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drdoombot's avatar

Jellies with pierced ears: Do you get gunk in your ear piercings when you don't wear earrings for a while?

Asked by drdoombot (8095 points ) October 7th, 2009

I haven’t worn earrings for years, mostly because the holes have grown in just a little bit and I can’t get an earring all the way through. However, the holes are very visible on the front of my ears and I sometimes see some gunk (dried pus? ear cheese? I don’t know what to call it). Recently, I was rubbing my ear lobe and a lot of gunk came out. This grosses me out. Now I am somewhat obsessively pinching my earlobes every week or so to clean out this whitish, cheese-smelling substance from inside my ear holes!

What is this stuff coming out of my ear piercings? How do I stop it?

It’s been long enough that I know my piercings will not close up completely. Would getting them re-pierced and wearing earrings all the time prevent this from happening? I’m not necessarily interested in wearing earrings again, but I might entertain the idea if it will make me feel like my ears are cleaner.

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21 Answers

Anon_Jihad's avatar

It happens to me everyonce in ahile. But only in my right ear. My left ear healed like a champ. I pierced my own ears so I was wondering if perhaps my process was too well crude. But I guess it just happens.

SpatzieLover's avatar

No I don’t. It used to happen to me when I wore earrings with nickel in them.

drdoombot's avatar

@pdworkin Tell me about it. :(

DrasticDreamer's avatar

It generally happens to everyone with some kind of facial piercing, if they don’t wear jewelry often, or if, like @SpatzieLover pointed out, you’re allergic to the jewelry you do wear. It’s not too gross. Think of the hole like you’d think of a pore on your face. If you don’t clean it regularly, it can get clogged with dirt. Just buy some saline solution, rub it on with a Q-tip every day and that problem will be taken care of. No need to start wearing more jewelry if you don’t really want to. :)

Darwin's avatar

I don’t have that problem unless I wear cheap earrings made out of pot metal. But then I make a point of washing my face and ears regularly.

I did let my ear holes close up and then had them re-pierced several years ago. It felt wasteful to have a drawer full of earrings that I never wore. Besides my daughter wanted her ears pierced, but didn’t want to do it by herself.

mangeons's avatar

Actually, it usually only happens when I wear earrings too much, or for too long at once.

marinelife's avatar

I suggest using an antibiotic for several days. make sure it gets in the holes. After that, keep them clean. If you elect not to wear earrings, they can close even decades later.

sjmc1989's avatar

You had me up until you said ear cheese now I just feel extremely nauseated. I really hope you figure out what it is and how to stop it. Good luck!

LC_Beta's avatar

I have three holes in my right ear, but I never wear earrings anymore. The first is twenty years old, the second is seven years old and the third is three years old (approximately). The two older piercings never do much of anything, but the third one sometimes gets inflammed, slightly sore, and sometimes a little crusty if I scratch at it. I don’t know why it reacts that way, but I’m hoping it will stop eventually.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Yes.

Actually you should be happy that this is happening as the funk coming out is toxins in your system coming out wherever they can.

JONESGH's avatar

No, no I don’t

KatawaGrey's avatar

This happened to me once. That time, I just cleaned it out and tried not to think about it. now, what I do is I dip the backs of my earrings in rubbing alcohol which kills any little buggers that may be living in my ears.

deni's avatar

I have really sensitive ears, so anytime I put earrings in after not wearing them for a couple weeks, or I wear cheap earrings, the holes start to pus a little bit. It grosses me out too, but usually it only does it once then it’s done. But then, mine are gauged too which may contribute. But barely gauged, if it matters.

casheroo's avatar

I rarely wear earrings, but I’ve had my ears pierced since I was 3…and I do still have random white stuff come out, but it happens like, maybe once a year. I believe it’s just lymph and since it’s not a new piercing, I am not concerned.
I had issues with my nipple rings, and I’m happy I took them out. My lip ring has never had that issue though, only after I first got it and my body had to adjust to it.

It can be normal, but if it’s happening ALL the time, and really smelly, then I’d get it looked at. A piercer can help you more than a doctor, because most doctors just tell you to take it out..and you may just need to clean it more often with salt water.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Just my right lobe. The post of the earring will push something out, and not very much at that. I got my ears pierced at 10, wore earrings regularly until after college, and then stopped. I will wear them every so often for an interview or a special occasion, but that’s not very often.

LuhvKiller's avatar

I pierce ears at work and I have had people come in for me to put an earring in their ear cause they haven’t worn them in a while and when i push it through some white stuff comes out. pretty much dirt that gets inside the whole. looks like when you pop a zit almost

MissAusten's avatar

@LuhvKiller That might be the grossest thing I’ve read on Fluther. Worse than @drdoombot ‘s ear cheese.

LuhvKiller's avatar

@MissAusten well thats my Job chief lol I WEAR GLOVES LOL

MissAusten's avatar

Yes, and I admire you greatly for being able to do that job. I’d run a risk of puking on the client. :)

RedPowerLady's avatar

A little earring tip. Put antibiotic ointment on your earholes and on your earrings before you put them in. It prevents the earhole from acting up. Try it out.

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