Having your ears pierced adds another dimension to your look, but you need to be sure you’re doing it right. After all, it is an invasive process and quite a few things could go wrong. 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.
1. Pick The Right Age For Piercing
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 American 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
2. Get Your Ears Pierced At A Reliable Tattoo Parlor
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.2
id="don’t-hesitate-to-ask-for-anesthesia">3. Ask For Anesthesia If You Feel The Need
Most ear piercings are 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.
4. Choose Sterilized Needles, Not Piercing Guns
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.
5. 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.3
6. Invest In A Gold Post Earring
Allergies and irritation of the freshly pierced ear can be minimized
7. 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.5 Just don’t go overboard with the cleaning though – this could irritate the skin and slow down the healing.
8. 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
9. Watch Out 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.
10. 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.
|↑1||Ear Piercing: How young is too young? University of Utah Health Care.|
|↑2||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.|
|↑3, ↑4, ↑5||Avoiding Infection After Ear Piercing. American Academy of Pediatrics.|