How to Clean Ear Piercing | Aftercare and Routines to Prevent Infection

Ear piercing is a popular form of body modification. While it can be a beautiful addition to your look, it’s important to take care of your piercings properly to avoid infection and other complications.

Before you get any body piercing, it’s essential to do your research. You should know the risks involved, how to care for your piercing properly, and what to expect during the healing process. Choose the piercing site carefully, and go to a reputable piercer. Once you’ve decided to get pierced, proper aftercare is essential to avoid infection and promote healing.

In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to clean your ear piercings so that you can keep them looking healthy and beautiful!

Key Takeaways

  • Proper Care is Essential: Properly care for newly pierced ears to avoid infections and complications.
  • Start Cleaning After 24 Hours: Wait 24 hours after piercing to begin cleaning, then clean daily or twice daily for specific piercings.
  • Follow Cleaning Tips: Clean with clean hands, use warm water, mild soap, or saline solution, avoid harsh chemicals, and don’t remove the earrings until fully healed.
  • Healing Times Vary: Healing times range from weeks to months depending on the piercing type. Keep cleaning throughout the healing period.
  • Watch for Infection Signs: Recognize signs like pain, redness, swelling, discharge, and crustiness. Seek professional help for infections.

When Does Piercing After-Care Begin?

Immediately after you get your ears pierced, you experience a sensation of tightness and pain. You need to relax and even not touch the ear for a while. It is important to clean your ear piercing after twenty-four hours and make it a daily routine during the healing process to prevent infection. For some types of pierced ears that require two holes like industrial piercings and orbital piercings, it is recommended to clean them twice a day to prevent infection or other complications during healing.

And the process doesn’t stop there. Once you put your earrings on, you are supposed to take them off and clean them regularly.

a woman getting her ears pierced

Tips for Cleaning an Ear Piercing

Cleaning newly pierced ears is important because it helps to prevent infection. Infection can cause pain, swelling, and redness. It can also lead to scarring. Follow these tips, and you won’t regret it.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching the piercing. Doing so will help prevent the spread of bacteria to the pierced area since it’s already an open wound.
  • Soak a cotton swab in warm water and gently clean around the piercing. You can also use a mild soap, saline water, or alcohol. Avoid using very harsh chemicals because they will irritate your pierced lobe.
  • Apply the swab around the piercing, cleaning the front and back of the earring. Use a new cotton swab for each wipe. Gently dry the area with a clean towel. Do this twice a day or as often as needed until the piercing heals.
  • Apply the ointment with a cotton swab. Gently rotate the earring to help the ointment spread evenly around the piercing.
  • Do not remove the earring until the piercing is healed. Doing so can cause the earring hole to close and make it difficult to re-pierce. Clean pierced ears thoroughly by rubbing alcohol on them before putting them back in if you must remove them for any reason.

How Long Does It Take for an Ear Piercing to Heal?

The healing duration depends on the type of ear piercing and the magnitude of the ear piercing aftercare. There are various ear-piercing types, including

  • Earlobe piercings: Here, body piercings are done at the lower part of the ear. Ear lobe piercing is the most common type.
  • Conch piercings: Such body piercing is done in the area just inside the outer rim of the ear
  • Tragus piercings are done on the small pieces of tissue that protrude in front of the ear canal.
  • Industrial piercings involve two holes pierced along the cartilage’s upper curve.
  • Cartilage piercings run along the outer edge of the ear.

The healing times for these types of piercings vary depending on the individual’s healing process. The earlobe piercing usually heals within 6 to 8 weeks, while the conch piercing can take up to 4 months. The tragus can take up to 6 months, while the industrial and rook piercings can take up to 9 months. The helix usually takes around 12 months to heal fully, which is still less compared to other body modifications, like Ashley piercings, which take 12-16 weeks to heal.

Also, to keep a helix piercing healthy and infection-free, it’s essential to clean it twice a day with warm water or saline solution.

closeup of a man's ear pearcing

How Can You Tell if Your Ear Piercings Are Infected?

There are a few signs S of an infected ear piercing, including:

  •  Persistent pain

One feels a little pain during ear piercing, but it fades off. However, in the case of an ear infection, the pain can persist.

  • Redness

Redness, too, can be a sign that the piercing is healing. But if any other symptoms accompany it, see a healthcare professional.

  • Swelling

swelling can also signify an allergic reaction to the jewelry, metal, or cleaning solution used on the piercing. If you have these signs, take off the earrings and see a healthcare professional.

  • Discharge- pus or blood

Pus or blood discharge is the most evident symptom of an infection.

  • Crustiness

If your ear piercing becomes crusty, this could be a sign of dried discharge. First, soak a cotton ball in warm water and salt solution (1/4 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water), then hold it on the crusty area for 5 minutes to soften it. Next, gently wipe away the crust with the cotton ball. If the crusting persists, see a healthcare professional.

You should see a healthcare professional if you have any of these signs. An infection can cause severe damage to the ear if it’s not treated quickly. They will usually prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection.

a man looking at his ear piercing in the mirror

Causes of an Ear Piercing Infection

There are a few things that could cause an ear-piercing infection, which include:

  1. Not cleaning the piercing properly
  2. Allowing makeup, dirt, or other products to come into contact with the piercing
  3. Using dirty jewelry so be sure to
  4. Insert foreign objects into the piercing.
  5. Not washing hands before touching the pierced ears
  6. Piercing ears without using sterile equipment

How to Clean an Ear Piercing Infection?

Pierced ears are a popular form of self-expression, but sometimes, they can become infected. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to clean an infected ear piercing right from the comfort of your home. It all begins with proper hygiene and a saltwater rinse applied three times a day. Let’s get started!

What Is the Best Ear Piercing Cleaning Solution?

Ensuring a safe and effective healing process for your ear piercing requires choosing the right cleaning solution. Some recommended options include Emu Oil, known for reducing inflammation and pain, and H2Ocean, a gentle sea salt saline solution for effective cleaning.

Saline solution is a budget-friendly and soothing alternative, suitable for new piercings and can be used instead of sea salt soaks. Additionally, ointments can stimulate wound healing, but it’s essential to avoid antibacterial products unless there’s an infection.

Stick with your preferred solution, such as “Studex Advanced 2-in-1 Piercing Aftercare & Cleanser,” and prioritize proper aftercare for beautifully adorned ears!

How to Clean Ear Piercing with Salt Water?

If you want to clean your ear piercing with salt water, Below I’ll be sharing an easy and effective method for cleaning your ear piercing with a DIY sea salt solution.

Making your own ensures the right water-to-salt ratio, preventing harm during the healing process. It’s ideal if you’ve run out of commercial solutions or want a safer alternative to alcohol, peroxide, or Neosporin, which can impede healing and cause harm. Here are the steps to clean your ear piercing with a saltwater solution:

  1. Prepare the DIY Solution: Mix 1/4 teaspoon of natural sea salt into 8 ounces of warm water.
  2. Stir well until the salt is dissolved.
  3. Choose Your Application Method: Use as a sea salt soak or transfer to a spray bottle.
  4. Cleaning Your Piercing: Apply the solution directly or gently soak your piercing.
  5. Leave the solution on for a few minutes.
  6. Dry with a clean paper towel.
  7. Optional: Consider ready-made solutions like H2Ocean or Simply Saline.
  8. Clean your piercing twice daily during healing, and once a day afterward.

Following these steps diligently will ensure your piercing heals beautifully, allowing you to showcase your dazzling ear adornments with confidence!

When Can I Stop Cleaning My Ear Piercing?

It would help if you stopped cleaning your ear piercing when the infection has cleared up and the piercing is healed. Once the piercing is healed, you can wash it with soap and water.

Cleaning Ear-Piercing Jewelry

It would be best to clean your jewelry with a mild soap and water solution. You can also use a commercial cleaning solution such as hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. Dry your ear jewelry thoroughly before putting it back in your ears.

a person cleaning the jewelry in the soap solution

What Are the Risks of Not Cleaning an Infected Ear Piercing?

It is essential to clean and sterilize earrings and ear piercing holes to prevent infection and bring about quick healing. If you don’t clean infected piercings, the disease could spread to other parts of your body. In the case of infected ears, the condition could also cause permanent damage to your ear, and even lead to the closure of the piercing.

To ensure a healthy healing process, use a saltwater rinse for cleaning, avoid harmful substances like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, and pay attention to the upper ear piercings as they are more prone to infections. Prioritize your health and maintain your dazzling piercings with diligent cleaning!

FAQs: Ear Piercing Cleaning Solution

What Should I Use to Clean My Ear Piercings

There are a few different options for cleaning your newly pierced ears. You can use a saline solution available at most pharmacies or make your saline solution at home using a mixture of water and sea salt. You can also use an alcohol cleansing wipe or pad. Whichever method you choose, be sure to clean your piercings twice a day, morning and night.

How Often Should I Clean My Ear Piercings?

It would help if you cleaned your ear piercings twice a day, every day. Keeping the piercing clean and free of any bacteria or dirt that could cause infection is vital. A saline solution is the best option for cleaning your piercing, but you can also use an alcohol cleaning pad if necessary. Be sure to follow up with a good moisturizer to keep the area around your piercing healthy and hydrated.

young woman with modern haircut and piercings

How Often Should I Change My Jewelry?

For a safe and infection-free experience, wait at least 8 weeks for your piercing to heal before considering changing your jewelry. Earlobe piercings need about 6 to 10 weeks, while cartilage piercings may take up to 12 weeks. After this healing period, you can freely switch up your earrings as often as you like—just remember to use clean hands and jewelry to prevent irritation or infection.

What Types of Jewelry Should I Put On My Ear Piercing to Avoid Infections?

Earrings for sensitive ears are typically made of gold, titanium, or platinum and you should freely put them on once the piercing has healed. This is because these materials are less likely to cause irritation or infection.

Final Thoughts on How to Clean Pierced Ears

All in all, taking care of your freshly pierced ears is an important part of the aftercare process. By following the correct cleaning routines and aftercare procedures, and picking up the right earrings for newly pierced ears, you can prevent infections. Remember to choose a reputable piercer, be aware of the risks involved, and take care of your piercings regularly. With the right care, your ear piercings can be a beautiful addition to your look.

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