Side Effects Of Piercing Ear Cartilage

Piercing your ear cartilage is becoming increasingly popular. It’s a great way to show off your style and individuality without having any major visible piercings. However, there are some side effects that you should be aware of before making this decision.

Ear cartilage piercings will cause redness and swelling for a few days. In some cases, it can cause injury to the tympanum (eardrum), infection, chafing or tearing of the cartilage, and even permanent perforation of the ear. In certain cases, it may cause a lump to form.

This article examines the possible side effects of piercing your ears, how to take care of your piercing afterward, and tips on how to get your ears pierced safely.

Possible Side Effects Of Piercing Your Ear Cartilage

There will be redness around your ear for a while after piercing your ear cartilage, as well as some pain. Remember, piercing ear cartilage, the harder part of your ear, is more painful than piercing the fleshy areas on your lobe.

Ear cartilage piercings can cause injury to the tympanum (eardrum), infection, chafing or tearing of the cartilage, and even permanent ear perforation.

Infections like Perichondritis, when bacteria spread from the skin into the cartilage, are common with ear piercings. This infection can be extremely painful and may cause fever, chills, and headaches. If you experience any of these above symptoms following your piercing, it is recommended that you see your doctor as soon as possible.

Chafing and tearing of the ear cartilage are also common side effects of piercing ear cartilage. Chafing occurs when there is friction between two areas of skin, causing redness and soreness.

Tearing occurs when the piercing is stretched too far or from excessive movement. Piercing ear cartilage can cause damage to the tympanum (eardrum). The risk of damage increases if you already have one or more piercings in your ear.

 These problems may seem rare or not seem like much, but they can be extremely painful and even debilitating. Despite careful precautions, cartilage piercings become infected around 30% of the time.

 Luckily treatment is straightforward if the infection is caught early. Most of these infections can be avoided if the equipment used by the professional is sterile and if you follow proper hygiene practices afterward.

A new piercing can also sometimes cause a lump to form. A pyogenic granuloma is a medical condition that can occur after piercing, causing a red or flesh-colored lump near the piercing.

Keloids are another medical complication of piercing that can also cause raised, flesh-colored bumps at the site of the piercing. You will need treatment from a plastic surgeon or ENT specialist to address both of these conditions.

What To Do If You Have An Infection

When you get your ears pierced, the person doing it will usually give you information on what to do if it gets infected. In some cases, minor infections can be treated at home fairly easily. Symptoms may include:

  • yellow discharge
  • swelling
  • redness
  • ongoing pain or tenderness
  • itching and burning

Before handling your infected piercing, wash your hands. Clean the ear with a saltwater rinse around three times a day. Make sure to use sterile saline, which you can get from a pharmacy, or combine a quarter of a teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of distilled water.

Never use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or antibiotic ointments. These products can slow down the heating process and further damage your skin. Also, don’t take the piercing out because this can cause it to close up and trap the bacteria. You should clean both sides of the piercing and then dry it with a paper towel. If the infection seems to get worse, you should see a doctor.

Safety Tips

Ear cartilage piercings should only be performed by professionals who have undergone training in the field. They know where to pierce and how deep to go without harming yourself or your ear’s ability to function properly. Professional piercers will not perform this procedure if you have any infections or problems with your ear.

Piercing ear cartilage is a relatively safe procedure, but there are some precautions that must be followed. First, you must ensure that the piercer has experience and training in piercing ear cartilage. Second, you should ask to see the equipment that will be used for the procedure.

Third, ensure that the room is clean and sterile before proceeding with the procedure. The needle should be sterile, as unclean needles can also cause infection. You also avoid nickel ear piercings since many have allergic reactions to them. Rather get gold or nylon.

What To Do After You Get A Piercing

For your piercing ear cartilage to heal properly, you must follow certain steps. Make sure to:

  • Always wash your hands before touching the pierced ears
  • Clean your ears regularly with soap and water.
  • Twist your earing a few times a day to keep the piercing open.
  • Apply some rubbing alcohol to the ear piercing twice daily to prevent infection.

You must not sleep on your side or lie down with your head propped up after the procedure. This can cause pain and discomfort, which hinders the healing process. You should also avoid hot baths or showers for at least two weeks after the procedure. Hot water can cause swelling, which may result in pain and discomfort.

After having your ear pierced, you will have some redness around the area. This is normal and should go away within a few days. Call your doctor immediately if there are other symptoms, such as pus or discharge, severe pain or swelling, or a fever.

You should also clean the piercing with a Q-tip dipped in warm water, followed by rubbing alcohol. You should not use hydrogen peroxide or any other cleansing solution because they irritate the ear further and delay healing.

 You can also apply antibiotic ointment to soothe any soreness around the area. Remember that if you follow these precautions and guidelines when getting pierced ear cartilage, there is little risk of side effects.


There are many side effects to piercing your ear cartilage, from infection to lumps. But this can be prevented in most cases. Remember, piercing cartilage is more painful than piercing fleshy areas around your lobe.

As you can see from this article, as long as you get a professional to pierce your ears, you’ll have little trouble with serious side effects. You will also need to look after your ears after piercing them. If you’re worried about anything, go to the doctor!


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