Ear lobe pain
If you're experiencing pain and it's not excruciating, you're probably going to take an aspirin and let it go. You could be masking, however, a far more severe problem. Your health should not take a back seat to any other commitment, and even the most minor of issues needs attention to ensure your physical well-being.
Ear lobe pain does not sound threatening in the least, and it may not be, but if you're experiencing ear lobe pain, there is some information you need to take into consideration.
If you're experiencing ear lobe pain, one possible cause, according to MedicineNet.com, could be Raynaud's Phenomenon (RP), which is characterised by "discolourations of the fingers and/or the toes after exposure to changes in temperature (cold or hot) or emotional events." While this syndrome typically affects the more dominant extremities, like the fingers and toes, it can also affect the ears.
Ear lobe pain may also be caused, according to ePodiatry.com, by chilblains (Perniosis), which "appear as small itchy, red areas on the skin," typically on extremities like the toes and fingers, but which also affect the nose and ears." Like RP, chilblains are usually caused by extreme changes in temperature and rapid fluctuation of the small blood vessels. Because chilblains are itchy, ePodiatry.com recommends not scratching them, as you could open them up and cause severe infection.
According to Dr. Toni Brayer, allergic reactions to nickel, gold, or platinum, which are found in certain earrings, can also cause severe ear lobe pain and may result in a lump that will have to be surgically removed. Also, infections resulting from recent piercings may cause severe ear lobe pain. Typically, these infections come either as a result of the aforementioned allergy or from improper care of the piercing site.
Treatments and Prevention
Treatments for allergic reactions to metals in earrings can include the removal of the earring and the use of hypoallergenic earrings, or, worst case scenario, surgery to remove the resulting lump.
According to ePodiatry.com, if you suffer from chilblains, you will need to allow affected extremities, whether toes, fingers, nose, or ears, to warm slowly. Remember, the extreme changes in temperature are what typically cause chilblains.
Similarly, you can prevent RP by keeping extremities safe from extreme changes in temperature. Usually, this can be done simply by keeping your body warm or letting cold areas warm slowly.
- Treatments for allergic reactions to metals in earrings can include the removal of the earring and the use of hypoallergenic earrings, or, worst case scenario, surgery to remove the resulting lump.
If you're experiencing ear lobe pain, even if you think it inconsequential, you must see your doctor. You and your doctor can discuss causes of the pain and possible avenues of treatment. As with any health-related issue, prevention is the best treatment, so talk with your doctor about how you can best prevent RP, chilblains, or metal allergies and piercing infections.
Mike Johnson teaches writing at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University. He wrote Writing Across the Curriculum content for Western Michigan University's Best Practices site. Johnson graduated from Western Michigan University with a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in educational technology.