Help for Irritated/Sensitive Ear Lobes

I have not been able to wear earrings for the past 15 years, at least.  I don’t know what happened but one day my ears just started getting really itchy and red almost immediately upon putting earrings on.  This surprised me because I have had pierced ears since about sixth grade.  It happened shortly after I got a piercing in my upper ear, the second one, with the first one being fine.  This was in the days when you’d get your ears pierced in a kiosk at the mall.

Once in a while I’d try wearing a pair.  I tried every hypoallergenic, niobium, gold and other type of post that people would recommend.  No luck.  I finally gave up.  While at a show this past August someone across the aisle heard me once again bemoan the fact that I can’t wear earrings.  We got to talking and told me that my ears were probably infected.

What?  After 15 years?  Still infected?  They’re fine without earrings in them.  Yep.  She suggested I try putting bacitracin on my ears and my earring posts.  That was four months ago and I kept forgetting.  I was used to not wearing earrings.

This past weekend, while sitting at my studio show making earrings I was really longing to wear a pair. They’re cute and funky!  I didn’t have bacitracin but I did have Neosporin.  So I gave it a try.  I coated my ear lobes and lathered up the ear hooks before putting them in too.  Don’t worry…these don’t go on resale!

I was amazed that the itching didn’t start immediately.  I patiently waited and it never came.  I thought, this is too good to be true.  I did that for the next couple days and I was able to wear the earrings the whole time.  I sit here now, as I type, without using the Neosporin with earrings in my ears and no itching.

Am I cured?  I hope so!

12 thoughts on “Help for Irritated/Sensitive Ear Lobes

  1. Linda

    I had the same problem, but I realized years ago that I needed to sterilize my ears and earring wires before putting on earrings. I use rubbing alcohol.Once in a while the itching still happened, then I realized that the earring wires on some earrings is of a much heavier gauge than others causing the holes to try to stretch and that was irritating.
    Love your blogs, Lori!

  2. Mallory

    Wow! Who would have thought! That’s an amazing story, and I’m so happy you can wear earrings again! DD’s ears are super sensitive. She had to quit earrings when she was small. I’ll suggest this to her. Maybe it will help her, too!

  3. Julianne

    I have the same problem sporadically and neosporin does the trick. I also switched to fine silver wire for my earwires, and they are non-irritating (no copper or nickel) I just tumble them for a while for strength.

  4. Dawn

    This is fantastic! Same problem for me. Second holes bother me and have for years. I just got a cute pair of studs and put them in. The itching starting almost immediately. Read your post and put some triple antibiotic cream on the posts and I can tell the itching is less. Thanks!

  5. lorigreenberg Post author

    Great to hear, Dawn! I used the Neosporin for a few days and now I can put the earrings in without it (the ones I’ve tried are sterling silver) and I’m fine! Good luck!

  6. Amy

    Well, I’m definitely going to give this a try. If I can just find that one thing that will help me I will be ecstatic to be able to wear earrings again! Thanks for the tip!!

  7. Lori G

    Good Luck! I went to a wedding this past weekend and put in cheap earrings. (no bacitracin or neosporin) I forgot I had them on and almost went to sleep with them in. Yay!

  8. Jessica Slowik

    I too suffer from this issue and so happy that you wrote about it. I am headed to the store right now to buy neosporin! I am confident that it will work : )

  9. Lucy

    OMG!! I’ve been having the same problem!! I got my ears pierced a few years ago 2 in the bottom lobes and 2 at the top and my earrings were absolutely fine, no infection or irritation… But I took them out for a while and then put a set of earrings on and it was just horrible!!!! Ill definitely have to try this :)))))) haven’t been able to wear them in the past few years and it sucks because my wedding is coming up and I really want to wear some

  10. Laura

    Cheers for commenting on my blog, Lori.

    And thanks for the advice. I will figure out what the UK version of the medication you suggested is and I will give it a go. I do miss earrings.

    Much appreciated.

    Best wishes

    Laura x

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