There is high risk of infection when the ear cartilage is pierced. This type of cartilage piercing is also called rook piercing. The chances of infection are far great in rook piercing as compared to that of earlobe piercing. The principal reason of infection is contamination of the cartilage area with dirt and bacteria. Secondly the healing period of cartilage piercing is much longer as compared to earlobe piercing. This makes it more vulnerable to contract infection.
Aside from these factors, the ring or barbell that is pierced may be unsterilized and become a cause for rook infection.Personal hygiene and cleanliness plays an important role. Hands should always be washed with soap and water before touching the ring or the pierced area.
In fact, to prevent rook piercing infection, the person should keep his or her hands away from touching the site. For matter of convenience it is necessary to have basic knowledge of normal healing process and the symptoms of an infected rook piercing.
Symptoms Of Infected Rook Piercing
A normal rook piercing takes few days or weeks to heal. However, mild inflammation and redness is present after the cartilage is pierced.There may be associated mild pain due to damaged nerves at the pierced site. All this symptoms are normal and they heal within a week. At times the redness and pain may remain for longer duration sometimes as long as 6 months. These symptoms are subtle and the person is able to bear it without annoyance and discomfort.
On the other hand, symptoms of rook piercing infection are prominent.
- The area around pierced site becomes red and shiny. In some cases redness spreads throughout the earlobe.
- It is painful and tender to touch. There is throbbing pain.
- When touched the cartilage and surrounding tissue feels hot.
- The cartilage becomes swollen.
- Flushed face.
- After few days, crust develops at the pierced site. It is yellowish brown in color.
- Pus and blood oozes out from the pierced site. Discharge of pus indicates infection.
Other concomitant systemic symptoms are often present with the above complaints. They may vary from person to person. It also depends on the severity of infection. As with any infection, patient may complain of mild to moderate fever, malaise, weakness, headache, body ache etc.
How To Heal A Rook Piercing Infection Naturally?
Although rook piercing is done for cosmetic purpose, sometimes an infection can ruin it and the cartilage as well as the ear may become disfigured.
Also if the healing takes long duration, there is risk of keloid formation. Keloid is a type of scar which can extend beyond the boundaries of wound. It has tendency to migrate to surrounding area. Keloids formation can permanently disfigure the ear. Here are few home remedies that can help to cure the infection and prevent disfigurement.
- Turmeric is a time tested natural antibacterial and anti- inflammatory remedy. With its antibacterial property, the germs are killed and the swelling subsides. Apply paste prepared by mixing water and turmeric powder on the infected site regularly after cleaning the area with warm water. Apply it till the infection is completely cured. Patient can also take turmeric powder internally. Take a pinch of turmeric powder and mix it with a teaspoon of honey.
- Apply sea salt soaks on the infected site. Sea salt has potential antibacterial properties. Mix sea salt in warm water until it is completely dissolved. Now dip a cotton ball in the solution and apply it on the area. Let it remain for 10 minutes. Clean the area with warm water once the cotton ball is removed.
- Chamomile tea compresses are also effective for rook piercing infection.
Extra care is needed when the patient is diabetic.