This is what happens when you don’t look after your ear piercing

We can’t even joke about this


A brave fresher has been scarred for life after losing part of her ear when a piercing became badly infected.

Pretty Trent student Bianca Hart, 18, had a stud put in the top of her right ear in a quick £10 procedure before starting university.

Days later she began experiencing crippling pains as it became infected and went back to the parlour to have it replaced with a small bar.

That failed to solve the problem and two weeks after the first stud had been put in she was rushed to A&E.

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Surgeons cut open her ear in the hope it would ease the pressure – only to realise the infection had eaten into the cartilage.

They were forced to cut off the top part of the ear and put her on a morphine drip for a week.

Bianca, who is studying psychology and criminology at Nottingham Trent University, arrived for Freshers’ Week with a bandage around her head.

Doctors told her she was lucky not to lose her ear and the parlour where the piercing was done is now being investigated.

Bianca said: “The pain was just so much, it was excruciating. The piercing was disgusting as well, it was bright purple and oozing pus.

“By the end I was throwing up constantly because it was so bad.

“They operated and found that my cartilage had just disintegrated. The surgeons just had to try and build my ear again.

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“I can’t even look at my ear because it just reminds me of that horrible time I went through.

“I had to turn up to university with a bandage on my head. It was just embarrassing, especially when you’re so worried about making friends.

“People keep laughing at me because I was in hospital for a week after having an ear piercing. It just shouldn’t happen.”

She added: “When it didn’t settle I went back to the shop and she said it ‘needed to breathe’.

“She took it out and put a tongue bar in which was apparently the worst thing she could have done.

“I would never get anything pierced again, I would never have had this done if I had known I would nearly get septicemia.”

Bianca had the piercings done at the Lady Pirates parlour in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex at the end of August.

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Dad Greg, 50, from Chelmsford, Essex has now called in the council to investigate.

He said: “The surgeon said it was the worst case they had ever seen. In the end they were lucky to save her ear.

“It will never look the same. It has scarred her for life. We just don’t want this to happen to everyone else.

“We got told they were changing all their procedures now but it should never have come to this.”

Lady Pirates owner Carrie Blood insisted Bianca caused the infection herself.

She said they had not had a single complaint in four years and hit back at claims they had inadequate health and safety procedures.

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She said: “If the first thing she did was touch it when she left the shop then it is going to get infected. We can’t control what they do when they leave here.

“We have been trading for four years, done thousands of piercings and this is our first complaint.

“When we changed the bar it wasn’t infected. We told her that if it was bothering her then she should take it out but she didn’t.

“Everything we do is by the book. It is what they choose to do afterward that leads to what happens with the healing process.

“As far as I am concerned we have done nothing wrong.”

A spokesman for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council said: “As soon as this matter was reported to us, we began an investigation which is still ongoing.

“There are strict laws governing body piercing and we make regular checks of all establishments which offer this service.”