Stretched lobe infection

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Tuesday January 20th, 2009 @ 3:05 PM

Filed under: Ear

Hi BME,

I recently stretched my earlobes from 14g to 12g. The new jewellery went in with minimal fuss and my left lobe is doing great, but a few days after the stretch my right lobe ballooned out like I’ve never experienced before. It’s currently almost twice it’s ordinary size, is quite painful (and sometimes itchy) and isn’t leaking any fluid. I’ve been cleaning it with a combination of sea salt soaks and chamomile tea to alleviate the swelling (to no avail). It’s now been like this for about three or four days with no change; the worrisome part is that my face close to the lobe is beginning to hurt as well…Before I run to my doctor and have them chastise me for engaging in body piercing and demand I remove the jewellery, heal the hole up and become a nun, do you have any advice for me on repairing it at home? Does it sound like an infection, or just an allergy/irritation?

Thanks in advance :)

Going from 14g to 12g shouldn’t really cause you that much of a problem unless you have only recently had your ear pierced. If not, it could well be a reaction to the jewellery, however, the fact that the swelling is quite marked and painful and the pain is now affecting your face is giving me cause for concern. I would be inclined to downsize and pop some sterile jewellery in there (titanium is hypo-allergenic) and brave the doctor just to be on the safe side. Pain and redness that tracks away from a piercing site should always be treated as potentially serious.


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3 Responses to “Stretched lobe infection”

  1. Hi, thanks for the response :)
    I followed the advice and saw my doctor, who gave me some antibiotics which seem to be helping. Guess it was an infection after all! Surprisingly she didn’t tell me to take out the jewellery unless things begin to get worse.
    Oh, just for the record, the piercing is over 14 years old, so I was a bit surprised that it got cranky too.

    Aara on January 21st, 2009 at 8:42 pm
  2. to correct something here…ASTM Implant Grade Stainless Steel and Titanium are BOTH hypo-allergenic.

    As Hypoallergenic is a term coined by advertisers (based on the Greek prefix hypo meaning “below normal” or “slightly”).

    I believe this problem is also potentially a problem with the manufacturers inability to remove all buffing compounds prior to shipping out…As well as the studio that sold it to you, for failure to properly process its jewelry, prior to sale.

    So I’d say to make sure that the jewelry purchased is at least ASTM F-136 Stainless Steel or ASTM F-138 Titanium and not just regular typically sold stainless or titanium…But agreed doing a downsize, switching to that jewelry and visiting a doctor is a must.

    And be open and honest and very detailed when you speak to the doctor about what had happened, what you have done to correct the issue, and then seek their consultation.

    Warren Hiller on January 22nd, 2009 at 10:44 am
  3. I had gotten some 14g jewelry for Christmas from a friend and when I changed my current jewelry to the new ones, like in a day or two my ears got angry and infected. At first I had no idea why since I had those piercings for over 3 years and now they’re acting up. Then I was told they came from Wal Mart. Cheap shit.

    carebearjizz on January 22nd, 2009 at 3:58 pm

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