Is this your first time getting an ear piercing? Or did you have a bad session but still want to get a second piercing? Well, here are some dos and don’ts after getting your ears pierced so that the experience is not ruined for you.
Since most of us get the basic ear piercings when we were kids, our parents take care of us till it is completely healed. But have you ever tried to get a piercing on the top of your ear, or on your nose and ended up with an infection before it simply closes? Well, here are the dos and don’ts after getting your ears pierced.
Ear piercing basics
Body piercings have been around for ages and are common in many cultures. Ever wondered why several Asian and African countries have the practice of piercing the tiny ears of babies? Not like we can see and admire them at that age. Well, along with our ear lobes, the nose is part of the 10 pressure points that acupuncturists claim help with migraines, anxiety and stress.
However, if your skin is sensitive, if you use the wrong method or wear the wrong material, it can lead to an infection and the closing of the hole. Some people are more comfortable with the traditional needle piercing, while most Indian kids got their piercings done with gold or silver wire. But nowadays, there is also the quick technology of a piercing gun.
Types of ear piercing
There are several types of ear piercings. While any part of your skin can be pierced if you’re brave enough, there are three common locations for ears.
Lobe piercing is the most common. It involves standard lobe piercings and transverse lobe piercings. The soft round part which is the lobe is where most Indians get the usual ear piercing as a child.
The outer ear piercing is used for studs and chain piercings. It includes tragus piercing, snug piercing, forward helix piercing, industrial piercing and auricle piercing.
The inner ear piercing is rare and includes anti-tragus piercing, helix piercing, rook piercing, daith piercing, outer conch piercing and orbital piercing.
Ear piercing methods: gun vs needles
Have you ever wanted to pierce your own ear after watching 12-year-old Lindsay Lohan pierce her twin’s ear with only the help of a needle and ice in ‘Parent Trap’? Yeah, well, there is a reason why it is done in a fictional movie and is not be tried on your own at home. Keep the daredevilry to a minimum and head to a professional.
Guns are used to pierce the non-cartilage area of the earlobe. It is quick and puts the stud in your ear right away. It is relatively less painful and has the same aftercare as a needle piercing. However, if you have sensitive ears, the trauma to your skin or an incompetent piercer can lead to an infection or a slow healing process.
Needles are used for piercing all parts of the ear. It is mostly preferred as it’s safer and creates a clean hole. It removes the skin and tissue at the piercing site, making it easier for your wound to drain out and heal. Also, the needle ensures a small incision into the tissue which means minimal damage to the area.
Tips for prepping for an ear piercing
Well, to make sure that you don’t end up with an infection or a piercing that closes in the following month, there are some dos and don’ts after getting your ears pierced that you need to know.
The right place: Half the battle is won when you trust the technician. So, where can you get your ears pierced? There are several options from a salon and a jewellery outlet to a tattoo and piercing studio. Do your research, read reviews, ask your friends and take your pick.
Eat and hydrate: Beat your nerves and keep hunger away by eating at least four hours prior to your appointment. Staying hydrated also calms your nerves.
Arrive early: Piercing studios can look daunting, especially if it is your first time. Arrive a few minutes early and get comfortable around the equipment.
The right studs: Since you are going to be wearing the stud for at least six weeks, pick out a versatile one that goes with all outfits. Stick to hypoallergenic metals, as artificial materials can cause allergy or infection.
No shame in a painkiller: Are your friends making fun of you for being a scaredy-cat? Or is your grandmother flexing the at-home piercings they did back in their day? That’s all fine and good but everyone’s pain threshold is different. If you’re worried about the pain, you can take a mild painkiller half an hour before. Or do you want to know how to numb your ear before getting it pierced? You can simply ice the area for a couple of seconds before.
Dos and don’ts after getting your ears pierced
Learn about some dos and don’ts after getting your ears pierced like proper cleaning and aftercare in order to fasten up the healing process and avoid infections.
Disinfect: Before cleaning the open wound, wash your hands and disinfect them.
Use a cotton pad: Dip a cotton pad or swab in water or saline solution to clean. Avoid alcohol-based products. Alcohol is drying, which means it can crack and bleed the area. Use oil-based soaps as they soften the healing tissue. But don’t over-clean. Some piercing studios might even recommend a good cleansing gel.
Just dab: Avoid rubbing the open wound. Dab, don’t wipe, with a tissue or cotton pad in order to get rid of any pus that might have congealed there.
Vaseline: The Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Fresh Lotion is formulated to heal skin infections with aloe gel extract and Vaseline jelly. It also has soothing properties and adds an extra layer of protection to quicken the natural recovery process. Keep applying till the piercing heals.
Keep the area away from products: Make sure you are not getting any skin or hair care products on the piercing. Products like shampoos, makeup or hairsprays can irritate the wound.
Be patient: Piercing takes time to heal. If you see swelling, apply ice and keep cleaning. Aftercare is crucial as it takes two to three months to heal minimum. The minute there is no pain, swelling, fluid or any redness, that means it has healed.
Be extra careful: The healing process is very delicate. Make sure you don’t dress up in something that would tug your piercing. And don’t touch it. Stick to the same stud and ask the piercer if you want to change it. Reduce caffeine, nicotine and alcohol until the piercing is healed. Avoid swimming or bath in tubs because it can cause infection.
Is the piercing infected?
Does getting your ears pierced hurt? Yes, but after that, it should be pretty breezy. But are you ending up with a bloody pillow? Or is the ear extremely painful even after the first few days? Well, here are the signs of infection:
Aching and throbbing pain days after the piercing
White and yellow discharge
How to treat an infected ear piercing
Say you do end up with an infection despite the aftercare. It could mainly be because of an allergy to the metal and a slow healing process. But if you still want the piercing to become permanent, don’t remove the stud. Clean with a sterile saline solution thrice a day and dab it dry with a clean tissue. Keep at it till it heals.
In case of severe effects post-piercing, visit your doctor at the earliest.
FAQs on dos and don'ts after getting your ears pierced
Should you rotate your piercing?
A common belief is that you should rotate the studs. But it’s not advisable as it can push the bacteria into the wound. Only touch the stud while cleaning.
How do you sleep with a new piercing?
Try sleeping on your back, as any pressure on the piercing can cause it to swell and hurt.
How long do ears hurt after an ear piercing?
It depends on each person. Usually, the first three-four days are when the piercing is tender, there is mild bruising, swelling or a little bleeding. But the complete healing process can take three-four months.
Well, now that you know the dos and don’ts after getting your ears pierced, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get that one piercing you always wanted but were too scared to get it.