The practice of piercing ears goes way back in time. While maintaining hygiene and taking care of a new piercing may have been difficult in those times, it is not so now. In fact, caring for a piercing on the ear lobe requires you to follow a very simple procedure on a daily basis until the wound heals. This should be followed religiously to prevent any kind of infection which your skin at that time is most prone to, as it is an open wound in a very sensitive area. Presented here is a simple ear piercing care routine and some additional tips, that will help heal the wound smoothly.
Piercing Care Routine
Healing time of a piercing on the ear lobe ranges between 4 to 8 weeks, during which time, the wound is very tender and prone to painful infections. Taking care of a newly-pierced ear lobe is essential to prevent these infections. Follow this aftercare routine to ensure it heals without any trouble.
- The piercing wound should be cleaned at least once a day with an antibacterial soap, for about 3-4 weeks.
- Before you do so, always wash your hands with the same soap as they carry bacteria which may lead to an infection.
- Cleaning the pierced ear while showering is ideal, and should be the last thing you do after your shower.
- Soak the wound in some lukewarm water.
- Take a liquid antibacterial soap, and pour a few drops onto the wound. Gently rotate the piece of jewelry so that the soap spreads evenly in and around the pierced hole.
- Allow it to stay for a few minutes, while gently removing the crust that has formed around the stud. Crust formation takes place due to a white/yellow discharge called lymph, which is normal with a new piercing.
- Wash off the soap thoroughly with plain water while gently rotating the piece of jewelry, so that all the soap is removed.
- Use a paper towel to dry off your ear. Try to make it as dry as possible, as even leftover water can cause an infection. Do not use a towel for the purpose as it may carry bacteria that can easily affect the ear lobe, causing an infection.
While following the routine given above is important, there are other things that you should and should not do while taking care of your new piercing.
- While getting your piercing, ensure that the person who is doing it for you is trained to do so, and that the tools he is using have been thoroughly cleaned. Sometimes, an infection develops immediately due to bad hygienic conditions.
- Do not fiddle with or touch the piercing, except when you are cleaning it. It is unnecessary and can cause infections.
- Do not use any kind of topical lotions, ointments, tea tree oil, or salt water, as suggested by many specialists. On the other hand, applying a few drops of coconut oil on the wound has been found to help in healing it quickly. Applying oil is essential because the daily cleaning routine causes the skin on the ear lobe to stretch and become dry, which may lead to severe pain. It also helps in loosening the crust formation easily.
- While cleaning and applying oil on the wound, gently rotate the piece of jewelry around. This helps in the prevention of crust formation, and reduces the pain caused by tightening of the skin around the wound over time.
- Signs of an ear lobe piercing infection include itching, irritation, redness, swelling, and an increased amount of lymph discharge. If you suspect an infection, do not try to remove the piece of jewelry yourself. Go to the piercer, or better still to a doctor to take care of it. Handling it yourself may cause further problems.
- Even if you do not have an infected ear lobe, do not try to remove the jewelry on your own until the wound has healed completely.
- You may swim after getting an ear lobe piercing, but only for a short time, and in clean and properly chlorinated water. Avoid swimming in the ocean until the wound has healed completely.