Caring for Your Newly Pierced Ears

Special care should be taken before and after you get your ears pierced.

Getting your ears pierced for the first time is an exciting experience. In most states, piercings are easy to obtain but the Mayo Clinic recommends you take some precautions and do your research before you get them done. Piercings can carry complications; it is important to research where you get your ears pierced and how to care for your new piercing afterward. There are several techniques to help speed up the healing process.

Choose a reputable piercing studio where the employees are properly trained, the Mayo Clinic suggests. Each state has different piercing-related regulations but double check to be sure the operator is following suitable sterilization techniques to prevent the spread of disease and infection. The operator should be wearing gloves, sterilizing non-disposable equipment and be using the proper equipment. Never attempt to perform the piercing yourself as it adds to the risk of infection.

Only hypoallergenic materials such as 14-karat gold, surgical-grade steel or titanium should be used for the piercing-inserted earrings. Hypoallergenic jewelry limits the possibility of an allergic reaction from the metals. Once you get the piercings, clean the pierced area twice a day with antibacterial soap, twisting the earring as you do so. The twisting motion prevents the earring from sticking to the inside of the hole. Remove any crusting that occurs with a cotton-tipped swab and be sure to wash your hands before and after you do the cleaning.

Avoid touching the piercing unless you are cleaning it. Do not use alcohol or peroxide on your piercings; these chemicals both dry out the skin. Ointments should also be avoided because they inhibit the healing flow of oxygen to the piercing. Leave the earrings in place for at least six weeks after the piercing to give the wound time to heal properly and prevent it from closing, the Mayo Clinic recommends.

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