A student has been left with a “deformed” ear after an infected piercing saw her needing emergency surgery to remove it.
Stella Blezard, 19, saw her left ear swell to the size of a golf ball just days after getting a £30 piercing on her cartilage earlier this year.
But when she returned home she noticed her ear had become red and the next morning woke up to find it swollen and crusty.
She was given a round of antibiotics by her GP to control the swelling but after a week her ear continued to balloon and fill with puss.
Fearing she would make in the infection worse if she took the piercing out herself, Stella visited her local A&E to see what could be done.
She was put on an IV drip and was told doctors would need to perform surgery as her ear had become infected.
The operation saw doctors slice open Stella’s ear to retrieve the piercing, leaving a “heart-shaped” dent.
Now seven months after her infection, the University of East Angelia student wants to warn others about the potential dangers when it comes to piercings.
Stella, from Norwich, said: “My ear was so swollen it actually covered my piercing.
“It really hurt after getting the piecing. I’ve had others done before.
“The next day it was just really red which I thought was a bit weird.
“It just kinda sucks it happened.
“I try not to tuck my hair behind my ears to not bring attention to it.
“I just wanted a piercing and now have been left with permanent damage.”