Getting your ears pierced is something most people choose to do at some point. From young children to adult adults, the idea of being able to wear earrings that compliment your own unique style attracts many people. However, ear piercing should never be overlooked.
Sure, your piercer will give you instructions on how to care for your piercings, but it is up to you to follow these instructions and make sure your piercings are healthy for years to come.
Here is an overview of what you need to do in order for your pierced ears to heal perfectly.
Care and cleaning instructions
The cleaning process is actually pretty simple. You are using a cleaning solution that you bought at the studio, bought in a store, or even made yourself.
The correct solution is a salt or salt based solution. You should absolutely not use soap to clean your piercings. There are also special piercing aftercare sprays to help speed healing times and effectiveness.
The best aftercare product that I have personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. It is not only vegan-friendly, but also completely free of alcohol and additives. The solution is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and comes in a generous spray bottle for easy application. When used from the beginning, the spray will shorten healing times and aim to relieve persistent aches or pains.
Make sure to wash your hands before cleaning or touching your piercings. If you are using a saline solution, you should spray or inject the pierced area with it so that the piercing can properly “soak”. Cotton balls soaked in solution can also do the job effectively.
Follow-up care: Day one
Alright. So you went to the studio and picked out your jewelry. You sat in the chair, got over the scary part of actually piercing your ears, and now you are ready to move on for the rest of your day. What should you expect for day one in terms of follow-up care?
You might expect to rush home straight away and thoroughly clean your new piercings, but this is actually not recommended in most cases. In fact, you usually save the cleanup for the next day.
Your biggest job for day one is simply to avoid any activity that will stain or irritate your piercings in any way. This means that you need to be very careful if you bump or rub your ears against things that would only serve to irritate your new piercings.
You might be tempted to touch your new piercings. However, you should avoid this. Even if you feel like your hands are clean, they can contain a lot of germs and bacteria that can lead to infection if you are not careful. If you need to touch the area for any reason, wash your hands thoroughly first.
For the rest of the follow-up period
Follow-up care can be a pretty long process, but the good news is that it’s also a very repetitive process. Once you learn what to do and get into a good cleaning and aftercare routine, it will feel like second nature.
The word “routine” is important here. The best way to get your aftercare done is to get your cleaning and grooming chores done on a set schedule with the rest of your day. For example, cleaning your piercings while brushing your teeth in the morning and evening is a way to remind yourself to do so.
Around 24 hours after you have received your piercings, you’ll want to clean your first salt / saline solution. Afterward, if you feel the need to dry your piercings off, use a clean paper towel instead of a regular towel or washcloth to minimize the transfer of bacteria.
One important thing to remember is to avoid getting regular soap or shampoo into your piercings. It is very easy to do, especially if you are washing your face or hair. To avoid this problem, do one of your two daily cleanses after you shower. It should also go without saying that you should also avoid getting hairspray or other objects in your piercings.
Common mistakes when caring for ear piercings
By now, it’s pretty obvious that for two months you can’t walk without touching your piercings in one way or another. However, you should really try not to touch them if you haven’t washed your hands right away, and you should avoid contacting them whenever possible unless you do your regular cleaning.
When you touch your earrings, avoid the temptation to move or manipulate them. It may be tempting to push them back, but don’t try as it can delay the healing process.
Also, don’t try to play around with the backs of your earrings unless you have reason to believe that they might not be positioned correctly. After all, you don’t want your back to fall off your earrings, but you also don’t want them to be too tight to prevent blood flow and allow infection.
Do not try to change your jewelry until your piercings have completely healed. We’ll discuss this in more detail in a moment.
When can I stop cleaning my ear piercing?
Cleaning your piercings isn’t exactly difficult or time-consuming, but most people are still pretty happy when the day comes that they can finish the process twice a day.
While some people have been able to stop regular cleaning after four weeks, it is safest to stay a full six weeks before finishing your twice-daily cleaning. This gives your new piercings plenty of time to properly heal and reduce the risk of painful infections.
When can I remove the jewelry?
One of the most exciting times for any person who has their ears pierced is when they can finally remove their starter jewelry and put in new earrings. As you might have expected, the schedule for this milestone is typically around six weeks.
If you haven’t had any problems with your piercings, it’s okay to swap out the earrings after six weeks. However, for the first five months, you should definitely avoid using earlobe piercing type earrings. These tires or hooks have to wait!
For materials, make sure your new earrings are hypoallergenic. Stainless steel is an excellent choice for posts and your first earrings.
What about cartilage piercings? These take at least 12 weeks before you can enter a new type. After that, it is recommended not to switch to other types of barbell earrings for the first full year.
However, try not to leave your jewelry off for too long, as pierced ears can close relatively quickly.
Caring for ear piercings is actually pretty straightforward and doesn’t take too much time if used properly.
It may be tempting to skip your cleansing every now and then, but keep in mind that doing so will drastically increase the chance of a painful infection.
It is always a good idea to follow your piercer’s instructions carefully so that your ear piercings heal quickly and you can replace your jewelry as soon as possible.