Dos And Don'ts Of Ear Piercing: What To Know

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A gorgeous pair of chandelier earrings can oomph up a dress and transform you from plain Jane to diva in an instant. Having your ears pierced adds another dimension to your look, but you need to be sure you’re doing it right. A little extra care can go a long way when it comes to the delicate process of getting pierced ears.

There’s one thing that’s common to all those very “put-together” looks you see everywhere, from the red carpet fashion to the high street or even at work. Earrings. Unlike necklaces or bracelets which can get fiddly and interfere with work, earrings add that perfect finishing touch without being over the top. So are your unpierced ears the only thing standing between you and those amazing new earrings? Time to get your ears pierced?

Having your ears pierced adds another dimension to your look, but you need to be sure you’re doing it right. A little extra care can go a long way so you’re not left with sore, painful piercings. Take these precautions to ensure your ear piercing is safe and hygienic and you’ll soon be on your way to A-lister style!

Don’t Pick Just Any Ear Piercing Technician

If you aren’t careful, the simple task of getting your ears pierced can turn painful. Auricular chondritis or painful and sore ear cartilage is one such condition that can result from improperly done piercings. One study found that a combination of improper training of technicians at earring kiosks or cosmetic shops and the use of benzalkonium chloride for preparing the surface of the ear can put you at risk. The inflammation of the ear cartilage may even need antibiotics to be administered intravenously, and in some cases you may require surgery. Tattoo parlors typically require their employees to apprentice for a long period and use iodine as a cleaning agent . So they could be a better place to get the piercing done.1

Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Anesthesia

Most ear piercing is done without any anesthesia. However, if you request it, some topical anesthesia can be applied to numb the area and reduce the pain of the piercing process. Feel free to ask – most places that pierce ears have some in stock.

Do Ensure Needles Are Sterilized

Prevent infections by going to a place where the needles used to pierce the ear are sterilized properly. It is typically not possible to sterilize a piercing gun of the kind you see at earring stores in malls, so avoid these locations.

Do Get Earrings Inserted During The Piercing Process

Some ear piercing instruments have the capability to simultaneously insert the earrings into the piercing while the ear is being pierced. Doing this is a good idea because it means less fiddling with the delicate freshly pierced and sensitive ear lobe.2

Do Invest In A Gold Post Earring

Allergies and irritation of the freshly pierced ear can be minimized by using earrings with a gold post. Unlike other alloys which could trigger reactions or inflammation in sensitive ears, gold is, in general, considered less likely to cause such issues.3

Do Apply Antibiotic Or Rubbing Alcohol

Once your ears are pierced, you should apply a topical antibiotic ointment to ward off infections of any kind. Alternatively, use rubbing alcohol and clean the area with a fresh piece of cotton. Keeping the area wiped clean and dry will also allow the piercing to heal faster.4 Just don’t go overboard with the cleaning though – this could irritate the skin and slow down the healing.

Don’t Take Off The Earrings For A Month

Once you have inserted the earring, do not remove it for at least a month, and if possible longer. Do remember to move it a little every day within the hole so it doesn’t get stuck in one position.

Do Watch For Redness Or Soreness

If your ear feels overly tender, becomes reddish, or feels hot, you should see a doctor. It could be an infection that needs to be nipped in the bud to prevent further flaring up.

Do Pick The Right Age For You

In certain cultures in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, ear piercing is a common practice for baby girls. Babies ears are pierced when they are as young as a few months old. In Latin cultures, newborn babies are often given earrings and have their ears pierced shortly thereafter. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is no health or safety issue with having ears pierced early. Their only guideline is to ensure it is done correctly and hygienically by a trained professional and that after-care is done properly. It might, however, make things easier if you wait until a child is old enough to care for the pierced ear properly.5

Do Be Aware Of Healing Time For Different Types Of Ear Piercings

According to specialists in the field, there are nearly a dozen different variants of ear piercings you could get. The basic earlobe piercing may take just 4 to 6 weeks to heal as the flesh here is soft. Those on the upper oval-shaped cartilage jutting out of the ear or the inner rim of the ear can take as long as 8 to 16 weeks. If you decide to pierce the outer rim of the ear or the thicker area of cartilage to the top of the ear on the inside, it may need anywhere from 2 months to as long as a year to settle.

References   [ + ]

1.MORE, DANIEL R., JAMES S. SEIDEL, and PAUL A. BRYAN. “Ear-piercing techniques as a cause of auricular chondritis.” Pediatric emergency care 15, no. 3 (1999): 189-192.
2, 3, 4.Avoiding Infection After Ear Piercing, American Academy of Pediatrics.
5.Ear Piercing: How young is too young? University of Utah Health Care.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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