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Plastic Surgery/Re-piercing ears


Hi Dr. Engler,

My daughter had her ears pierced when she was 5 years old.  She will turn 9 in April, and until recently, has had no problems with her ears.  A couple of weeks ago she wore a pair of cheap earrings that were given to her by a friend.  She was allergic to the earrings and ended up with an infection - cellulitis to the lobe and impetigo spreading to the surrounding area.  Her pediatrician prescribed a 10 day course of oral antibiotics and topical antibiotic ointment.  He advised us to leave earrings out until her infection cleared up.  We did this - and her holes closed up.  Now I can feel tiny little balls where her holes used to be.  I assume this is scar tissue?  I wonder when it will be safe to re-pierce her ears?  Should they be re-pierced in the same spot - even with the little ball?  Who should she be seen by to have this done - a plastic surgeon?

Many thanks,

from Dr. Alan Engler

Hi Jody,

I don't know of scientific data to support this, nor do I have an absolute policy but I would probably say wait at least three months and more likely about six months.  I'd like to see if that ball will settle down on its own.  Then, I would probably repierce it in the same location and, yes, I'd have it done by a plastic surgeon.  Although I'm (obviously) a little biased!

I hope that this helps and good luck,
Dr. E

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Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS


Dr. Engler has answered over 6400 questions on social media sites, including over 3500 on AllExperts alone. His expertise includes breast surgery (breast enlargement with implants, breast reduction, breast lifts), liposuction, eyelid surgery, tummy tucks, facelifts, lipomas, skin cancers, cysts, etc. Dr. Engler has been listed as one New York`s Top Doctors, and as "One of the World's Most Famous Aesthetic Surgeons" (Aesthetic Surgery, TASCHEN Books, Angelika Taschen, Editor). He is the author of 4 books, including "BodySculpture" (a best-selling plastic surgery book on breast surgery, liposuction and tummy tucks), "EyeScapes" (Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids), "Restylane," and "The Slim Book of Liposuction." Dr. Engler has two US Patents for surgical instruments that he's designed, and has appeared on numerous television shows, including The Tyra Banks Show, The Ricki Lake Show (four times), the Dr. Keith Ablow Show and Jerseylicious. Videos of his appearances are available on YouTube (search for "DR. ENGLER"), and his discussion of breast implants, also on YouTube is "How to Choose a Breast Implant." His website is Follow Dr. Engler: @AlanEnglerMD


Dr. Alan Engler is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York and the author of BodySculpture - Plastic Surgery of the Body for Men and Women (ISBN 0966382749) one of the top-selling plastic surgery books on,, as well as EyeScapes - Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids.

Dr. Engler graduated from Yale University (BA, Russian Studies) and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (MD). He did his residency training in General Surgery and, after that, Plastic Surgery, at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York. He is on the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York in the Departments of both Surgery (Plastic Surgery) and Medicine (Dermatology), and is a Special Lecturer in the Department of Dermatology at Columbia University in New York. He has admitting privileges at Beth Israel Medical Center and Montefiore Medical Center, both in New York.

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