Complications of ear piercing: treatment and prevention

Cutis. 1991 Nov;48(5):386-94.


Ear piercing and wearing earrings have been associated with many medical problems including local infection, sepsis, superficial cervical lymphadenopathy, localized argyria, contact dermatitis, lymphoplasia, edema and hematoma formation, exuberant granulation tissue, keloids, lipomas, embedded earrings, epidermal cyst formation, sarcoidal granulomas, earlobe deformities, cutaneous injury resembling frostbite, pressure sores or bruising of the postauricular area, syncope, aspiration, and ingestion. Proper precautions should help to prevent many of these common complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology
  • Ear Deformities, Acquired / etiology
  • Ear Diseases / drug therapy
  • Ear Diseases / prevention & control
  • Ear, External / surgery*
  • Edema / etiology
  • Female
  • Hematoma / etiology
  • Humans
  • Nickel / adverse effects
  • Punctures / adverse effects*
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / prevention & control


  • Nickel