I had an ear infection and now my earlobes are shaped like a ball. What can this possibly be? And can it be fixed? (photos)

I got an earlobe piercing three years ago, and it got infected because the aftercare solution that I received didn't do much to clean the piercing. I didn't think anything of it at the time, and now my earlobes are shaped like a ball, and I have no idea how to fix it.

Doctor Answers 4

Ear lobe

You have some form of scarring that is deforming the lobule. Once the scar is released with surgery, the problem will be corrected 


New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Possible keloid

I agree, there is a chance this represents something called keloid scarring. This can be a progressive condition after ear piercings so be cautious before asking someone to cut away the excess tissue. This has the potential to make the prolem worse. Ask a local plastic or ear specialist to have a look at it before you make any decision.Hope that helps. Adam Goodwin

Ear lobe - a ball formed after an infection

Thank you for asking about your ear lobe.
  • You need to see a plastic surgeon to determine the cause of the 'ball' in your earlobe.
  • It may be a keloid - or thick scar.
  • It may need to be removed surgically, or to be removed and then get steroid and/or 5-FU injections.
  • Or it may simply need injections -
  • Your plastic surgeon will be able to tell you what is best for you.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Earlobes shaped like a ball

It is a bit difficult to tell you what might be causing your earlobes to be shaped like a ball without examining you.  From the photos you provided, it is possible that you have developed some keloid scarring on the backs of your earlobes.  If this is the case, it is possible that it could be improved with injection of a medication or in some cases, surgery to remove the keloid.  I would consult with a facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon to be evaluated.     

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.