MS - ENT,MBBS
Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) Specialist
This was originally published in http://healthwealthbridge.com/ear-piercing/
Ear Piercing is very popur from time immemorial.
The trend of piercing at all levels of the pinna and
sometimes even the tragus, is now more popular
among the urban population than before.
SO WHAT'S THE WORRY?
Traditionally single piercing of ear lobules fleshy part caused little problem .
Proper aseptic precautions in a right setup was all that was needed .
But piercing of the cartilaginous part often brings with it multiple problems.
PROBLEMS OF PIERCING IN CARTILAGINOUS PART
Perichondritis (inflammation of cartilage ),
Sometimes even necrosis of the cartilage
Collapse of pinna .
The problems of inflammation,infection hypertrophic scar, keloid can occur also in the lobular part.
SIGN OF INFLAMMATION
If piercing can cause these problems both in the ear lobules and cartilaginous part , then why the precaution for cartilage piercing?
The deformity produced in the cartilaginous part is greater and often more severe.
Add to it the sensitive nature of cartilage and the prominent site of your ear.This piercing may give you the kind of "look" which is more than what you bargained for.
BEFORE EAR PIERCING WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
1) Avoid piercing of the cartilage of your ear.
2)Go for Ear Piercing in the fleshy lower part(lobe)
3)Ensure Aseptic measures are being taken care of.
The doctor or the piercing clinic should be using sterile gloves.Sterile instruments should be used.Cleaning the ear lobules with betadine solution, spirit is recommended taking care to avoid entry into the ear.
4)If you have a history of thick raised scar forming in regions with cuts and scars...
AVOID EAR PIERCING especially if you are still in your growing years!
Gold, Silver , platinum,titanium,stainless steel nonreacting, neutral pure metal ring or stud with no ridging.
Gold is a popular choice as first Ear piercing
Gold is a popular choice as first Ear piercing
This is important because imitation alloys and even white gold (it contains nickel along with gold )can cause a foreign body reaction.
Inflammation, infections, allergic reaction predisposes to hypertrophic scar and keloid formation.
Can pain during piercing be reduced?
Yes, it's possible by topical application of a local anaesthetic agent 15 to 20 min before the procedure.
Who can do ear-piercing?
ENT surgeon, Dermatologist can both pierce the ear aseptically with due precautions.But all of them may not be doing it.
Often piercing clinics are the only option and, in that case, you have to use your sensibility to choose the best option!
So what is the care required after Ear piercing?
This part is covered in detail http://healthwealthbridge.com/ear-piercing/
What is Keloid and why you should be careful?
Some people may have an aggressive response of skin repair after surgical nonsurgical trauma to skin.
It's characterization by elevated itchy scars after even minor skin lacerations.
This occurs due to an over enthusiastic, poorly regulated proliferation of the cells responsible for skin repair and is mediated by individual immune system.
The problem with people with this problem going for Ear Piercing is they will develop unsightly nodular lesions on the pinna which are often very difficult to get rid of completely.
Best treatment options for Keloid
Steroid containing creams and ointment. May work for small lesions .Helps to flatten the lesion and decreases itchiness.Often regains to original size after stoppage of cream.
For both hypertrophic scar and keloid, a serial weekly course of intra lesional steroid helps decrease the itching ,redness and decreases the size of the lesion.
The main reason steroids work is they decrease the hyper-reactivity of the scar forming tissues.
A prolonged treatment up to 6 to 7 weeks may be needed in some cases.
Pros of this treatment:
May be done in outpatient setting.
Cons of this treatment:
High level of patient motivation and compliance needed for weekly pricking with a needle.
There's often loose extra skin left at the site of lesion , which looks unsightly.
Smaller lesions respond better.
2)Surgical treatment with steroid injection
This mode of treatment actually gives good results in most cases, especially for large keloids.
The principle of surgical excision for best result in keloid is to give the surgical incision within 1cm of the external border of the lesion.This avoids involvement of further area of skin.
After excision of the bulk of the keloid intralesional steroid injection is given at the base of the lesion to inhibit further proliferation of fibroblasts.
This steroid injection is again repeated weekly till about 6 to 7 weeks for best results.
Laser surgery is also another method of excision.But not much difference in results has been seen compared to regular surgery.
Results for surgery alone are not very good.But surgery along with steroid injection gives quite a good result in majority of small to medium sized keloid.
Results may, however, vary according to size of Keloid and patient profile.
3)Radiotherapy along with Surgery
Radiotherapy is a definite a last resort.
It's used only in case of highly disfiguring keloids resistant to other types if treatment.
Important thing to remember iis,if you have a tendency to keloid
formation, you n should definitely avoid repeat piercings and all
nonsurgical types of skin trauma.
You should also tell your doctor about this before all surgical treatment.
Whats the Ideal age for skin piercing in Children?
This is a somewhat controversial area.
Though there's no set age for Ear Piercing. It's better to get it done when the child is able to actively help take care of the ear-piercing site and ear-ring.
About 6 to 10 years is a good age when the child is able to understand the process and will be actively interested.
So pierce your ear or your child's ear,d o it with due precautions.
Did you get your ears pierced?
Do you plan to get your ears pierced?
Comment below to let me know what problems(if any ) you have faced, when you got your ears pierced
when you got your ears pierced.
Ear piercing image by Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net