Whitney is an expert on piercings and tattoos, with experience in the body modification world.
Facts About Piercings
Ear piercing is the oldest form of body modification, with references dating back to the early history of mankind.
- Carvings from various parts of the Persian Empire displayed soldiers wearing ear rings. Tribes would perform ear piercings, among other kinds, as a rite of passage, whether it be puberty, marriage, or war.
- In southern India, most children had their ears pierced before they were five years old. Today, many children get their ears pierced around seven months to one year of age.
Ear piercings also extend further than just the lobe. Today, we have industrials, rook, daith, helix, inner and outer conch, anti-tragus, orbital, and reverse lobe piercings.
What This Ear Piercing Guide Covers
In this article, learn about:
- The healing process after you've gotten your ears pierced.
- Placements for ear piercings.
- The different kinds of jewelry that are available.
- Various dos and don'ts.
- Piercing guns.
- Piercing needles.
- Stretching a piercing.
The Healing Process
- Most piercers will recommend cleaning the jewelry and area around the jewelry with a mild soap while in the shower. Make sure to thoroughly rinse it. You do not want to leave any soap to irritate it.
- You can, also, clean with saline. Soak a cotton ball, and hold it to the piercing for 10–15 minutes, 2–3 times a day.
- Try not to play with the jewelry unless you are cleaning it. The more you irritate it, the harder it will be to heal.
- Do not over clean, as drying it out will also irritate it.
- The average healing time for most ear piercings ranges from 6–10 weeks. Cartilage piercings take longer to heal.
- Lobe: This can range from a single piercing to several. It's fastest to heal, and it's usually placed at the fleshy portion of the bottom of the ear.
- Orbital: A ring through two piercings, usually in the outer conch area
- Industrial: A barbell pierced through two sides of the ear. The standard industrial crosses the top of the ear.
- Inner Conch: A barbell or captive bead ring (CBR) pierced through the inner portion of the cartilage.
- Daith: A piercing made through the innermost ridge of cartilage above the tragus. The daith is not subject to pressure from sleeping and irritation from daily activities.
- Helix: Through or around the upper, curled edge of the ear, including the curled edge towards the face.
- Rook: Pierced through the antihelix, the ridge above the Daith ridge. Prone to rejection/migration.
- Snug: Horizontal piercing of the antihelix, across from the tragus.
- Tragus: Prominence of cartilage in front of the opening of the canal. Tends to take up to 12 months to heal.
- Transverse: A horizontal piercing through the lobe with a barbell.
- Captive Bead Ring (CBR): A ring with a gap left to insert the ring through the ear. A ball to sits in the gap once the jewelry is in.
- Circular Barbell (Horseshoe): Similar to the barbell, with one permanent ball on one end and a screw in ball on the other. But, the barbell is bent in the shape of a horseshoe, leaving the jewelry easy to insert and remove.
- Banana Barbell: Sometimes banana barbells are used. Similar to a regular barbell—with one permanent ball and a screw in ball, except the barbell has a slight curve to it.
- Flesh Plugs: Short cylinders with flared ends to hold them in place. Some require small rubber rings (O-rings) to keep them in place.
- Flesh Tunnels: Also called eyelets. Similar to flesh plugs, but they are hollow in the center.
- Studs: Studs are very difficult to clean thoroughly. The butterfly clip backing can become clogged with hair, discharge, and dirt. This makes the piercing more prone to bacteria and infection.
Dos and Don'ts
- Clean the piercing once a day in the shower.
- Check it every morning to ensure that your hair hasn't become entangled in the jewelry.
- Be careful not to knock on it while it is healing.
- Use clean pillowcases and bedding to reduce the likelihood of bacteria getting into the wound.
- Turn the ring in the wound for the first 2–3 weeks, as this aggravates the wound.
- Remove the jewelry during the healing phase. Pulling it in and out can increase the likelihood of infection.
- Put methylated spirits, tea tree oil, peroxide, betadine or alcohol onto the wound as they are too astringent or damage the cells that form the scar tissue.
- Get hairspray or cosmetics on it while it's healing.
The piercing gun was originally intended to be used on lobes only. But, the piercing studs are usually too short to accommodate swelling and thicker earlobes.
Concerns Over Their Use
- Piercing gun procedures can cause tissue traumas. The studs are considerably dull and can literally tear a hole through the tissue. A cleanly made hole is especially important in cartilage piercings.
- Most importantly, cleanliness is questionable. Ear piercing guns are often made of plastic, which cannot be properly sterilized in an autoclave. Simply wiping it with a surface disinfectant between clients is not adequate when the piercing gun could have possibly been exposed to blood-borne pathogens.
- Although the studs themselves may be sterile, piercing guns that touch the lobe before and after the procedure can be easily contaminated with blood. The gun may also be indirectly contaminated if the piercer touches the studs after they are installed, and then touches the piercing gun without changing gloves.
Piercing With Needles
- Piercing needles are hollow, beveled, and sharpened similarly to the hypodermic needles.
- Most are about two inches in length. Piercing needles slice a crescent-shaped hole, and do not remove any tissue.
- Because single-use needles are very sharp, they easily glide through the skin, causing very little, if any, tissue trauma.
- Needles are autoclaved appropriately before use, and are only used once.
- Using needles is much more sanitary, and causes less trauma to the body than a piercing gun.
Stretching an Ear Piercing
Stretching any piercing can be a permanent move to undertake. So, before stretching a piercing, make sure that you know what you want and can live with the enlarged hole permanently.
- When stretching a piercing, any piercing, make sure that you only move up one gauge at a time. Meaning if you're at a 14g ring, you will want to purchase a 12g ring.
- Slow and steady wins the race. Never rush a stretching. Make sure to let the newly stretched piercing heal and relax for at least two weeks.
- When stretching too quickly too soon, you can suffer ear tears, ear blowouts, and infection.
- If you choose to attempt to close an enlarged piercing, leave it free from any jewelry. If the piercing is noticeably large, (I'd say over 0g), you can insert smaller gauged jewelry to make the hole less noticeable until the hole is smaller or closed in.
- Also. remember that larger gauged ears will never shrink fully back to size once you hit the end of no return point, which is usually a 0 gauge hole.
- It will take much patience to close a piercing fully, especially one that has been stretched.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Destiny on December 22, 2019:
I just got my 2nd on Friday(12/20/19) and it still hurts after 2 days I’ve been medicating it but yet it still hurts I’ve tried everything I know to make it stop but it won’t start hurting! Pls leave suggestions on what to do
Maria on August 20, 2019:
I pierced my ear 3 days ago I got my second hole done in my ear is it to early to get my third one or will I be fine????
Harley quinn on June 15, 2019:
On wenesday i try my first piercing and its pretty fine not hurt so much then on saturday i tried to change my earing to the circle or loop one, it hurt so much and beacuse it failed i change it back to the first one, is that okay? Right now it hurt so much
123456789987654321a on March 31, 2018:
I got my ears pierced 4 days ago and they are slightly hot and a little sore to twist, as I am supposed to. Should this be happening? I clean them 3 times a day as well.
Rylan on December 24, 2017:
My earring got infected in the night.I'm a child and all my family members are asleep,I don't want to wake them.My ear is puffy,red,painful and I am scared to take it out for the rst time.I got my ears peirced in May but still.It is 12:45 am.I need help and fast.My worst fear is that my earring will get stuck in my ear.It gets stif and I have to turn it every 5 mins.WHAT DO I DO!!!!!!!
Diksha on October 15, 2017:
I had my second earlobe and cartilage pierced 11 month ago and there is still pain. I can't understand if it is normal or not or it have been infected. Pls tell me if its normal or not? I'm really tensed about that.
Ashley on September 27, 2017:
I've had my cartilage pierced for almost 2 years now by a professional. He pierced it with a small stud I finally changed it because I want something noticeable. It's a cross now not huge but bigger then the last jewelry but now it hurts whenever I touch it or sleep or my hair touches it. I've had it changed for a couple weeks now. Does it hurt because it's bigger jewelry?
Hannah on September 02, 2017:
Its been 7 weeks but there is still some clear pus coming out of my lobe piercing (pierced with a gun) if I took out my earrings, would the tissue close right away?
Emily on August 15, 2017:
I got my second ear lobes piercing about four weeks ago and I followed the instructions I cleaned them three times a day turned the earrings once a day immediately after my second cleaning and I made sure not to get dirty things in it or chemicals such as chlorine or things in hairspray, however I noticed that when I first changed earrings after three weeks (which was how long it said it would take in the instructional packet they gave me when I got the piercing) I found that I had quite abby of discomfort removing the original earring, it was not terribly painful and when I put some research into it I found that could be quite normal but since then I have only switched my earrings once (both sterling silver and barely worn although I don't have nickel allergies) and it was very painful to switch the earrings. Is that normal? There is no redness and I have continued turning the earrings and I rinse my ear now just in case but when I put any sort of pressure on the earring it stings and burns I am unsure as to what this is or if it is anything worth booking a doctors appointment for. I tend to have sensitive skin especially on my face and neck areas so that may be the cause of the irritation but I thought advice from an expert wouldn't be better
Em on July 30, 2017:
I have recently got my cartilage pierced and I do not know if my butterfly clip is to close to my cartilage , it is touching I think
millie on July 29, 2017:
i had my cartlidge pierced today how long do they take to heal ?
Nicole on June 21, 2017:
Hey i had my ear lobe (second one ) and now when i took off the earing it has a bump by both sides is that normal or should i get worried
Mikayla on June 15, 2017:
I got my thirds and fourth lobes pierced 5 days ago, when can I change them?
Georgia on June 13, 2017:
hey i got a double helix about 5 days ago. the ear is extremely hot and its kind of like a throbbing ache. ive taken panadol so i cant feel it now but the ear is still super hot and i have a feeling once the panadol wears off the pain may come back. the lady at the shop said betadine solution would be best if it continues to hurt still in a week, but here its says not too? is this normal and its just healing? or should i go back o the shop and ask what to do next?
Diego on June 05, 2017:
Okay so I got my ears pierced about a month ago and it isn't healed yet I want back to the piercer and she said that it is infected so I removed it as I was told the infection is all better but I want to put in hooped earrings what do I do?
Nawal Awan on May 22, 2017:
is it ok to get 3 piercings together
Natasha on May 20, 2017:
My daith had recently gotten infected and I was on an antibiotic for 10 days now it is so sore. Its not swollen, red, or infected. What could be causing this? I clean it regularly and when I smile it hurts my ear.
Sophie lord on May 14, 2017:
Hey iv had my cartilage done for 4 days now and it's ever so sore and red is this normal I'm cleaning it twice daily but I keep knocking it in my sleep and iv never felt pain like it
Whitney (author) from Georgia on May 14, 2017:
Are you trying to stretch them? I would stretch one gauge at a time, so if it was pierced at a 14, use a 12 gauge piece of jewelry.
Pam on May 04, 2017:
I've had my daith done for 12 weeks what should i down size to x
WaffleUnicorn on May 01, 2017:
So I got a ear piercing 6 months ago and today in class one of them started bleeding. I don't think it's infected because I cleaned it frequently during the healing period. How do I fix that?
Tori on April 08, 2017:
I'm getting my industrial piercing in two weeks and I have a huge worry about getting bumps on my piercing because my skin is so sensitive will that be a problem?
Waffle Cone Slouchy Hat on April 07, 2017:
Clean piercings no more than twice a day with salt water, cleaning it wore than that will just irritate it. and don't turn them
Julie on March 22, 2017:
Without twisting or turning the ring in the ear won't the skin go over or close over the ring or close around the ring?
Whitney (author) from Georgia on March 17, 2017:
Alcohol will drive them out and can cause irritation. Clean with saline for the safest clean and healing process.
Whitney (author) from Georgia on March 17, 2017:
The pain is normal. Try cleaning them in the shower. You may have dried lymph that's pulling when you're fiddling with the earring.
Elijah on March 11, 2017:
Sooo I got my ears home pierced. My brother said to clean it with alcohal a few times a day. And then my mom says to turn them every so often so the flesh doesn't heal like around the piercing. (So like the piercing doesn't get stuck and can't get pulled out.) Then this says not to use alcohol and not to twist ur earring until the 2-3rd week. ;-; I'm on my 4-5th day with em. And I started turning them on the 2nd day. And I thought using alcohol cleans them well. Plus u can tell when there healed cause it won't sting anymore when they are.
Anonymous on March 10, 2017:
I got my ears priced with a 3mm earing what gauge is that
Pickled pepper on March 10, 2017:
I got my helix done about 4 months ago and my peircing does not hurt it's not sore or any thing and I really want to change the earing. Could I?
Also, if the very back of an earing closes up and up put the earing back true how long would it take to heal (very thin skin)
Breanna Touchstone on March 08, 2017:
I got my ear lobes pierced about 3 or 4 days ago and my left lobe is hurting. I've been cleaning it 3 to 4 times a day like I was told. And I'm turning them. No puss is coming out or any liquids. It doesn't hurt at all when I turn it, it just hurts when I push up on the earring so I can clean it. What's going on?
Victoria on March 02, 2017:
I got my inner conch pierced 6 months ago with a straight barbell and went to get it changed to a hoop two days ago. It's extremely snug and I can see it squeezes the outside of my ear about and can't really move it in any direction at all. I think my piercer may have had to go up a gauge and it hurts a lot, but I feel like most of the pain is from the outside of my ear being tightly squished by a hoop. I can't sleep on that side or touch my ear to anything and I've been consistently taking ibuprofen or aspirin through the day to help it hurt less. Is it becausethe earring is too snug that I'm in pain, or is it because the gauge is bigger? I can send in a picture if that helps. Thanks!
Alicia on February 07, 2017:
I got my ear cartilage pierced almost a year ago and it still gets swollen and gets a bump on the back. Will it heal by the time the 12 months are up or should I just let the hole close?
Sapphire Blair on February 07, 2017:
I got my outer conch pierced with a banana barbell about a week ago. And I was cleaning it with antibacterial soap and water like they told me too. It hurts to even touch the ear, bleeds when cleaned. It is also very red. Is that normal? If not when can I do to ensure it heals properly?
Jenna on January 20, 2017:
Hi! I got a second lobe piercing when I was 16, so about 3 years ago.
While my right lobe was sensitive for a few months, it healed just fine. However, over time my left lobe made it apparent that it was not going to heal. As of today it still isn't fully healed and is constantly getting infected. Along with this my left lobe swelled much larger than stud would allow and left a large indent around the piercing site.
Would it just be easier to remove the piercing from my left ear and get a new piercing once it closes?
ameliamosher3 on January 17, 2017:
i did the most worst thing anyone can do to their ear......i pierced my ear four times going up starting from the ear lobe......but i didn't use a needle or anything ....just an ear ring and pushed it threw....i did that a long time ago and once in a while i would get a key-lode but the new hole i made yesterday makes my ear kinda look like an elf ear....is that normal ?
Whitney (author) from Georgia on December 29, 2016:
It depends on what the piercing was pierced with. Most likely 14 gauge
Adam on December 21, 2016:
Don't Clean your piercing with Peroxide// Use sea salts or tea tree oil backed with Vit-E oil to keep from drying it out
Morganvr on December 11, 2016:
Hi! I got my helix pierced about 4 months ago with a gun... I don't know what size a regular earring is but is it safe for me to switch to an 18g or 16g?
Aamor123 on October 13, 2016:
I got my ears pierced a few months ago, but I'm still having problems with my lobes. The infection seems to switch from ear to ear; when one ear gets better, the other starts hurting and producing crusty stuff around the piercing hole. My symptoms are: a little bleeding, crusty stuff (dried puss?) around my hole, soarness, redness, and when I take my earring out to clean the post with peroxide, the hole starts to bleed and close up. Im desperate for help!! Do you have any advice?
carmexkid on May 02, 2016:
My left ear lobe hole keeps trying to get smaller when I use my good earrings cause their smaller studs. So I wear the body jewelry now and have been for 2 years so how come my hole is trying to close up ? And when can wear my good jewelry ?
Kat on April 18, 2012:
I had my 3rd ear piercing yesterday and tonight I took my earrings out of my first and second holes and the second one on the right side of my ear was really painful and when I could eventually get the earring out it was bleeding is it to do with the new piercing?
Diana Hood on February 28, 2012:
I took both my daughters to have their ears pierced at three months old. They have always looked so cute wearing earrings and the girls love their earrings. I wear two earrings in each ear and used to have my belly button pierced but I took it out when I became pregnant. I am sure it is best for little girls to have their ears pierced as babies.
Ear-Strecher on February 04, 2012:
top tip, when streching your ear useloob nd it provents it from getting infected and it also lessens the pain when your going up a mm :)
Alexandria598 on January 26, 2012:
So i have an industrial piercing and its really swollen at the top and i have smallish ears and my cartlidge is so sowllen i cant clean under it and its scabed over at the top but i clean it as well as i can i jus wanna kno your thoughts on it
Kat100 on January 25, 2012:
Is it normal for your ear lobe to bleed ( A tinny little bit ) after about a month after piercing???
Lilibeth B. Sylianco on January 13, 2012:
I had my Baby ear pierced when she still 6 days old now she is 6 months and 9 days older. Since I notice the right side is not in the center, and I decide to leave it and ask again to have pierce back but on the correct route, A little bit higher than the previous hole. My Question is; Is it still possible for that wrong hole to close on his own since my baby is still @ 6 months old just wanted to correct or have it paired on other side.
Whitney (author) from Georgia on January 01, 2012:
It's only been a few days, expect redness, soreness, and swelling. Give it a few weeks and if you're still a good bit of pain, there may be a problem, but it's still hard to say as everyone heals different.
Emma on December 30, 2011:
Hi I got my cartailige pierced 4 days ago and it's been really hurting ever since. I've been cleaning it morning and night just like he said, but if there's something wrong I'd like to know earlier rather than having an unwanted hole in my ear for the rest of my life.
PLEASE REPLY IM REALLY SCARED
Allison on December 29, 2011:
i got my lobes pierced about 3 days ago just above my other ones, I got those when I was four and have never gotten an infection, but now I'm all freaked out about getting one in my right ear.. I think it's okay because nothing is oozing and I don't think it's swelling. but it is a little red and both are at least a little sensitive to the touch.. I cleaned them not too long ago and they feel a little tingly, normal? it's been such a long time since I got my first ones done and I didn't get them done at the same place.. the first were at Claire's this last time was at Pagoda.. I just really need reassurance about this, I get paranoid easily
please reply quickly!!
ade on November 20, 2011:
I got rook pierced yesterday and the ball near the daith has fallen out. will this be a problem, will i have to go back to the shop or can i just leave it??
Hui Min on September 23, 2011:
I have accidentally pulled the string on my earlobe, Because i used the traditional way to pierce it. Now behind my ear there is a hard dry lump behind. whenever i turn the string it will be damn pain. May i know how do i solve this problem on my earlobe? I've bought HEXODANE ANTISEPTIC Cream but i do not know wherther it is effective anot.
TheMonkey97 on September 22, 2011:
Hey I just got my ear stretched from nothing straight to 4mm, it's has slot of scabs and is fairly painful after like 8 or 9 hours. Is this normal? Or problem?
Danielle on September 18, 2011:
I got my cartilage pierced with a piercing gun over a year ago and since I've had it done, I've had thickness around the piercing that's a lot like scar tissue. Theres also a puckering of the skin around the exit hole that I don't expect to get rid of. Sometimes a usually clear liquid will come out and when I sleep on it, the piercing hurts for the next day or so. I'm pretty sure it's not infected and it's just tissue trauma, I just wanted to know if there was a way to get rid of the thickness.
hannah on September 14, 2011:
hey i just got my cartlidge peirced. (upper ear) and it hurts and its really red. i dont know what to do to ease the pain. i need all the advice i can get. and i got it done with a gun
Taylor on September 11, 2011:
I got my third piercing on my ear on thursday night and was wondering if I would be able to change earings?
Sophie11 on September 02, 2011:
Hey i got my cartliadge pierced and i know i should know this but i want to change it to a stud but i dont know for sure what size to get?? There are soo many!!
Natalie on July 06, 2011:
Hi I recently got my cartilage pierced it was a week ago today and its been healing fine with no problems but today at work it got really red and started throbbing a little. So I went to the bathroom and looked at it and it was leaking a clear whiteish flud. It wasn't greenish or brownish or yellowish that i could tell so i was just wondering if it could be infected or if its just normal healing procedure. It is a little hot to the touch but now bad and it kinda throbs every now and then but it doesn't seem swollen or anything. So i guess I am just wondering if it could be infected and how to take care of it if it is
Becca on June 16, 2011:
Ashley this is in response to your question I was raised around a piercing shop so this is my experience of what to do. Yeah put your ear in the sea salt and let it soak for 30 min. Just on the safe side wait 3 months in case problems arise but you can get it changed sooner. If you want specifics ask your piercer. He'd know the exact time of when you can change it.
Ashley on May 25, 2011:
Hey, i just got my second piercing on my earlobes yesterday. I had 2 clean it with alcohol last night and this morning. But i bought the sea salt 2day. How do i use it ? They say 1 tsp. of salt and a cup of hot water? And how long do i wait b4 changing the earing ? My right ear hurts when i touch it but i guess that's only because i got it yesterday.
Thanksss ..!! (:
Amanda on May 16, 2011:
Hey! I Just got my third piercing done on my lobe but it was swollen and when I touch it has like a lump and it was hard. What should I do? Help please!! T.T btw I got my five piercing on my lobe. Right ear - 3 piercings Left ear - two piercings all is done by a gun. I have no problem with all piercings except my third piercing which is now swollen. Please help !
Chizala from Scotland on April 20, 2011:
Hey, I got my daith, rook and anti tragus pierced yesterday and my ears bled a little last night, is this normal? I guess I just got a little worried because nothing like this happened with my industrial which healed perfectly...oh, and just for the record, I got my lobes done 8 years ago with a gun, and I've not had any problems whatsoever $6 with them, yes I agree that needles are better, but guns are okay, and some places do clean them etc; so I don't see why your slagging them off just because the majority don't clean them, it doesn't mean that all the piercing guns are bad...anyway, any info on my piercings would be really helpful, thanks :)
Ali on April 17, 2011:
Hi I got my second piercing done on my left lobe on Wednesday. It's Sunday now. My ear has been swollen a lot and I'm in Mexico. I've been cleaning it pretty well every day and I have been taking advil and prednisone to take away the swelling. Today there was no swelling in the morning but then I came back to our hotel later in the day and it had white puss coming out of it. I don't know what I'm doing wrong because I've cleaned at least four times a day... Is it an infection?
Jordan on March 19, 2011:
So I recently gauged from a 0 to a 00 in my right ear, I did it on Sunday night and today(Friday) I went to clean it because it was slightly swollen and hurting. When I took out my plug to clean my ear, my ear started to bleed a lot. I know I did not blowout, but I'm not sure why my ear is bleeding. I can not wear earrings because I'm allergic to the metal, and the plug I was using was metal, could that be the reason? Also, Should I down size, leave it out, or just out it back in?
taylor! on March 02, 2011:
soo i had my nose pierced before this but i took it out, well friday i just decided i wanted it done AGAIN so i get it done, and it will not stop bleeding! i did get it done on the same side, but not in the exact same spot. & i really dont think its normal for it to bleed this much, like its not just a little bit its a lot.
Sarah on February 26, 2011:
I got my inner conch pierced about 5 days ago, the piercing didn't really too bad and it didn't bleed when pierced, after that it's been a bit sore but nothing unbearable. However yesterday it felt extremely itchy and i know i shouldn't be touching it but almost without realizing I did, and noticed a lot of dried up blood on the back, so I cleaned it with saline solution (as I have been, twice a day). I also noticed today that the inside of my ear by the whole was filled with blood both fresh and dry so I cleaned it up again. Is this normal or should I be worried?
Oh and it's also been extremely itchy today!
Squeaker on February 10, 2011:
I had a helix piercing done about a year ago, with a needle from a well known reputable salon. I have a silver bar in it (no allergies to metal, have other flesh piercings that are fine). It seemed to heal ok but then changed. For the past 6 months it has been irritated and sore so I went back to the salon a couple of months ago and they told me it was just irritated and I needed to use gauze with warm salty water and a little pressure to encourage it to heal. It doesn't appear to be infected as just red, slightly swolen and sore (a small lump either side) - no puss etc. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions? I don't really want to take it out as I quite like and am conerned this might not be the best thing to do. I've also put up with it for this plng. Please help!
Josh on February 07, 2011:
what's something i can do to make my ears shrink? i had 00s in and want to put standard sized earrings in, someone plz help!!!!
Dawn on January 30, 2011:
My daughter had lobe piercings that NEVER healed. They pierced her left lobe crooked, we took it out, and had it redone the next day (this is the option they gave us) - yes, with a gun, didn't realize then the different options. We finally took the earrings out about two years later. I did't realize that infection could get trapped in there. She has a knot in the lobe that hasn't gone away (1 - 1 1/2 years later). She wanted "magnetic" earrings and I finally relented and they hurt b/c of the knot. I am now afraid of infection trapped in there? But if she has been on an antibiotic since then wouldn't it have taken care of it? Her ped. isn't help on "earring" issues. Thanks for your help!
Savannah on January 19, 2011:
I gauged my ears to a 6 today and they are bleeding, they don't hurt or anything just bleed a little bit on the inside. I am scared that something is wrong even tho i'm sure it's fine because my belly button and ears both bled for a couple weeks, i think i just bleed a lot but i am still worried!? any suggestions?
Kim on January 04, 2011:
Uh, piercing guns R GREAT! when i get my done they throw the gun away and use a new one for each different piercing!
dawn on December 29, 2010:
i just got an industrial piercing yesterday (dec 29) and i have swimming classes on the 6 of jan. is it bad to have this soaked in chlorine water? also my school doesn't permit piercings and i think their goes my professor as well, anyway can i remove it in the time period i am in the water then place it back on ryt away?
could you advise me on what safety measures i can do to avoid irritation?
we are required to ware a swimming cap so i think it will hurt if i try to hide it.
thanks so much:)
lillsz on November 24, 2010:
I just got my ear pierced. I got the industrial piercing. But its WAYY too low. I might get it fixed at a different mall on friday, but im startin to like it. I dont know what to do.
milkie12 on November 08, 2010:
i got my rook pierced on saturday and he used a CBR hoop. he left it with the ball of the hoop aimed outwards, instead of down (if i were to twist it i could aim it down but it is a little swollen so i cant move it). anyway, should i rotate it when it is healed so the ball is on the bottom, or can i leave it aimed out, in the middle of the hoop?
Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 28, 2010:
Don't be ignorant. Get the piercings properly pierced.
Ryan on October 28, 2010:
Hey, I have my left lobe pierced twice and im thinking about putting my second hole in my right ear. Would it be ok to jump straight to a 14g or 16g because that's the only thing i have other then studs with butterfly backs (im doing the piercing myself and have everything to clean it)
kika on October 27, 2010:
hello. Soo i just gaughed my ears to a 6 after having a 12 in for a couple of days ( my ears were pierced when i was a baby so by now they were already a 10 ) , im not experiancing any pain or discomfort, but when i took out my left taper to clean it, it was bleeding a little and i could see the "white" meat inside my ear. Is this a blowout or normal? Im not sure on what to do?
courtney on October 18, 2010:
is 4weeks and 3 days enough to switch out earrings ?
Whitney (author) from Georgia on October 15, 2010:
You should have asked the piercer to use a labret stud or something instead of the CBR. I wouldn't recommend changing it the day after, as it's a lead to infection and irritation
rob on October 15, 2010:
I just got my ear pierced (left Lobe) and got a captive bead ring. however, last night it got snagged on a zipper attached to my pillow and it killed. Also I don't think my job would really like the look of the CBR. I just got it pierced yesterday.(with the needle at a professional parlor.) Is it too dangerous to change it to an earring that doesn't dangle, like a small black stud or something?
ash on September 29, 2010:
hi i have my ears piercered and have stretched one of my piercings and its been this way for about 5 years but its one of those earrings that is smaller in the middle and bigger on the outside so does anyone know any tips on how to get it out? its not breakable or anything so is there any easy way to get it out so that it can start to shrink? lol
Whitney (author) from Georgia on September 17, 2010:
Daniela, sometimes admitting you were wrong is better than putting yourself in harms way. The only thing you can really do is to clean with saline solution. By taking it out, you can potentially block any infection in the body, which can cause problems. It may close up if you take out the jewelry. You are further irritating it by taking out the jewelry and putting it back in. Saline and crushed aspirin are my only suggestions besides going to a doctor.
Mort on September 17, 2010:
Hi i had my helix pierced about 4-5 weeks ago,it is healing well. I want to know how long must i leave it before I get another piercing to the same ear? I want my Rook piercing next.I didn't get much swelling with the Helix and there is no swelling now,with very little exudate now.
Daniela on September 17, 2010:
Oh and by the way, I only ask whether I can still keep the piercing because I am very fond of it and I have friends who have told me they've had similar symptoms at the same stage and all they did was take out the piercing for a couple of weeks to "let it breathe" and put it back in again. Won't it close? I find this hard to believe...
Daniela on September 17, 2010:
Hey, about 6 weeks ago I got a cartilage piercing on my ear and it was fine until about a week ago when it started to swell up and hurt a lot. This is probably due to the fact that i didn't really clean it properly. I cleaned it with alcohol a few days ago, which I know I probably shouldn't have done. Then, today I took it out as I couldn't stand the pain anymore and i was bleeding on the back so I cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide which I probably also shouldn't have done judging by the recommendations not to use such products on other websites. It's not infected yet but I feel its about to be. Is it possible that I can treat this swelling without having to close the piercing? What should I do? Visiting the doctor isn't really an option as I'm underage and would need permission from my mom who would get really angry if she knew I wasn't taking care of a piercing she hated in the first place. Is there any over-the-counter medicine I could take or any home remedies?
I thank you in advance and look forward to hearing a reply.
Azie_7 on September 11, 2010:
I got 4 cartilage piercings (2 on each ear) on monday. Now it is the next week saturday. My ears are HUGE! The swelling started yesterday up to this size. Like the whole ears excluding the lobe. They're swollen until they move to the front as if i have monkey ears. I just went to the doctor and he gave me antibiotics and some cream for irritation. And now my ears seem to have tiny dots all over the back filled with this clear yellow liquid that oozes out. Is that lymph? Does it mean that the swelling is gonna go down?? Please reply!
Alyssa on August 13, 2010:
I got my ears double pierced 5 days ago... and they still hurt... I know this is way off topic but I am desperate! Please help :)
Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 06, 2010:
Sbabyy, the odds of infection are pretty good. Clean with a q-tip dipped in saline or a diluted non-iodized sea salt (not table salt). Redness, swelling, and pain is normal for a new piercing.
missymoo, they will close up. There may be a dot where the piercing was
missymoo1 on August 05, 2010:
i had my daughters ears pierced a week ago they dont look even if i took them out would she be left with scars ( would they close up)
Sbabyy on August 05, 2010:
I just got my rook piercing yesterday from orbit and i just wanted to know what is the best way to clean my piercing. Also what are the chances of my rook piercing getting infected? i clean it daily with sea salt and water. But my ear is a little swollen it could it be cause of the fresh piercing.
Whitney (author) from Georgia on August 04, 2010:
It's normal to experience some pain and redness so early on in the piercing. Just keep in mind that those pierced with a gun experience more pain and trauma to the tissues, so you're in more pain than if done with a needle. And, you're at more risk of infection, as piercing guns cannot be thoroughly cleaned, and commonly harbor blood and debri from previous piercings. Leave the jewelry alone, and do not twist them. Also, be leery that jewelry with backings can harbor bacteria, so keep them clean. Do not use wipes, clean with saline or with a very diluted non-iodized sea salt (not table salt) mix.
Emma on August 03, 2010:
So I got my first ear piercings like 3-4 days ago now, on my lobes. And I've been cleaning them with these anti-bacterial wipes. But the thing is my mom said to twist them round, like in a little circle. I know she's probably wrong cause i've read up top before that not to do it.
Both the lobes hurt though my left one hurts more than my right, my right hurts a little but only if you actually bang it by accident, whereas the left one hurts at a simple touch.
I have slept on my right side as well, though only about once or twice, it looks like it has been pushed in a little so i pushed it back out a little, and now it looks okay. Just hurts (right ear)
It's also all red and a bit swollen...
What should I do? I clean it when im in the bath (well just like rinse it with water) and once in the morning and once at night with the wipes.
Any more suggestions, and will it ever stop and eventually go down?
Whitney (author) from Georgia on July 23, 2010:
$40 for one is about average and $35 each for both. That's what I was quoted the first time, and the second. One piercer wanted to charge like $50 for one or $40 each if I got both.
I have four (2 each ear)
JordanH on July 23, 2010:
I read that you have both of your inner conch pierced and I was wondering how much you paid for them. The place I want to go to says its $40 for one and I wasn't sure if that was normal because it seemed a little high.
Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 15, 2010:
If the jewelry was the butterfly backed jewelry, you need to find safe jewelry. If you got them pierced with a piercing gun, that's caused a lot of damage, more than necessary, increasing risks.
The only thing you can do is let it grow in and have it properly pierced, or force it in and risk complication. If you forced it in, use saline or diluted sea salt and clean the era twice a day.
crystal on June 15, 2010:
I got my ear lobes pierced about 7 weeks ago and am now wearing regular earrings.
I took off the earring in my left ear yesterday because it was irritating my left ear (my left ear felt very sore). I then cleaned the left ear with Claire's aftercare solution and it seemed fine. But this morning when I try to put back the earring, it seemed like the ear hole has closed up. I tried to put the earring through but it keeps on bleeding.
What should I do?
Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 14, 2010:
ieatrainbows, Claire's and any place who uses piercing guns is not an ideal place to get any piercing. The piercing gun causes a lot o trauma and potentially more damage than the piercing needles. Plus, the butterfly backing jewelry can harbor bacteria and cause infection. Leave the self pierced piercing along and try to heal it. If you take the jewelry out and try to close it up to be properly pierced, you can potentially close the infection into the body. You don't want to use table salt. You want to use SEA salt, and you want it to be very diluted. You can also use saline solution, which doesn't have to be mixed, which makes it easier.
Tasherr, it is possible that your body just won't heal piercings at all. You can get the navel piercing and try to heal it, but you may encounter the same thing. It's hard to say 100% for sure what will happen.
Tasherr on June 14, 2010:
I Am Planning To Get MY Belly Button Pierced In The near future but i am very worried that it will get infected because i have had my ears pierced from a very young age but at about the age of 11-12 they started to get badly infected and i could never wear earings, i have tried different types of metals, silver, gold and all that but nothing seems to really work for my ears, that's why i am concerned that my belly will get infected just like my ears?... is there anything i can try or do to prevent my ears from infection and because of the ear infections, would it be best not to get my belly pierced..?
IEatRainbows on June 13, 2010:
I'm sorry to ask you another question (you seem to have so many!) but I pierced my own ear 2 days ago, it was a second one in my lobe. I know that's stupid, but I did it on a whim and I cleaned the needle with a flame and make sure my hands were clean. Anyway, I just did one ear and it seems to not be infected, it's just sore and swollen and hurts. A got my other ear done in Claire's and I have a proper newly pierced earring in both, but do you think I should do something about my self-pierced ear? It's more swollen than the one I got today so I think that's a bit strange? Or will it just take longer to heal? I do clean it with salt water and ear solution 3 times a day. Thankss. x
theo on June 12, 2010:
thanks for being so helpful ive been reading all your replies, what do you do for a living are you a piercer how do you know somuch about them?
gill med on June 11, 2010:
hey i just peirced the top of my ear 3 days ago half of my ear is swollen and red is it normal or its infected...?