Health Risks Associated With Cartilage Ear Piercings

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For many years and in many parts of the world, piercings have been considered a way to express yourself. But whether you have one piercing or many more, it's important to understand the potential side effects that come with it. This is especially true for cartilage piercings. As a rule, ear cartilage piercings are more painful and can take longer to heal than regular piercings in the flesh of the earlobe. There are also more health risks involved with non-earlobe piercings.

Infection

  • Infection is the No. 1 health risk associated with ear cartilage piercing, a problem that usually stems from improper aftercare. Minor infections can be treated with peroxide and anti-scarring cream. However, infections that aren't treated or other extreme infections should be addressed by a doctor.

Perichondritis

  • Perichondritis is another form of infection, but it results when the cartilage becomes inflamed during the piercing process. This type of infection is characterized by rough, tough and inflamed skin tissue around the piercing. It can also result in pus, redness and extreme pain. Perichondritis should be treated by a doctor immediately.

Allergic Reaction

  • Some people who get cartilage piercings experience an allergic reaction to the metal in the jewelry used. You can prevent this by using high-quality jewelry and being aware of your allergies. If you experience an allergic reaction to jewelry, your best option is to remove the piercing or replace it with different jewelry.

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  • Photo Credit Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images
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