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Date of last update: 9/4/2017.

Forum Name: Ear Nose and Throat

Question: earlobe infection

wastedyouth - Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:14 am

Hello I got these new earrings and my ear is swollen from it and so is my neck gland and I have a lump a the size of a marble where you check your pulse on your neck. I took the earring out but it only got worse so I put it back in and now its been the same for about 3 days. besides the puss and bleeding it doesn hurt that bad. I want to know if I should go see my doctor. and I would like to know if you think this is an infection.

Dr. Anthony Solomon - Sun Jul 31, 2005 12:38 pm

If your new earrings are made of nickel, you may be suffering from nickel Dermatitis which causes an allergic swelling. Nickel allergy is very common in women and may appear even after years of exposure to the metal.

The formation of pus indicates a secondary bacterial infection which is referred to as cellulitis of the earlobe. The Lymph nodes at the angle of the neck are swollen as a result of the infection. The condition should be treated urgently by your doctor to prevent spread of infection to the earlobe cartilage. Whether or not the earrings are the culprits, you should discontinue their use meanwhile.

Dr Anthony Solomon
Consultant Physician, Tropical & Genitourinary Medicine
wastedyouth - Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:38 pm

no my earrings are made of silicone, and im gauging them I don't know if you know what that means but I am stretching my earlobe, and well the lump on my neck is getting bigger, I told my mom to take me to the emergency room but she won't take me, and well I'm not a doctor so I don't how bad the infection is.
Dr. Anthony Solomon - Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:58 pm

If your earrings are not made of nickel, you may not have nickel Dermatitis but you do have an established infection of the earlobe which must be treated. How old are you? Your mother may feel you have exaggerated the symptoms but I do not think so, because you described symptoms diagnostic of an infection - swelling of earlobe, pus formation and regional Lymph node swelling.

Please explain what you mean by "gauging them".

Dr Anthony Solomon
wastedyouth - Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:21 pm

well gauging them means your make your earlobe hole bigger, like when you get it pierced and then put a bigger earring in it is stretching the skin, I found out that when I put a bigger earring in that my skin inside the earhole had ripped and got infected, I am 15 years old.
Steph1986 - Sun Jan 07, 2007 4:08 am

My name is Stephanie, my husband Travis has been experiencing a severe sore throat for the last couple days and has a large (1/2-1in) lump on the side of his throat and one also behind his ear that is smaller. The lump in his throat causes him so much pain he can barely eat or drink. He doesn't have insurance to go to the doctor and I am just wondering what all it could be. I always assume the worst so could you please give me some other alternatives
Dr. Tino Anthony Solomon - Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:58 pm

Dear Stephanie,

You description is that of an acute tonsillitis, or swelling of the tonsils secondary to an infection. The symptoms he is experiencing are classical of this condition. The lumps you describe are almost certainly Lymph nodes which enlarge in response to an infection. They are not the cause of the pain. As this condition can be due to either a bacteria or a virus, it is advisable to visit your local physician to have a look at the throat and suggest symptomatic treatment, or Antibiotics if bacterial infection is likely.

For future reference, please do not post questions within other patients postings as this can be distressing for those concerned and may be distracting for the doctors. Always post new questions in a new thread.

Kind regards,

Dr. Tino Solomon
BSc(Hons) MBBS
Senior House Officer in Surgery

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