as a a small gumball?) am worried that these are keloids, and I really want to get have a healthy, normal looking ear again. While I am willing to take out the jewlery, I've been told doing so doesn't allow infection to drain.

I have heard of all kinds of remedies and I wanted to know which ones could work and if any are unsafe. Suggestions I've heard range from poking it and draining it with a pin (eww), Apple cider vineager, wart remover, Dried Lavender Flower tea, or antibiotics of some kind. Any advice you have would be appreciated. Thanks.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:44 pm

User avatar Hi there --

Removing the jewelry may well help resolve the problem, and it will not prevent the lesion from draining. Sometimes the metal involved causes an allergy-like response which causes the sort of swelling you describe. Sometimes this is due to localized infection, and removal of the jewelry may well help it to drain naturally without the constant irritation. It could be keliod formation, though this is less likely (unless you have a history of keloids , in which case the odds increase that it may be). This should be treated medically, with oral and local antibiotics and possible in-office drainage only if there is a cyst formation, which again it may be, but this can only be determined by a doctor looking at it closely. At any rate, seeeing a doctor is important, since self-treatment of these things can often lead to worse infection and scarring, which you don't need.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck to you and please follow up with us here as needed.

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