Why You Should Never Pierce A Baby’s Ears – Doctor

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Parents — you might want to be all ears for this. 

Dr. Tania Elliott, a board-certified physician and mom of two from New York, is warning people not to pierce their babies’ ears. Elliott is a health influencer with 96,000 followers on Instagram and is a doctor on faculty at NYU Langone Health as well as a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She said piercing your baby’s ears increases their risk of infection and of developing an allergy.

“Piercing your child’s ears when they’re infants can lead to bacterial infections requiring antibiotics, abscesses and damage to the ear tissue and cartilage when done incorrectly, especially with certain commonly used devices and when the right sanitization protocols are not followed. It can happen at any age but young infants with a developing immune system are most prone,” she told The Post in an email.

“Ear piercing is also one of the most common causes of nickel allergy which can lead to skin rashes and affects up 15% of the population. In fact, nickel in jewelry is banned in the EU. While babies’ immune systems are developing and the skin is pierced, the body can mount an immune response, so the next time it is exposed to something containing nickel an allergic reaction can happen,” she added.

Elliott posted a video on her Instagram account, where she goes by drtaniaelliott, back in February sharing the three things she would never do as a doctor and a mom — and piercing infants’ ears was one of them.

“This is one of the biggest reasons that so many people have a nickel allergy and can’t wear costume jewelry. While babies’ immune systems are developing and the skin is pierced, the body mounts an immune response,” Elliott said in a video posted to her Instagram account that has since garnered over 9,000 likes. 

“The next time it is exposed to anything containing nickel, an allergic reaction can happen. Remember, nickel is present in stainless steel, silver and gold below 14K, in addition to many foods,” she added. 

Some commenters below her video thanked her for her advice and said they agreed with her.

“Never pierce or cut a child’s body for esthetic reasons, period. I don’t care which culture you’re from, cosmetic surgical procedures on children is gross idea. They can get it done when they are old enough to consent,” one person wrote.

What do you think?

Others said that their ears were pierced when they were babies but that they were given gold jewelry to prevent an allergy.

“I’m from Chile and we get pierced when we’re born or very young mostly with 18k or above so the ear doesn’t get infected they say but never knew why. Well back then when gold was cheap/accessible,” someone said.

Several commenters said that they had their ears pierced when they were a baby.nilanka – stock.adobe.com

“Same in Brazil. We get our ears pierced as newborns. Always with gold 18k + earrings,” another added.

One commenter said they had a negative skin reaction after getting their ears pierced as a kid and being given gold jewelry.

“I pierced with 14kt; had a bad reaction as a kid myself so just started from the begging with my daughter funny people criticized me guess I’m not crazy,” another wrote.


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