You are here:

Ear & Body Piercing/Swollen third holes


I got my third holes in my ears pierced on February 3rd. They were doing fine so after 6 weeks I removed them and one of the earrings fell down my sink so i put in a cheaper earring for a few days. The back of the holes swelled up and became dark red and would bleed when i put the earrings in. Two days ago i put in a pair of sterling silver earrings and put neosporin on the earrings and on my lobes. My ears are still swollen and I can barely fit a back on the earrings because they are so swollen. Will the swelling go down if I keep putting neosporin on? Or are they infected??

From your description, it would seem that the area was not completely healed and was damaged by changing the jewelry too soon. If it gets worse or does not get better, see your healthcare provider for treatment. Heat, swelling, pain, redness, and or discolored discharge are the most common signs of infection. suggestions should help until you can get well or seek medical assistance.

It would be prudent to have a professional piercer insert new jewelry that meets the safety standards described at as soon as possible.

Ear & Body Piercing

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Brian Skellie


I can answer questions in regards to and not limited to: jewelry safety, specifically material, shape, proportion, and related issues; aseptic technique and sterilization as it applies to piercing safety; ethical issues of technique and bedside manner; the aftercare and recovery process for piercings. *Available for consultation.


Body artist and founder of Piercing Experience (1992), and SciCan Authorized Dealer of STATIM Sterilizers and related infection control products

Currently serving on the APP Board of Directors as President, formerly as Global Media Director 2013-2014, International Liaison 2010-13, Treasurer 1997-99. Over fifteen years with ASTM and APP.

The Point Journal of the Association of Professional Piercers, USA Today, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing

I regularly participate and teach in many APP and related body art educational programs. I keep current certifications for OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens, First Aid, and CPR.

Awards and Honors
APP President's Award, Best Freehand Piercer, Best of Atlanta

Past/Present Clients
Tens of thousands of one on one client experiences as the founder of Piercing Experience in Atlanta, GA, USA *Body jewelry design and safety expert: Member ASTM committee F04( former Member AAMI ( Research advisor and educator for the APP for over a decade( teaching advanced studio setup, sterilization and equipment management, freehand piercing, aseptic/sterile technique and much more. Distributor and Body Art expert for SciCan StatIM sterilization and infection control products. and

©2017 All rights reserved.