Ear Piercing Care Mistakes You’re Probably Making
Weve all heard the horror stories about ear piercings gone wrong.
Uneven piercings because you skimped on the cost of the procedure and went to the sketchy place down the street. Post-piercing infection because your new cleaning routine lasted all of five days.
And who hasn’t experienced the pain of using the pointy starter earring to basically re-pierce your ears because you took them out too soon?
We spoke to a few jewelers who offer ear piercing services in their stores, and they spilled the expert beans on 6 of the biggest ear piercing care mistakes.
|Did you know? Mall kiosks and piercing salons aren’t your only options. Ask your local jeweler if they do piercings!
What Causes Infected Ear Piercings
If bacteria gets into a new piercing, it can lead to infection. You may expose your new piercing to harmful bacteria by:
- Getting your ears pierced in an unhygienic environment or with unsterilized equipment.
- Touching your ears with dirty hands.
- Removing your earrings before the piercing heals.
- Neglecting to clean your new piercings daily.
- Swimming or submerging your head in a pool, hot tub, lake or river before your piercings fully heal.
Be Wary Of Bumping Into Things
Particularly at first, your ear piercing is likely to be tender. Avoid getting it caught on clothing, hair, or accessories as avidly as possible. If you typically sleep on your side, you will likely have to adjust your sleeping habits during the beginning of the healing process. Side sleepers frequently transition to their backs in order to avoid rubbing piercings on pillowcases.
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Avoid Rubbing Alcohol And Hydrogen Peroxide
You may consider rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide some of the best cleaning agents for other healing sites, like cuts and scrapes. They do serve to kill bacteria and to prevent infections. However, these products are too harsh for piercing sites. They will kill bacteria, but they will drag out the healing time due to their harsh nature. Salt and saline solutions have the same cleaning properties and are gentle enough to bolster the skin rather than fighting against it.
How Do You Know If Your Ear Piercing Is Infected
If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your healthcare provider:
- Pain and swelling in the cartilage or earlobe
- Discharge or yellow pus from the area of the piercing
- Fever or chills
- The area of the piercing is red and swollen
- The earring or clasp is embedded in the ear or stuck in the earlobe
- Swelling and redness have spread beyond the area of the earring
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How Not To Treat Your New Ear Piercing
According to Healthline, there are some other guidelines to follow with your new piercing and it’s all about what not to do. It may seem counterintuitive, but avoid cleaning your piercing in the bathroom, where there is likely a high concentration of bacteria. Try not to lie on the piercing when possible not only is that likely going to be painful, but you could be trapping unwanted bacteria in the piercing. It’s also incredibly important to keep hair products away from it. Essentially, treat the piercing like the open wound that it is. Be careful with what you put near it, try not to touch it as much as possible, and definitely don’t remove the jewelry until you’re positive it’s fully healed.
One more tip: Into the Gloss says to avoid alcohol and peroxide for cleaning, because those only serve to take moisture away, and can lead to scarring.
If you follow these general guidelines and the instructions from your piercer, your new piercing should heal just fine. If something doesn’t feel right, or you think it may be infected, get help as soon as possible.
Research Where You Go
First and foremost, going to a safe piercer is a necessity. The American Academy of Dermatology , states that you should make sure the place you go to takes measures to be sterile, your piercer washes their hands and wears gloves and that the earrings used are made of surgical steel such as, titanium, 14- or 18-karat gold or niobium.
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What Earrings Should You Wear After A Piercing
When you first have your ears pierced, you will be given piercing earrings, which will have to be kept in for a minimum of six weeks . Whilst it may be tempting to wear the earrings youve been promising yourself for ages, its not advisable to wear anything but your piercing earrings until things have healed nicely.
Are you ready to get your ears pierced, or know someone who is? Why not book an appointment at H.Samuel today? Recently purchased some earrings and want to find out more about how to clean them? Take a look at our earring cleaning guide.
Skin Care Concernsyour Guide To Caring For And Cleaning Newly Pierced Ears
Plus, the mistakes you should avoid.
Whether its your first time or youve been there and done that, getting your ears pierced is a pretty big deal. While your most recent Google search might be along the lines of, Do piercings hurt?, theres more to it than the potential discomfort. Knowing how to properly care for pierced ears is also an important factor to keep in mind.
Just like tattoos, piercings require their own list of aftercare necessities. Being aware of the dos and don’ts of the aftercare including how to clean freshly pierced ears and how to treat an infected ear piercing is essential before going under the needle. Below, were sharing the 4-1-1 on how to care for and clean pierced ears so you can finally get to wear those new earrings with an updo.
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Understand It Wont Be Painless
For an earlobe piercing, there are two methods that can be used. Per the AAD, if your piercer uses a needle, they will first create the hole in your ear using the sharp tool, then put the earring in. If your piercer uses a gun, they will shoot the earring into your ear, creating the hole and putting in the earring in the process. While it wont be pain-free, rest assured the AAD says that both methods are fast and will resemble the feeling of a pinch for a few seconds.
Editors tip: Everyones pain threshold is personal what feels like a small pinch to one person may feel incredibly painful to someone else, so consider that when you go. Also, getting your lobe pierced is different from, say, a helix piercing, which may cause a bit more discomfort for many people.
How Do Piercings Become Infected
Ear piercings or any other body piercing causes a wound in the skin. Because of the nature of our skin, the wound begins to heal in 24 to 48 hours. Thats the job of our immune system.
Additionally, the technician doing the piercing usually applies an anti-septic and anti-bacterial gel before and after the piercing. The piercing professional also uses clean needles to limit the potential for person-to-person transfer of pathogens. This is why it is important to get a piercing done by a professional, reliable expert. This minimizes the risk of contracting an infection after piercing.
Despite all efforts and precautions, some people end up getting infected because of the piercing.
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How To Clean Ears With Hydrogen Peroxide
Ear wax protects your inner ear from dirt and other foreign matter. However, too much ear wax can affect your hearing and cause dizziness, pain or itching. For mild to moderate amounts of ear wax buildup, you can clean your ears with hydrogen peroxide at home. Regular cleaning prevents hard wax buildup, which can trap bacteria in the inner ear and causing ear infections 2. Consult your doctor to determine whether it is safe for you to use hydrogen peroxide to clean your ears.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Pull your hair back and cover your head with a towel or hat to prevent hair lightening or discoloring from the bleaching properties of peroxide. Alternatively, you can apply petroleum jelly to the hair strands around your ear.
Lie down on your left side. You may use a pillow, but choose a flat or low loft pillow to keep your head level so your ear is parallel to the ceiling. This allows the hydrogen peroxide to penetrate deeper and prevents drainage from coming out of the ear 2.
Using the cap as a measuring tool, pour 1 capful of hydrogen peroxide into your right ear.You should experience fizzing or popping sounds, and you may feel a deep itch inside of your ear. This is the hydrogen peroxide activating, breaking down ear wax buildup.
Dry the outside of your ear with a towel.
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When To Call A Doctor
How do you know when to call a doctor? The first thing you should check is the symptoms. If you experience any of the following symptoms, then it signifies you should contact a doctor:
- The clasp becomes implanted into your skin
- The infection worsens even after home treatment
- Redness and inflammation spread beyond the site
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How To Make Ear Piercing Cleaning Solution At Home
Looking after new piracy is not a simple task. If you dont have saline solution and spray. Its very easy to make it at home. You require some basic things for this purpose some of these are:
- A clean and dry bottle
- An extensive amount of sea salt
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Tea tree oil
- Jojoba oil
You need a clean and disinfect bottle for making cleaning solutions at home. You can disinfect the bottle with bleach. After cleaning and disinfecting the bottle fill it with pure sea salt. Salt dries the skin and takes part in the healing process. Then add some drops of hydrogen peroxide into the bottle.
Its good for germ infection, and itll protect your piercing from germs and bacteria. Dont use an enormous amount of hydrogen peroxide. It requires a negligible amount of it. Fill the half bottle with water and shake it to dissolve the salt completely. After this step, you can add isopropyl alcohol for germs killing and fragrance.
You can add tea tree oil, it has antiseptic and moisturizing properties. It helps for avoiding your piercing from any germ bacteria and softens the area around the piercing.
Isopropyl alcohol and sea salt can dry your skin. For balancing it, you can add a small amount of glycerine into the solution. It gives moisture and softens your skin. Its a natural and gentle cleanser with no harm to skin and piercing. Its not compulsory, but itll be better to use it in the cleaning solution.
Can I Clean My Nose Piercing With Just Water
You can clean a nose piercing with water and sea salt. Cleaning with just water isnt enough for your nose piercing. Itll be good if you add some amount of sea salt in water making it more effective for your piercing. Simple water doesnt clean piercing properly and cleaning of a nose piercing requires a good aftercare treatment for the healing process. Use distilled water, or its good to boil tap water and let it for drying then use it for making saline solution.
Simple tap water may have many germs and bacteria and doesnt heal your piercing. You need distilling and sterilized water for saline solution. Therefore, use distilled/sterilized water and Sea salt soaks for a nose piercing and use it twice a day.
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How To Care For Newly Pierced Ears
So, youve been admiring some striking Disney earrings, or mystical Harry Potter earrings from afar. Or maybe after months of waiting, youve taken the plunge and had your ears pierced to wear some stunning sapphire blue stud earrings to your wedding anniversary party.
24 February 2020H.Samuel – Editor
Getting your ears pierced can be a fairly daunting experience. Once the anticipation, excitement and anxiety are out the way and your ears are freshly pierced, the journey with your new earrings is by no means over. Sure, youre now donning your stunning new silver studs, but aftercare of a fresh piercing is so important.
What Is An Infected Ear Piercing
An ear piercing is a hole through your earlobe or the cartilage in your middle or upper ear. An infected ear piercing may be red, swollen, sore, warm, itchy or tender. Sometimes the piercing oozes blood or white, yellow or greenish pus.
A new piercing is an open wound that can take several weeks to fully heal. During that time, any bacteria that enter the wound can lead to infection.
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How To Clean Nose Piercing With Saline Solution
Nose piercing is difficult to clean, it takes much time for healing because of its cartilage piercing. The first time youll feel pain and swelling in the piercing, but it doesnt remain permanent and itll disappear after some time. Proper and regular care speed up your healing process and you can use any cleaning solution for cleaning your nose piercing. It is good if you consult your piercer and use the recommended solution for cleaning your nose.
You can buy a good and brand piercing spray or solution made for especially piercing purposes. Choose the product that suits your skin. Before purchasing any product, you must know what is suitable for your skin and types of skin. Saline and spray prove helpful in decreasing healing and speed up the healing process. We also use tea tree oil and alcohol for cleaning the piercing.
Dont touch your nose and piercing with dirty hands and always touch your piercing with clean hands and cloth or tissue.
How Do You Clean An Infected Ear Piercing
If the ear is infected from an earlobe piercing, clean around the area and take your time cleaning and rotating the earring. If the infection doesnt heal or is getting worse, call a healthcare professional. If there is an infection in the cartilage area from piercing, contact your healthcare provider so they can determine the severity of the infection and treat it.
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What’s Normal For A New Piercing
For the first few weeks a new piercing might:
- be tender, itchy, and the surrounding area may look slightly red on white skin, or a little darker than usual on dark skin
- produce a pale fluid that forms a crust
If you’ve had an ear or nose cartilage piercing, small lumps can sometimes form around the piercing.
The lumps, called granulomas, are trapped fluid. You can treat them by soaking a pad in warm water then holding the pad against them once a day.
Avoid Getting Hair Products In Your Piercing
Products like shampoo, conditioner, and hairspray can be irritating to a healing piercing. In order to be sure it stays clean, you might consider cleaning it immediately after you shower. This will remove any stray products from the area. Using a cotton swab dipped in your cleaning solution is typically an effective tool.
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How To Clean A Cartilage Piercing
Next to ear piercings, cartilage piercings are some of the most popular ones around. Those upper ear, nose and septum piercings can easily bring a little edge to your look or be the perfect touch of daintiness and elegance. Pretty as they are, you have to be extra vigilant about cleaning cartilage piercings because they are riskier and take longer to heal . Infections to your cartilage piercing can easily cause serious conditions such as necrosis and tissue death in your cartilage wall, per WebMD.
As with your ear piercing, you want to make sure youre tending to your cartilage twice a day. Spray the area with a sterile saline wound wash like Arm & Hammers Saline Wound Wash. You can even spritz some on a piece of gauze and let your piercing soak. Unlike ear piercings, which should be rotated on occasion, steer clear of your cartilage piercings as much as possible because, again, they are a lot more sensitive. Those who have allergies or are prone to colds should consider getting a nose piercing of any sort when theyre least reactive because mucus can attract also staphylococcus bacteria, says WebMD.
What Is Ear Piercing Aftercare When Does It Start
Because ears will be swollen and tender immediately after piercing, it is best to wait 24 hours before touching them. Piercing aftercare begins 24 hours after you have gotten your ears pierced, and will occur 2-3 times per day and continue for a full 6 weeks. It is a good idea to get into an aftercare routine early on, so caring for your ear piercing is incorporated into your everyday routine. For example, clean your ear piercings when you brush your teeth in the morning and in the evening. This is one way to remember to do it!
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Are You Looking For A Safe Product To Clean Piercing Sites
Finding the perfect product can be challenging, but you don’t have to dig deep. We’ve got a solution for you. If you’re looking for an effective and safe product to clean your piercing, Dr. Piercing Aftercare can help.
At Dr. Piercing Aftercare, we’ve developed convenient medicated swabs that you can use to clean your piercings and keep infection away. We are proud of our products. They are made and tested in a cGMP compliant and FDA-registered facility in America.
We use advanced technology on our swabs for easy application. Each pack contains thirty-six medicated swabs that are proven and tested to promote your body’s natural healing process while preventing infection. Contact us today,or check out our website if you want to learn more about our products.