What to Avoid After Piercing Your Ear

If you’ve recently had your ear pierced, there are certain things that should be avoided in order to promote quick and safe healing. These tips will help you get the best results, and avoid complications like infections and scarring.

Don’t touch the piercing with your bare hands until it has healed! This will keep the skin around the piercing from getting dirty, which can lead to infection.

Apply an antiseptic to the piercing with a cotton swab or clean pad 3 times per day (again, don’t wipe it). This will keep the wound from getting infected and will help your ear piercing heal faster.

A saline solution, or salt water rinse, can also be used to remove any bacteria. You can make this by mixing one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Rinse the area with this solution and pat dry.

Avoid harsh cleansers and acids that can break down the skin. These can also cause damage to the new tissue that’s being formed, King says.

You should only use saline solutions that contain Vitamin B, which helps the skin regenerate new tissue, explains Dr. Schneider. It also helps heal the wound quicker and lessens itching.

Don’t use alcohol-based cleansers, tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol, which can dry out the skin and delay healing. These can also irritate the piercing and make it more likely to become infected, according to dermatologists.

If your piercing has developed a discharge, use a cotton swab or gauze to gently remove it. You should repeat this process several times a day until it has gone away.

Do not wear clothing that can pull or tug on the piercing, such as turtlenecks or shirts with tight neck openings. These can cause friction, which could irritate the piercing and prolong its healing time.

In the first week after a piercing, you may notice some redness and tenderness, which is normal. But if it becomes painful, swollen or itchy, you should visit your doctor.

The best way to prevent this is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after touching the piercing. You should also avoid putting your hands in public bathrooms, which can increase the risk of infection.

It’s also a good idea to change linens regularly as it can reduce the risk of your piercing catching on something. If you have a high ear piercing, you can even try placing a small piece of paper towel under the stud to catch any fluid.

Eat a healthy diet, which can help the healing process. Keeping your weight down will help decrease swelling and pain. You should also eat lots of water to stay hydrated.

Sleep well at night and keep your head elevated to prevent tangles. This will help lessen the likelihood of any infection as it will not be able to easily get stuck in the piercing while you’re asleep.

You should also avoid smoking, as it can slow the healing process and introduce infection to your piercing.