Journal / How-To Guide
How Long Do Ear Piercings Take To Heal?
When you’re considering an ear piercing, the first thing you’re probably wondering is, “how long do ear piercings take to heal?”
Any body piercing you get is an open wound, and depending on the location of the piercing, it may have a shorter or longer healing time and different ways to help it heal.
As someone who recently got a third ear lobe piercing, the healing process has been quite a journey and different from the first and second piercings. This shows that not every piercing will heal the same, and not every person will have the same experience! But with a little help and some simple piercing aftercare tips, you can take care of your new ear piercing with ease.
Types of Ear Piercings
Ear piercings are a sign of self-expression and can be unique to you based on the areas of your ear you choose to pierce. Every ear and body piercing is personal, so choose however many you want on each ear. Just know that depending on the professional piercer, there is a limit on how many can be pierced at once, so you can heal properly and not overdo it. Take it from us—don’t overdo it.
Lobe piercings are the most common for both men and women, with celebrities like Frank Ocean, OBJ, A$AP Rocky, and Harry Styles sporting pierced lobes. For this piercing, you’ll most likely get a classic stud earring for comfort and style. But that’s not the only piercing men are getting these days. Some thin hoop earrings are great if you want to have multiple lobe piercings or a helix piercing, which sits at the top of your ear. There are so many different earring styles if you want to experiment with ear jewelry.
Ear Piercing Healing Times
Healing times are estimated and have different stages of healing. It’s always better to expect a longer healing time rather than rush the process and end up with a closed-up hole or ear-piercing infection. While healing times may vary, most piercers recommend keeping your new ear lobe piercing in for the first 6-8 weeks because a new piercing site can close within minutes! If you get your ears pierced at a specialized piercing center or a tattoo parlor, they may be able to help you with piercing aftercare should you want to try new earrings.
Healing Time Per Type of Ear Piercing:
Pierced Ear Lobe: 3-4 months
Low Helix: 4-6 months
Helix: 6-12 months
Forward Helix: 6-12 months
Rook: 6-12 months
Conch: 6-12 months
Tragus: 6-12 months
Anti-Tragus: 9-12 months
Daith: 9-12 months
New Piercing Care
If you’ve decided to get your ears pierced for the first time, are getting another piercing and need a refresher, or you already put another hole in your head and now you need some help, we can answer those burning questions. How do I care for my new ear piercing?
Cleaning your new piercing is very important, and directions by your piercer should be followed closely. This is not one of those times to ignore the instructions.
Cleaning Your Piercing
Cleaning your ear piercings is pretty simple as long as you have the cleaning items ready. Saline is your savior during this time! Get saline spray cans specially designed for piercing care or saline wipes. If you’re in a pinch and can’t find saline in these forms, a saline nasal spray is the exact same thing, except it’s in a tiny bottle. You’ll need enough supplies to get you through 2 cleanings a day for about 4-6 weeks for a newly pierced ear.
How to Clean Your Ear Piercing
Wash your hands before handling your new ear piercing to prevent bacteria from entering the piercing.
Spray the saline directly onto the front and back of the earring. This may flush some discharge or dried skin from the area. (This is good!)
Let the piercing site air dry, or use a lint-free tissue or sterile gauze to dab the surrounding area dry.
You don’t need to move the earring or twist them. This is an outdated practice and can actually cause more problems. No touchy!
In case shampoo gets around the piercing while showering, gently rinse all soaps away and use dry, sterile gauz
e to dab dry after. Excess moisture can lead to infections. (If you feel your rinsing wasn’t enough, follow steps 1-3 after your shower).
It might be hard to continue after the first few weeks when your pierced ears look healed, but you can’t see what’s happening under the surface. Your hair products could get into the piercing and cause swelling or discharge or an ear piercing infection. Even a simple bump from your hand or hat could aggravate your piercing. Stress and the common cold can weaken your immune system as well, causing your piercing to take longer than expected to heal. We don’t want to scare you into never getting your ears pierced! Knowing what’s normal and not normal will make the healing process much easier and put you on track to trying out all the earrings you want. Remember, if you are ever concerned or think your piercing is infected, contact your doctor.
We have a few more tips for staying comfortable during the healing process! If you’re a side sleeper, you may want to get a circular travel pillow. You can place your ear in the center, which will keep guy ear piercings away from any pressure or tugging on your regular pillow. And finally, avoid swimming pools and lakes during the healing period. These bodies of water carry a lot of bacteria which could cause some issues for your new piercings. When you can finally change out your earrings for some new styles, make sure to learn how to clean earrings properly on a regular basis.
While men’s chains, bracelets, and rings are stylish accessories to have in your collection, earrings are on another level. From the piercing process to choosing some iced-out hoops or creative dangling cross earrings and finally getting a
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