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Dr Chaithanya
Dr Chaithanya, General Physician, Medical Researcher, All medical and Health questions answered.
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 798
Experience:  General Physician, Family medicine, Internal medicine, all age groups.
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About 4 years ago i pierced both my ears, I wore earings on

Customer Question

about 4 years ago i pierced both my ears, I wore earings on and off for a few months then stopped.. the holes closed up, however When i grab my left ear lobe I feel a hard pellet like substance trapped inside my lobe, presumably where the earing used to penetrate through.. Is this normal skin reaction or is there something stuck in my lobe? I ask this because I have recently gone under a few mri and CT and I fear that I may have metal in me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr Chaithanya replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Dr Chaithanya, experienced General Physician attending you today.

The reaction you are explaining is a common experience by most of the people after the ear piercing.

This can be a keloid scar, or a discharge locked up, or a mild infection. This can be easily cleared by a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon.

There is no chance that a metal can be in due to mri or ct scan, so don't worry.

Hope the information is helpful. Don't hesitate to ask if any more doubts.

If you are satisfied with the answer, request to rate the answer positively with 5 rataings, only then, I'm little compensated for the answer.

Any bonus is welcome and highly appreciated. Thank you.

Expert:  Chris C. replied 1 year ago.

This is quite normal and is a cutaneous condition characterized by deposits of excessive amounts of collagen which gives rise to a raised scar but not to the degree observed with keloids.

  • They are red or pink in color, however can fade to a lighter tone.
  • Are fleshy bumps that stay within the boundary of the piercing, often forming in a ring shape, or as a dome off to one side.
  • Often very itchy
  • Dry skin can flake from them
  • No pus or draining fluids.

They are not to be confused with keloids, which are darker in color, spread far beyond the bounds of the piercing site with no real specific form, often tender, painful and itchy, they are red or much darker than the normal skin tone, they carry a lot of collagen, and they can often develop months or years after the piercing. So what you describe is simple and there are a few things you can do to help deal with any discomfort or concern you have with this simple scar tissue.

Salt soaks are great and everyone knows that. However, the addition of chamomile tea soothes and calms the affected area further, which can greatly reduce scar reduction

  1. Pop on the kettle
  2. Add 1/4tsp to the mug, add the boiled water (leave some room at the top)
  3. Ensure all the salt’s dissolved.
  4. Add the tea-bag, allow to brew for 5 minutes.
  5. Make sure that the water’s hot as you can stand, but not boiling as this can be very harmful.
  6. Using a soaked cotton pad, hold and press hard on the bump, avoiding knocking the jewellery.
  7. Do this twice a day for 5 minutes, or more if you want.

Pointers: Make sure you use chamomile tea with no added extras! If you have a ragweed allergy, avoid this method!

The compression and soothing nature of this method should help the bump break down and go. This is the most common and often most effective method.

I have used this method with success in the past.

  1. Perform mild salt soaks twice a day for 5 minutes.
  2. Using a q-tip, apply ONE of the following: alcohol, 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, or tea tree oil. Compressing with the q-tip will add compression.
  3. Continue this for 2-3 weeks and you would see an improvement.
  4. Try a new treatment (ie, alcohol to HP) after 3 weeks if no improvement is seen.

Pointers: PLUG YOUR EAR CANAL! Hydrogen peroxide can cause deafness/hearing damage if it enters the ear canal, so plug it before using H2O2 to keep yourself safe. Only use one of them at a time!

Also, you can try:

Topical application of hyrocortisone cream.

  1. Apply with concordance to the instructions on the packet.
  2. If no improvement is seen after 6 weeks, discontinue use.

With all this being said there is NO CHANCE that you have metal somehow still in your pierced areas that is causing this hard scar or any symptoms.

Expert:  Dr Chaithanya replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Dr Chaithanya, experienced General Physician attending you today.

The reaction you are explaining is a common experience by most of the people after the ear piercing.

This can be a keloid scar, or a discharge locked up, or a mild infection. This can be easily cleared by a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon.

There is no chance that a metal can be in due to mri or ct scan, so don't worry.

Hope the information is helpful. Don't hesitate to ask if any more doubts.

If you are satisfied with the answer, request to rate the answer positively with 5 rataings, only then, I'm little compensated for the answer.

Any bonus is welcome and highly appreciated. Thank you.