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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 182-187

Cartilage ear piercing probable infections among females between 18 and 28 years old in Riyadh

1 Department of Pathology, College of Medicine; King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Khalifa Binkhamis
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jnsm.jnsm_108_21

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Background: The prevalence of ear piercings is 8%−32%. Complications can be due to the factors such as the amount of tissue blood supply, the location of the piercing, the extent of hygiene techniques, and much more. Materials and Methods: A total of 586 females (age, 18–28 years) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with at least one ear piercing were included in this analytical cross-sectional study by convenience sampling from September 2019 to April 2020. A link to an Arabic web-based questionnaire was distributed through social media (WhatsApp, Twitter, and Snapchat). It included questions related to both earlobe and ear cartilage piercings. Bivariate statistical tests were carried out. Results: The prevalence of a probable ear piercing-related infection for ear cartilage piercings was found to be significantly higher than for earlobe piercings (41.4% vs. 29.6%) (P = 0.0004) (confidence interval [CI] = 0.443–0.795). A significant association between piercing type (3.3% of earlobe piercings and 8.1% of ear cartilage piercings) and scar formation was observed (P = 0.0002) (CI = 0.209–0.722). The prevalence of ear piercing complications among participants who used piercing needles was lower for both earlobe piercings and ear cartilage piercings (3.65%, 8.75%) (P = 0.0015) than among those who used piercing guns (37.9%, 43.4%) (P = 0.114). Conclusion: Probable external ear infections were more common among those with cartilage ear piercings than those with earlobe piercings. Future studies should include participants of a broader age category and in different locations in Saudi Arabia.

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