Embedded earrings: a complication of the ear-piercing gun

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1990 Mar;19(1):73-6. doi: 10.1016/0165-5876(90)90197-y.


Ear-piercing techniques include needles, safety pins, sharpened studs, and self-piercing kits. Complications from ear piercing are well documented and may involve local infection, sepsis, keloid scar formation, sarcoid granulomas, cyst formation, bifid ear lobe deformity, and organizing hematoma. The use of the spring-loaded ear-piercing instrument has resulted in an increased frequency of the complication of the earring backing becoming embedded in the ear lobe and helix. The embedded earring complication may result from improper aseptic technique, insufficient training of personnel at ear-piercing centers, or piercing the ears of young. To diminish the risk of embedded earrings we recommend aseptic technique, proper training, limiting ear piercing to the lobe, frequent cleansing of the lobe, and removal of the earring if signs of infection develop.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ear, External / injuries*
  • Ear, External / pathology
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / etiology*
  • Foreign Bodies / pathology
  • Humans