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Caring for Pierced Ears

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Authored by Sylvia Cochran in Body Arts
Published on 10-05-2009

Caring for pierced ears is most likely going to be a child’s – or your – first serious responsibility that may have adverse effects on her health, if she fails to heed your advice. Get it right the first time around by knowing the ins and outs of infection prevention.

Caring for Pierced Ears Takes Effort

After ears are freshly pierced, the first set of earrings must remain in the holes to keep them from closing up again. This requires you to clean your ear lobes with the earrings in place. Of course, this adds a bit of complication to the cleaning process and also makes it easy to miss areas where bacteria might be thriving. Caring for freshly pierced ears is not something you can do once in a while, but requires consistency from day one.

Cleaning Schedule

Prior to touching your piercings, you must wash your hands. Think of the piercings as fresh wounds that will suffer from infection if handled with dirty fingers. After washing your hands, clean the piercings twice a day with the cleaning solution the piercing studio recommended or gave you. Moreover, if you exercise or sweat a lot during the day, clean your ears more frequently.

Twist the Studs

Your new earrings are designed to keep the fresh piercings open. Whenever you cleanse the lobes, turn the studs once or twice. This prevents the skin from closing over the piercing and embedding the earrings in the lobes. Preventing wound closure is an important aspect of caring for pierced ears, since removal of embedded studs could potentially scar the lobes and prevent future piercings. You must keep the earrings in place for about two months to ensure that the holes won’t close up again.

Protect the Piercings

If you like to use hair styling products, remember that hairspray coming in contact with your healing lobes can be rather painful. Making matters worse, the sticky spray could actually trap debris that, when left in or around the wound, may quite possibly lead to an infection. Protect your ears from the mist or spray. In addition, remember your piercings when putting on or taking off your clothes. You most likely never noticed just how the tight the collars on some of these shirts really are! When you pull them over your head and the piercing gets caught on the fabric, it may rip the earring right out of your ear, harm the lobe, or cause even worse injuries to the area.

When to See the Doctor

Even if you follow the instructions on caring for pierced ears to the letter, there is a chance that your piercings may still get infected. See the doctor if you notice yellowish puss oozing from the hole. Clear liquid or even a bit of whitish liquid is normal, unless it is accompanied by a foul smelling odor. If your lobes harden and you run a fever, make an appointment right away. The same holds true if your lobe sustains an injury from a tear caused by the studs’ being caught on your clothes. In the latter case, you may actually need stitches.

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