How Long Does It Take for Earring Holes to Close? | We Addressed Your Concern and Added Valuable Tips!

The body piercing trend is a beauty accessory that cuts across all genders and ages. According to professional piercers, the ear has more than ten piercing regions available, and statistics show a high percentage of the American population has earlobe piercings.

Beauty piercing holes are made on various body parts like the tongue, ears, nose (see nose studs), belly button, etc. A piercing is done by creating a tunnel through the selected body part, mostly not longer than one centimeter.

If it’s your first ear piercing, do you have questions on how long the earring hole will take to heal? Can I remove the piercing earring before healing? And other questions concerning ear-piercing? We dig deep to give you a piece of in-depth information on what you need to do after your ear piercings.

a smiling girl on the beach holding a shell on her ear

How Long Will the Healing Process Take?

The tunnel made during the ear piercing must completely heal and form something called a fistula. After a hole is made, the body’s natural reaction is to close and heal it immediately. New skin cells are created to fill the open wound made during the piercing. You should not remove your ring before healing, as the new cells will block the hole.

It can take a few days or about a year before a piercing heals, depending on the location of the piercing. The thickness and cartilage are other factors to consider when dealing with the healing time of piercings. The whole healing process also depends solely on your immune system and varies from one person to another. 

Pierced Part and The Healing Time

a woman's face with piercings

Various body parts like the earlobe, nostril, tongue, conch, helix, navel, and nipple will take different healing times. We highlight some common parts of the body pierced and the duration it takes for these parts to heal.

Earlobe piercings, for instance, will take a maximum of six to 10 weeks to dry up and form a fistula. Some might go for an extended period to heal but expect it to heal perfectly with the care of the skin within the area.

Navel, helix, and nostril piercing holes will heal significantly faster within a few weeks. For example, a helix piercing typically takes around 4 to 8 weeks to heal. The skin and cartilage on these surfaces are light and thus heal effectively. Reinforce healing by rubbing alcohol on these surfaces.

New piercings on some parts of the ear with thick cartilage like the tragus piercings will take a few months, if not years, to completely heal.

If you remove your jewelry after it has healed, it will take time to be completely closed.

Cartilage piercings usually take time for the new cells to develop and heal. Conch piercings and tongue piercings will take approximately six months for the fistula around the tunnel to heal and gain strength.

A new earlobe piercing, once healed, can completely close unexpectedly within the first week. Notably, they have fewer complications during the healing process. Wearing earrings for the first six months will prevent the pierced hole from closing.

Fresh piercing holes close up fast compared with those that are made earlier or at a younger age. Ear-piercing close can also be due to infection even after healing. It is not advisable to reopen such a hole.

closeup of an ear with piercings

What Are Some Tips To Prevent the Earring Holes From Closing?

Are you worried that your piercings can close unexpectedly? It’s common for body piercings to close quickly during the healing process. That’s why you are advised to wear earrings, hoops, or studs used throughout the healing process.

The question of how long it takes for ear piercings to close depends on the immune system and the locations of new piercings. As mentioned, piercings will take a few days to months to completely heal. Worry not, as several ways can be used to fasten the process and prevent the piercing from closing.

a woman adjusting an earring on her ear

The American Academy of Dermatology Association advises on routine care of new piercings and offers guidelines to be taken to avoid reinfections on wounds.

For the new piercings to remain open and fully healed, avoid changing jewelry frequently within the first few weeks to prevent infections on the piercing site. In case of special occasions like surgery, and you need to remove jewelry, explore safe options like plastic earrings.

Infections from metallic allergy irritations are prevented by using quality jewelry made of gold or silver. Plastic earrings are also a good option. The general rule here is to consistently keep the same hole engaged for a few months.

How to Care For A New Piercing

Caring for the wound is another way to ease the healing process. You can do this by applying the saline solution to clean the piercing to prevent infection and allow the piercing to close. 

Clean your ear and earrings frequently with fresh water and twist the earring to ensure it is not sticky. You should seek professional help if your piercings show any sign of severe infection, such as excess inflammation and pus.

a woman holding a bottle of cleaning solution next to her face

Can I Wear Earrings if My Earring Holes Haven’t Healed?

Yes, you should wear your earrings after piercing until the holes are completely healed to avoid closing the hole. The earring choice will depend on the individual, but professional piercers advise using pure metal, nickel-free earrings rather than coatings to avoid irritations.

Do not be tempted to take off the earrings just because the holes have dried up after a few hours. It is advisable to retain the original earring until the holes completely heal unless they irritate you. 

If the original earring is uncomfortable to wear, change to safer earrings for sensitive ears such as plastic ones, but do not take long without earrings as the holes might close up fast. Avoid jewelry that closes holes, such as fake earrings.

If your piercing closes and you are thinking of reopening, consult a piercer to find out if you can still use the same opening or if you need to reopen a new one.

portrait of a young woman

How Do You Know if Your Earring Holes Have Closed?

A closed piercing is stressful for anyone who fears needles. If you are concerned that your piercing hole might be closed and you are not sure, these are some of the things you need to be on the lookout for on the piercing hole.

  • Difficulty inserting earrings into the pierced holes
  • Swellings and lumps felt on touch

The skin on top of the hole could likely have closed, but the hole is still intact. In that case, re-piercing the same point is a solution, as the piercers will use unique tools to reopen the piercing.

closeup of hands holding earrings

Take Care of Your Earring Holes Differently 

Having your ears pierced is a personal choice and a great way to express yourself. Most earring lovers take extra steps and have more than one piercing at a go. It takes several factors for ear piercing to close. 

Different parts of the ears and body take different times to heal; practice patience and good hygiene to ensure your piercings are safe.

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