7 Reasons Why It Hurts Whenever You Put Your Earrings On

why does my earring hole hurt after years

Have you ever thought, “Why does my earring hole hurt after years?” Many people feel discomfort in their ear piercings, even long after they’ve healed. This can be confusing and frustrating, especially if your piercings haven’t caused problems before. Knowing why your ear piercing hurts when you wear earrings and finding solutions can help you enjoy your jewelry without pain.

Why does my ear piercing hurt?

There are a few reasons why your ear piercing might hurt even after years of healing. Let’s take a look at some common ones:

  1. Metal Allergies: Your earrings might contain metals like nickel, which can cause allergic reactions over time. Even if you’ve worn earrings for years without a problem, your body can develop an allergy to certain metals. Symptoms include itching, redness, swelling, and pain.
  2. Infections: Ear piercings are like open wounds, so if you don’t clean your earrings and piercings regularly, bacteria can cause infections. Signs of infection include redness, warmth, swelling, discharge, and pain. 
  3. Friction and Pressure: Heavy or tight earrings can rub against your earlobes, causing irritation and pain. This can happen if you wear earrings for long periods or if the earring backs press too tightly against your skin. 
  4. Scar Tissue and Cysts: Scar tissue or cysts can form around the piercing site, making it painful to wear earrings. Keloids are raised scars, while cysts are small lumps under the skin. Both can make the piercing area sensitive and painful. 
  5. Improper Healing: If your piercing doesn’t heal properly, you might experience pain when wearing earrings. This can happen if you didn’t follow aftercare instructions or if you used non-sterile earrings during the healing process. 
  6. Allergic Reactions to Products: Some products like shampoos or makeup can irritate the skin around your piercing, causing pain and swelling. 
  7. Changes in Ear Structure: As you age, your earlobes might change shape, making it uncomfortable to wear earrings. The skin may thin, and the piercing might not sit the same way it did before.

It’s important to figure out why your ear piercing hurts and take steps to address it

What can I do about it?

To ease the pain from ear piercings, it’s important to find out what’s causing it and take the right steps to fix it. 

  1. Identify Allergens: Try using earrings made from materials like surgical steel, titanium, or niobium, which are less likely to cause allergies. Look for earrings labeled as “nickel-free” or “hypoallergenic” to avoid reactions.
  2. Maintain Hygiene: Keep your earrings clean by washing them with mild soap and water or a saline solution. Avoid harsh chemicals like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, as they can irritate your skin. Clean your ears before and after wearing earrings to keep them germ-free.
  3. Adjust Earring Fit: Make sure your earrings aren’t too tight, as this can cut off circulation and cause pain. Choose lightweight earrings to reduce pressure on your earlobes. Look for comfortable backs that won’t squeeze your skin too tightly.
  4. Treat Infections Promptly: If you think you have an infection, clean the area well and put on some antibiotic ointment. If it doesn’t get better, see a doctor. Don’t take out the earring while treating the infection, as this can trap bacteria inside.
  5. Care for Scar Tissue: If you have scars or bumps around your piercing, see a dermatologist for treatment. They might suggest steroid injections or surgery to remove them. Massage the area with vitamin E oil regularly to help reduce scars.
  6. Use Lubrication: If your earrings are hard to put in, try using a bit of petroleum jelly on the post to make it slide in easier. Be gentle when putting in earrings to avoid hurting your ear.
  7. Avoid Irritants: Be careful with the products you use around your ears, like shampoos and cosmetics. Choose gentle, fragrance-free products to avoid irritation. Watch out for hair products that might get on your earrings and irritate your skin.

When should I see a doctor?

If your ear piercing keeps hurting even after trying home remedies, it’s important to see a doctor. Here’s when you should seek medical advice: 

  • Severe pain, redness, or swelling: These signs could mean a serious infection that needs medical care. Ignoring it can make things worse.
  • Symptoms don’t go away or get worse: If what you’re doing at home isn’t helping or if things are getting worse, it’s time to see a doctor. They can help stop it from getting worse.
  • Fever or chills: A fever might mean the infection has spread to your blood, which needs urgent treatment.
  • Bad smell from the piercing: This could be a sign of a deep infection or abscess that needs to be treated with antibiotics.
  • Earring backs stuck or hard to remove: If the back of your earring is stuck in your ear or it’s painful to remove your earrings because of swelling, a doctor can safely take them out and fix any problems.

What can I do to prevent my ear piercing from hurting in the future?

To keep your ear piercings pain-free, follow these simple tips: 

  • Choose Hypoallergenic Earrings: Pick earrings made from materials like titanium, niobium, or surgical steel. These are less likely to cause allergic reactions, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • Keep Them Clean: Clean your earrings and piercings regularly to avoid infections. Use a mild soap and water or a saline solution to clean them every day. Stay away from strong chemicals that might irritate your skin.
  • Go Light: Opt for lighter earrings to avoid putting too much pressure on your earlobes. Heavy earrings can stretch your piercing and make it uncomfortable. Stick to smaller studs or lightweight hoops.
  • Mix It Up: Change your earrings now and then to prevent a buildup of skin cells and bacteria. Switching them up can also help your piercing stay in good shape and reduce the chance of scarring.
  • Clean Hands Only: Before touching your earrings or earlobes, make sure your hands are clean. Dirty hands can introduce bacteria to the piercing, which can lead to infections.

Treat your ear piercing when it’s hurting

If you’re wondering why your ear piercing hurts, it could be due to various reasons like metal allergies, infections, or improper healing. To address this, regularly clean your earrings, choose hypoallergenic ones, and seek medical advice if needed. Taking care of your piercings ensures they stay pain-free and continue to be a stylish accessory for you.


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