Cartilage Infection

Three words for you: Ouch, ouch, and ouch! This is what happens when an infection gets trapped in between layers of cartilage and spirals out of control — and this can happen literally overnight in a worst-case scenario!

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

8 thoughts on “Cartilage Infection

  1. The following comments were imported from our old comment system:

    Posted on 01-14-2006 01:29:04 by taterotica
    it almost looks like the head of a penis.

    Posted on 01-14-2006 01:42:28 by BadlyDrawnGirl
    yea.. thats what i thought it was.. head + saline.


    Posted on 01-14-2006 02:38:12 by figgy
    something very similar happened to me with a conch piercing… it was NOT fun.

    Posted on 01-14-2006 02:40:15 by sometripe
    That is horrifying.

    Posted on 01-14-2006 07:31:20 by tokyowars
    I had that in the cartilage of my ear as well. Took it out then went to the doctor, only to have him tell me that it would have healed better if I had left the piercing in, as the infection would have a place to escape. As it was, I had problems with infections in my piercings for the next 4 years. Could have been a coincidence, though an infected spetum is not fun…

    Posted on 01-14-2006 08:28:57 by sneezy
    that looks wicked bad, maybe will it have to be amputated at the neck yikes glad it is not me, thanx for the updates and no more bad acid dude the little evils will get you on your next round lol

    Posted on 01-14-2006 11:52:04 by MadameSpooky
    ouch ouch ouch doesn’t quite cut it…how about “Ew ew ew…” that poor bastard

    Posted on 01-14-2006 12:02:31 by lcs
    got one very similar to this one with my conch piercing. i couldn’t concetrate with all the pain and we had to SQUEEZE it every day to drain.
    baaad times!

    Posted on 01-14-2006 15:11:10 by nurse gracer
    wrestlers get cauliflower ear due to blood swelling the ear and filling in with cartiledge when not drained….so could that happen here as well? Cause that would make it a lot worse if it could permanently end up like that…

    Posted on 01-14-2006 16:38:29 by PiercedPirate

    Posted on 01-14-2006 19:27:20 by nikkie
    why would you let an infection get this bad? *shakes head*

    Posted on 01-14-2006 22:14:18 by the smell
    i want to squeeze this so bad it feels like i have to go pee

    Posted on 01-14-2006 22:40:08 by BadlyDrawnGirl
    Ive gotten some pretty horrid keliods.. due to cartilage piercings..

    helix, conch..


    Posted on 01-15-2006 00:06:31 by me, Again
    Wow… How do you fix something like that?

    Posted on 01-15-2006 04:27:31 by outmywindow
    Couldn’t they lance that thing?

    Posted on 01-16-2006 13:15:47 by lcs
    yeah you can, but the hole still there so you don’t need to lance it. squeeze is an option and, by my own experience, hurts like HELL.mine came back to near normal, but permanent damage was made.

    Posted on 01-16-2006 15:33:32 by Sade
    OMG! I’ve never seen an infection that bad before.

    Posted on 01-17-2006 00:33:45 by figgy
    “why would you let an infection get this bad?”

    The infection in my conch got that bad in the space of less than a week, despite the cleaning and salt-soaking I was doing, AND the first course of antibiotics I was given. At that point I was told by a doctor that I had to take the ring out, and my piercer agreed. For the next 3 or 4 weeks I had to go to a walk-in clinic every day to have it cleaned and small pieces of sterile gauze stuffed into the holes to keep them open and let the abcess drain. Meanwhile I was taking one of the strongest broad-spectrum antibiotics available. I’ll never know if it could have healed with the ring in place, but I was told that bad infections around cartilage are quite dangerous, so I’m glad that all I ended up with was a slightly misshapen ear.

    Posted on 01-23-2006 00:57:38 by Halo
    Oh my… I thought I had trouble with my cartilage becoming numb, but that’s pretty bad.

  2. I’ve just been to the doctors yesterday for a piercing I had about 5 days ago. He was considering sending me straight to hospital to be put on a drip (which didn’t fill me with confidence!) but instead put me on really strong antibiotics.

    It’s only been a day, but it doesn’t hurt as much. Unfortunately the swelling hasn’t gone down yet, but I’m really hoping it does! It’s about 3 times the normal thickness of my ear… nice.

  3. Is it best to remove the jewelry or keep it in once you start the oral antibiotics? I’m scared that taking it out will keep the infection within my ear because there is no where for pus to drain.

  4. AhhH!! Mine wasn’t nearly that bad and I had to be put on IV antibiotics for a week after 3 different oral ones didn’t work. Even with the IV I was taking another super strong oral antibiotic. After I got off both the swelling had mostly come down but I still had to drain it in order to get it completely down. Now I just have a tiny bump/scar right around the hole… which is still open. My advice – if you ever put anything in your cartilage after it heals, make sure it’s GOLD or STAINLESS STEEL. Rings or studs that leave residue will surely cause infection.

  5. Yeahh Ive got that on mine. Its almost like a little air bubble type thing but mines nowhere near as bad. I changed my tacky ring I got from Claire’s back to my titaunium bar and put some saltwater solution on it. It’s gone down already, I found it early on so hopefully it wont get any worse.

  6. i had con inner conch piered a month ago, the 1st week it seemed to be healin relli well and with hardly any swelling.
    the 2nd week my whole ear swelled so i went bk 2 my piercer who told me it was normal for it 2 swell this much.
    well a week and half after havin it pierced it started to imbed into my skin so i rang the piercer who told me to wait over the weekend (i foned on the sat) come in on monday and we will change it to a bigger bar. i went to work and within a matter of 4 hours the ball had almost vanished, so i went to a and e and the doctor thought the ball had fallen off, thats how much of the ball you could see.
    he manged to remove the bar, with great diffculity and pain with local ana.
    well i thought this would be it, but on the monday my ear was more swollen than before and has started pussnig, so i went to my gp who put me on normal antibiotics.
    by the wednesday i saw no improvment so went back to my gp who trippled my dose of antibiotics.
    on the thursday night the swelling was worse and the pain was worse and my glands in my neck were relli prominant, to the point i was havin 2 hours sleep a night. so i went bk 2 a and e who gave me local ana and lanceded the ear. gave me stronger antibioics again and sent me home.
    by the friday night the pain was worse and my neck hadn’t gone down at all. so i went back down to a and e in which i got admitted to hospital and put on an iv drip of antibiotics.
    on the saturday morn when the doctor came to look at my ear i was put in as an emergency and sent down to theatre that afternoon.
    he operated on my ear to take out the badness and so on.
    i stayed on the iv drip for a few days and got sent home on the monday afternoon.
    its now tuesday and i’m off work for 2 weeks and i have a massive bandage on my head. not nice. i’m also still on antibiocs orally 4 a few more days.
    the doctor doesn’t know what caused this infection but i hope it all repairs itself.
    iv also had some loss of cartidge which i have no idea if my ear will eva go bk 2 its normal shape or size. at its biggest it was 4 times the size :(
    no more piercings for me.

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