Earlobe inflammation is an inflammation of the earlobe, the lower, soft part of your auricle. The inflammation may be due to an infection (caused by a bacterium, for example), an allergy or a combination of the two. An inflamed earlobe often hurts when you touch it or when you sleep on your ear.

What are the symptoms of an inflamed earlobe?

In earlobe inflammation, the earlobe is red and swollen, and in some cases, fluid or pus comes out. You can also suffer from itching and / or pain around the inflammation. Sometimes blisters and crusts can also form on the earlobe. The scabs in particular cause the itching.

How does an inflamed earlobe develop?

Often an earlobe infection is caused by an (earring) hole in the earlobe or by wearing earrings. After making holes in the earlobe, an infection of the wound can develop. Even when working sterile when shooting the hole.

If you develop or already have an allergy to nickel, eczema can develop around a piece of jewelry that contains nickel. This eczema increases the chance that an infection will also occur because the skin is often damaged by the eczema.

Children with eczema often get a gap at the transition from the earlobe to the face. This gap is not caused by earrings, but can also ignite.

Is an inflamed earlobe serious and what can I expect?

An inflamed earlobe is not serious in principle, but you should pay attention to it to prevent the inflammation from getting worse. If you are allergic to nickel, wearing nickel-containing jewelry on the rest of your body can also cause persistent eczema.

When should I see a doctor?

In principle, you do not have to go to the doctor immediately with an inflamed earlobe. You can treat the inflammation well at home. If in doubt or if one of the situations below applies, it is advisable to contact your doctor:

  • If a fever occurs.
  • If the inflammation gets worse or does not go away.
  • If the inflammation spreads around the ear or if the lymph nodes around the ear swell.
  • If you suspect you have a nickel allergy.

What can you do about an inflamed earlobe yourself?

Is your earring the cause of the inflammation? For pain, swelling and pus formation, remove the earring and dab the earlobe with alcohol a few times a day. This can have a cleansing and cooling effect.

What are the general advice and precautions?

Be careful when making holes in your ear. Only have holes in your earlobe made by someone who works sterile; all kinds of bacteria can be transferred if you don’t do this. These bacteria can cause not only a local reaction or inflammation, but also general infections such as hepatitis or HIV.

After shooting the hole, the earlobe should be cleaned with a disinfectant liquid twice a day. With a nickel allergy, you should avoid nickel jewelry. These can lead to chronic eczema, also in other places on the body.

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