Our daughter had her ears pierced a year ago. Recently, her earlobes have developed redness and scabs. The redness goes away when she stops wearing earrings but returns when she puts the earrings back in. We have cleaned her ears and earrings in hopes of preventing infection. What should we do?
In this scenario, I suspect contact dermatitis, when skin turns red and becomes inflamed when it comes in contact with certain substances. One of the most common aggravating substances is nickel. Nickel is found in trace amounts in nearly all types of jewelry. It's also common in metal buttons and belt buckles.
Nickel allergy can develop over time. Someone may have worn a certain piece of jewelry for years without any issue, but once a nickel allergy or sensitivity develops, the same piece of jewelry may cause a rash. Also, as jewelry ages, some of the metals break down and may lead to more nickel exposure.
Once a nickel allergy is suspected, earrings should be removed and not worn until the skin has healed. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone ointment may help with the itching and redness. In the future, it is important to wear hypoallergenic jewelry. Platinum, nickel-free stainless steel, sterling silver and 24-karat yellow gold are the best options.
If the rash recurs while wearing nickel-free jewelry, then visit your health care provider.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer. Read moreRead less
The Charlotte region is vast and diverse. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all. The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day, but we ask that you keep the discourse civil.
- Do not use profanity or obscenities. And don't try to camouflage profanity with asterisks, abbreviations or other symbols or foreign phrases.
- Do not use threatening language. Talk of violence won't be tolerated.
- No racial, gender or sexual-orientation name-calling.
- Do not attack other commenters for their views. Do not libel or defame anyone or violate their privacy.
- Keep your comments succinct and stay on topic. Comments that bear no relation to the story may be deleted.
- Do not add images to your comments.
- Do not report comments as abusive simply because you disagree with them. Report them only if they violate these guidelines.
- Do not post spam or advertising of any kind.
- Do not post a comment using all capital letters.
We do not monitor each and every posting, but we reserve the right to block or delete comments that violate these rules.
You can help: Notify us of violations by hitting the "Report Abuse" link. Users who continue posting comments that violate these guidelines may, at our discretion, be blocked from submitting future comments as well.
And finally, as Mark Twain said: "Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."
Enjoy the discussion.