Ear piercing is a simple, straightforward practice, but that doesn’t mean it’s free from the risk of infection and other complications, especially in children. Having ear piercing performed by a pediatrician ensures the procedure will be performed while adhering to the highest standards of safety, using sterile instruments and a highly precise technique to avoid the risk of infection and other issues, including inaccurate or un-centered placement of piercing holes, lobe tearing, and other lobe damage. Ear piercing by a doctor is especially important in children since lobes tend to be thinner and more delicate, and therefore more easily damaged.
Prior to the actual piercing, the child’s lobes will be carefully evaluated to identify issues that could make piercing more problematic. The lobe can be numbed prior to piercing to reduce discomfort. During the piercing, the most advanced and safest techniques will be used to help ensure the best possible results and the lowest risk of infection. Having ear piercing performed by a pediatrician is also important for children with diabetes or other medical issues involving the circulatory or immune systems.
After the piercing, you and your child will receive instructions on how to care for the piercing while it heals, and following those instructions is extremely important to avoid infection from occurring. Lobe infections typically cause symptoms like swelling, redness, pain and weeping from the piercing site. If an infection does occur, it’s important to seek medical attention right away to prevent the infection from spreading.
Although relatively rare, hole closure can occur, usually as a result of an infection or cyst. If the hole does become closed or inserting the earring becomes very difficult, the hole should never be reopened or enlarged by the child or parent. Instead, call the doctor right away to schedule an appointment so the piercing can be assessed and safely reopened.
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