Can Hydrogen Peroxide Cure Ear-Piercing Infections?

Updated on February 15, 2019
101Ways2Life profile image

I have a particular interest in health, spirituality, fitness, and mind-body.

Piercing Infections Are Not Uncommon

Avoid piercing your body yourself. Go to a professional piercer.
Avoid piercing your body yourself. Go to a professional piercer. | Source

Is Your Piercing Infected?

These days, ear piercing and belling button piercing has become quite common. In fact, piercing is not a trend. It can be traced back to thousands of years, and many aboriginal and tribal groups have been piercing various body parts for centuries.

While piercing is usually a safe procedure, it can cause infections in some cases. If not treated properly and in good time, piercing infections can become a serious issue.

Ear piercings or any other body piercing causes a wound in the skin. Because of the nature of our skin, the wound begins to heal in 24 to 48 hours. That's the job of our immune system.

In addition, the person doing the piercing usually applies an anti-septic and anti-bacterial gel before and after the piercing.The piercing professional also uses clean needles so that the person-to-person transfer of pathogens is limited. This is why it is important to get a piercing done from a professional and reliable expert. This minimises the risk of contracting any infection after piercing.

Despite all efforts and precautions, some people end up getting infected because of the piercing.

Causes of Infections After Piercing

  1. Infected needle or unclean hands are used
  2. Improper handling of the ear
  3. Infected ear-ring
  4. Earring or any ring used is clasped tightly
  5. A part of the earring have get embedded in the skin
  6. An allergic reaction to some metals like nickel

How to Tell If Your Ear Piercing Is Infected

It is normal for your piercing to hurt, look pink and swell initially. This is because you have a wound in place of the piercing. However, in few cases, your ear or nose may have developed an infection during or after piercing.

Here are some sure signs and symptoms that you have an infected nose or ear after getting it pierced:

  1. If you have done the ear piercing or nose piercing yourself, then the risk of getting the wound infected is very high.
  2. The infection doesn't become obvious immediately after piercing. It usually takes 3 to 5 days to be visible.
  3. The infected area swells. If there's swelling, then you have an infected nose or ear. Don't confuse this with minor swelling following piercing, which is our body's natural reaction to the wound.
  4. The infected area will become red. Again, this is not the same redness that you see soon after piercing. The pinkish wound should return to normal skin color within days of piercing. If it turns red instead, then it's infection.
  5. You may also notice some pus being formed in the infected area.
  6. You feel slight inflammation in the affected area. The area may feel warm, and you could almost feel your blood pulse against your skin near the infected area.
  7. You may also experience symptoms of fever and nausea. You may feel little over-sensitive about the skin around the infected area and would want to protect it from any touch.


Piercings should be cleaned with sterile saline or a distilled water and salt solution. Alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and antibacterial ointments are not recommended, as they can slow the healing process. Use the following method according to your individual need.

How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide

First and foremost, don't remove your jewelry from the infected area. I know, it's a natural reaction. But removing the ring will expose the infection. The hole will get closed and cause an abscess to form. This will then become difficult to treat. Instead, keep the ring on. Before using hydrogen peroxide, try using soap water.

A Word About Safe Practices

If your piercing is NOT infected, don't use hydrogen peroxide. It will stop the healing process of the wound. If the wound is deep, avoid using hydrogen peroxide. Consult your doctor. In fact, you should consult a doctor anyway before carrying out any home treatment for piercing infection.

Cleaning Method

Clean your hands thoroughly before trying to treat the infection. Use warm water and soap to clean the infected area three times a day. Do this for about 3 to 4 days. Hopefully, this will reduce the infection and you wouldn't have to use hydrogen peroxide which may dry up the skin and slow the natural healing process. However, if it doesn't help, then use peroxide.

Pick up a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in 3% solution. This is available in most pharmacies. You can either use hydrogen peroxide in undiluted or diluted form. Put a few drops on a cotton ball and apply to the infected area. It is normal for the wound to sting. There is no need to wash off hydrogen peroxide as it will vapourise naturally. You may have to repeat the application many times a day because hydrogen peroxide doesn't stay on the skin for too long.

Changing the Ring

You will need to be a little patient while changing the ring in an infected area.

  1. Take someone's help. Doing it on your own may be difficult. Ideally, you should go back to your piercer for the first cleaning, and use that opportunity to change rings.
  2. Sprinkle Neosporin on the ring. This serves two purposes—it disinfects the ring. It also makes the sliding smoother. Don't force the ring in the hole. Doing so may result in further damage and bleeding.
  3. Be patient. Treat one piercing at a time if you have multiple piercings.
  4. If it is very difficult to remove the ring, then use warm water. Put warm water in a bowl. Put some salt in it. Now dab a cotton ball in it and squeeze it over the hole. Rotate the ring while you put warm water on the wound. This should loosen the grip.

An Infected Piercing Can Be VERY Painful

Precautions to Avoid Infection After Piercing

If you are getting a piercing done for the first time, read these tips.

  1. Make sure you buy the right kind of ring BEFORE getting the piercing done. Don't take a shortcut and buy some cheap jewelry, which is a common mistake. If you buy a steel ring, it will increase your chances of an infection. Steel reacts to water and can rust. This could lead to an infection. Ideally, use white silver or gold jewelry. Because you don't wish to leave the wound open, buy your jewelry before going for piercing. If you have already got a piercing done and are wearing steel ring, don't take it out until you have found gold or white silver ring. Leaving the wound open will only aggravate the infection, or increase the risk of infection if there isn't any.
  2. If your piercing is NOT infected, don't use hydrogen peroxide. It will stop the healing process of the wound. Hydrogen peroxide should be used only on the infected area.
  3. When you are changing the earring, dip it in hydrogen peroxide or alcohol so as to make sure there is no infection on the ring.

Points to Remember

  1. Don't do piercings yourself or ask a friend. Go to a professional and experienced piercer.
  2. Use hydrogen peroxide as a last resort, as it causes excessive dryness.
  3. If symptoms persist, see your doctor
  4. Before changing the ring, dip it in Neosporin, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

Why You Should Consult With a Professional

Always keep in mind that there's no substitute to professional medical advice. While the internet is a good source of information, it is always advisable to speak with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms of infection mentioned above, especially fever.

Where to pierce:

Have you got a piercing or intend to get one? Which body part is your favorite for piercing?

See results

Share Your Experience With Piercing

Have you had any piercing done? What has been your experience? Do you have a favorite home remedy for treating the piercing infection?

Share it in the comments section below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Kimberly jancsy 

      6 days ago

      Neat and clean that is it

    • profile image


      6 weeks ago

      I got my ear pierced along time ago, but there is a bad infection on my two bottom piercings on one of my ears. It has been infected for about 3/4 weeks , but I finally looked into it and realized that I should probably consult a doctor.

    • profile image


      11 months ago

      I have an industrial bar. I got it done about 9 months ago. Today it was hurting more than usual so I put some hydrogen peroxide after my shower. I just hope there’s no infection, and that tomorrow it will be better

    • 101Ways2Life profile imageAUTHOR

      Alana Niall 

      19 months ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Hi Callmehbob, please consult a doctor if you experience any pain after the first 24 hours.

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      So my ears are not infected but they are pink and I just got my ears pierced 2 days ago what do I do

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      What kind of piercing is that in the picture?

    • profile image

      Michelle egan 

      2 years ago

      I got 2 ear piercing done but both got infection get them takeing out

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Honestly unscented soap and hydrogen peroxide are your best friend sometimes sea salt soaks don't help much depending on how bad the infection. For me the best soaps are dove or dial.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)