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Is this a keloid on my Tragus, and infection, or hypotrophic scar?

Discussion in 'Healing and Aftercare Forum' started by sunshine1994, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. sunshine1994

    sunshine1994 New Member

    I got my tragus pierced about a month and 1 week ago and it has not been going smoothly. It got infected the first time after a week or two of using sea salt and warm water to clean my piercing. a small bump began developing on the front and back of my piercing.

    I began using sea salt and warm water twice a day and then antibacterial soap once a day in the shower and that worked (the bumps also got smaller.) When I ran out of sea salt, I continued using the antibacterial soap three times a day and the infection came back a week and a half later.

    On Friday, I went to the piercer and explained the situation so he told me to switch over to Bactine three times a day. Everything worked prefectly for about 2 days and then I felt an infection coming back, only this time it is MUCH worse. At first, I thought it was a keloid, but then I noticed some pussing in the back so I am not totally sure what is going on.

    Here are links of my piercing last night:


    I cleaned my piercing with a salt water paste, but it seemed to irritate the wound. This is what it looked like this morning after cleaning:


    This is what my piercing looked like after soaking it in warm salt water, cleaning with antibacterial soap, and spraying Bactine:


    There is however, a little bump on the front as well and I don't know what it could be:

    What do you think this is and how could I go about fixing the problem?
  2. Angel on the Edge

    Angel on the Edge Administrator

    Hi Sunshine1994,

    First let me welcome you to the Painful Pleasures community! Please pop over to the Introduce Yourself area (https://bodyjewelryforum.painfulpleasures.com/forumdisplay.php?f=42) and tell us a bit more about yourself. You should also review the Rules of the Forum, located here: https://bodyjewelryforum.painfulpleasures.com/forumdisplay.php?f=32

    After reading your description of the problems you've been having and the various ways you've tried to deal with them, my first reaction was that you shouldn't be using any type of soap on your piercing. That will dry it out and only exacerbate the problem. I highly recommend getting some Nature's Pure Defense (http://www.painfulpleasures.com/xcart/customer/product.php?productid=8278). I just had 3 new piercings put in my lobes and cartilage a couple weeks ago, and I've been using that product with great results.

    Every morning I let warm water run over my ears in the shower, but I'm careful to keep shampoo away from my piercings when I wash my hair. Then, after I shower, I spray my ears with Nature's Pure Defense. I do that at least 2-3 times a day. Initially, I was also dabbing on vitamin E oil a couple times a day. It's an amazing healer and seemed to be doing good things for me, but then I got worried when our very knowledgeable moderator Rainbird told me that vitamin E oil can be problematic. It can make the outside of your piercing heal more quickly than the inside, trapping bacteria inside and leading to infection.

    At this point, you may need an antibiotic, but before you go to your doctor, try a triple antibiotic ointment (e.g. Neosporin). You may also want to try some warm compresses. I'd suggest grabbing a clean/unused washcloth, soaking it in hot water, ringing it out, and then applying it to one side of your ear for a few minutes. Then, soak it and ring it out again, and then apply it to the backside of your ear; be sure to use the side of the washcloth that you didn't use on the front side of your ear, though. When you're done, put the cloth in the dirty laundry and use another clean/unused washcloth the next time you do a compress.

    If you do warm water compresses and sea salt soaks a couple times a day, spray with Nature's Pure Defense, and dab on Neosporin afterwards (probably best to do that with a Q-tip rather than touching it with your fingers), I'd hope you'd see some improvements. Also make sure not to sleep on that side, as that could irritate it further. Additionally, if you use hairspray or any other products like that, make sure to cover your ear before applying them.

    Rainbird is on vacation at the moment, but when she returns, I'm sure she'll have some additional advice for you. Also, others in the community may weigh in with words of wisdom.

    I wish you the best of luck with the healing process! Please do let us know how it goes.

    All the Best,
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2017
  3. xXJarredXx

    xXJarredXx El Duderino Staff Member

    Everything Laura has said is pretty much correct. If I had to hazard a guess, it's an infection. Not likely to be a keloid, scarring is possible but it wouldn't pus under normal circumstances. It's red, swollen, and pussing. These all point to an infection, it would behoove you greatly to take Laura's advice. If it gets worse, it could be worth notifying your doctor about.
  4. Rainbird

    Rainbird The Pierced Godmother Staff Member

    This looks like a very painful infection to me.
    Using a salt paste will be much to strong and it will irritate the skin.
    It needs a sea salt soak 2 or 3 times a day but this is a very difficult area to soak. I suggest
    soaking a make up remover pad in sss and holding it on either side of the piercing being careful not to swap
    sides over so as to carry bacteria from one side of the fistula to the other. Keep refreshing the pad and do this for 15 or 20 minutes. If any pus or gunk comes out use a cotton bud soaked in sss to remove it.
    Since this has been continuing for over a month now I think you might end up visiting your doctor for anti-biotics
    but it may be worth another visit to your piercer.
    What sort of jewelry are you wearing? Could you be having a reaction to the metal that is making this worse?
  5. caq264

    caq264 New Member

    It looks like it could be an infection but this is exactly what my tragus looked like for a while after I got it pierced. I tried everything, sea salt soaks, chamomile tea bag compresses all that and the only thing that worked to get it to go away was using Naked Natural Alternative oil. It's an anesthetic tea tree oil so it soothes and helps in the healing process. I would just put some oil on the keloid twice a day with a qtip and it was gone within 2 weeks. Now its healed I've changed the jewelry a million times and the lump never came back.

    Healing my tragus was a bitch definitely the worst I've had! So it could be an infection but like I said that's what mine looked like and I tried the Naked oil and it worked so I would try that first before you take it out, unless it's really painful obviously.

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