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Sometimes it hurts when I put in earrings. Could my ears be infected?

Dear Dr. Cory:

Sometimes it hurts when I put in earrings. Could my ears be infected?

Betsy Watts Macon, Georgia

Dear Betsy:

Yes, tender ear lobes can be a sign of infection. Other signs include swelling or redness, yellowish or bloody discharge, and unexplained fevers.

An ear lobe can become infected if it was pierced with an unclean instrument, if your earrings are dirty or too tight, or if you have handled your earrings with dirty hands.

Some earring posts, especially inexpensive ones, are made of nickel. Nickel can cause an allergic reaction that makes your ear lobe red and itchy.

Make sure that your earrings have surgical steel or fourteen-karat gold posts. Remove your earrings two or three times a day and clean the posts with rubbing alcohol. Wipe your lobes with rubbing alcohol, too. If your ear doesn't feel better in a week, you should talk to your doctor.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Ask Doctor Cory
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:Children's Digest
Date:Jul 1, 1994
Words:151
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