The concept of ear piercing in and of itself is an odd, if not mildly unhygienic practice. And yet, it doesn’t stop so many of us from getting multiple body parts pierced.
So what happens when the entire process goes a little awry, bringing infection and even injury?
We decided to crowdsource stories from our team and found gross stories a-plenty. Here’s hoping you’re not eating.
The foreign one that went wrong
Emily had her horror experience overseas. Naturally.
"I decided to get my nose pierced while volunteering in a rural town in Ecuador after being dared by the other volunteers. Despite the piercing studio's lack of first-world hygiene (think: no gloves, questionable looking needle, very questionable-looking technician), my new nose piercing never once got infected. It did however bleed like crazy when it ripped out, caught on a towel I was using to dry my face."
The ones that swelled
"I had a ear piercing middle of the ear, on the cartilage and it blew up went bright red. My ear then expanded like three times and I had to go to the doctor to get it removed because it was one of the screw-ons you couldn’t take off yourself. Oh, and I had to go on antibiotics because it was an ear infection."
Meanwhile, Holly shared her experience:
"When I was about 15, I got an ear piercing at the mall with some friends. At first, everything seemed fine with the piercing but when I tried to take out the earring I realized the back was jammed. Deciding to deal with it tomorrow I went to sleep and forgot about it, but when I woke up the next morning my earring was missing. When I felt my ear I realized it was really swollen and incredibly sore. It had essentially swallowed up the earring overnight. Ten hours and a hospital visit later it was cut out, and unsurprisingly, I never had the spot re-pierced."
The one that...popped
Yep, you heard right. Georgia explained:
"When I was like 12 and got my ears pierced, one of my ears swelled until I had this purple ball on the back of her ear. It was sooo big, I can't even explain. Then one night in bed it popped and was full of blood."
The one that's still infected
Another took to Reddit to share her own hellish story, saying after two and a half years, their ear is still infected.
"I got my tragus pierced two and a half years ago at a professional shop with implant grade metal. I think it's titanium. I've been following the piercer's advice and using sterile saline wound wash to clean it twice a day. It still hasn't healed, has always been swollen and still crusts."