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 properly care for your piercing, 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!

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.

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 can take up to 4 months. The tragus can take up to 6 months, while the industrial and rook can take up to 9 months. The helix usually takes around 12 months to heal fully.

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, remove the jewelry 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
  4. Insert foreign objects into the piercing.
  5. Not washing hands before touching the pierced ears
  6. Piercing ears without using sterile equipment

When Should 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 the 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?

Cleaning your piercing is essential to prevent infection and heal quickly. 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.


What Should I Use to Clean My Ear Piercings

There are a few different options for cleaning your ear piercings. 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?

You should wait at least eight weeks before changing your jewelry. It will give your piercing time to heal and help avoid infection.

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

It depends on your ear sensitivity, but you can typically switch to gold, titanium, or platinum after the piercing has healed. It is because these materials are less likely to cause irritation or infection.

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