An 11-year-old schoolgirl was forced to spend more than a week in hospital after her newly-pierced ear became infected.
Destiny Nickson, from Preston, needed eight stitches and IV antibiotics after the ear swelled dramatically.
She is now facing a six week recovery period and the possibility of being scarred for life.
Destiny had the top of her ear pierced on March 1 and, while it was fine for the first two weeks, it soon became infected.
The schoolgirl returned to the beauty parlour in Preston Indoor Market, where the initial piercing was carried out and explained the problem.
The staff removed the earring, cleaned her ear, and put a new earring in.
They also insisted they could not be blamed for an infection that took hold three weeks after the piercing.
Destiny’s mother, Veronica Nickson, 37, said: ‘It was okay for two weeks. It’s not the first piercing that has caused the real damage.
‘I know there is a risk with ear piercing. It’s what they did the second time when she went back that is my main concern. ‘
By the time she got home from the salon, Destiny’s ear had ‘doubled in size’, her mother claims.
Seeing the swelling, she took her daughter to the doctor who gave her antibiotics.
This failed to resolve the problem which just got progressively worse.
Eventually, Destiny was admitted to Royal Preston Hospital on March 26 where she had the wound lanced and stitched up before she was discharged three days later.
However, she then had to be readmitted on April 2 and was kept in for six days while she was given antibiotics through a drip.
Ms Nickson said: ‘She had it lanced twice and she had surgery on it twice. After that she was on an IV drip of antibiotics.
‘They put two drains in it because the blood was collecting in her ear and the infection had rotted her cartilage.
‘She has actually lost some of that cartilage. She is a pretty girl and it could have a big impact on her life. The surgeon has said it could take up to six weeks to heal.’
Ms Nickson has raised concerns about the treatment her daughter received from the tattoo and piercing studio.
However, Danny Kynaston, master body piercer at Beauty Spot, the piercing and tattoo parlour that Destiny visited , said his team carry out hundreds of ear piercings every week without any complaints and had followed stringent guidelines.
Mr Kynaston added that if his shop had caused the infection it would have been apparent within 24 hours, not three weeks later.
He said: ‘We pierce a lot of people’s ears, more people in Lancashire than anyone probably, and this is a first for us.
‘I don’t re-use anything, everything isn’t cleaned, it’s thrown away.
‘The drill goes away and is sterilised at a warehouse. There is no chance of infection.
‘If it was after about 24 hours I might think to myself something has gone wrong here, but three weeks later it’s clearly not to do with us.’
He added that in very rare cases people can be allergic to the titanium used in all their piercings.
He said: ‘We take it out and put a plastic one in if that’s the case.
‘She would have got instructions on how to clean it. We give them free sea salt and instructions on how to use it.’