Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Infection After Getting Ears Pierced

Question: My daughter just recently got her ears pierced and we didn't take care of them quite like we should. One of them got infected and the swelling pushed the back off. We cleaned it with peroxide, but it seems to still be a little sore. Should I try to put them back in, or should I let them seal and try over again. Either way, I will take better care of them next time. Marshall

Answer: Any break in the skin has the potential for introducing infection. Sometimes, this can occur even with excellent hygiene and care.

When infection occurs anywhere in or around the ear, great care must be taken to avoid spreading of the infection. This area has much less of a blood supply then most other parts of the body. Because of this, infection spreads faster and takes longer to heal.

Please have her physician look at her ear. I can't see what it looks like, but she still has soreness and your description of the swelling is of concern. You are doing fine by keeping it clean with peroxide. I would not attempt to reinsert the earring at this time. Doing so may worsen the infection, prolong the healing and cause scar tissue to build up. Scarring normally occurs ANYTIME the skin is broken.

Also see:

  • My 10 year old daughter is incredibly prone to insect bites. Even when no one else is getting bitten, they seem to go for her! Any suggestions?
  • My 12 year old daughter experiences difficulty sleeping due to fear of the dark and being alone. Is this normal?
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.