Health Maintenance > Care of ear piercings

Care of ear piercings

1.   Clean the earlobes or cartilage, front and back, three times a day with Hydrogen Peroxide.  Gently rock the studs back and forth as you clean.  Do not remove the studs for 4-6 weeks!  After cleaning, you may apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin, front and back, to reduce the chance of infection.

2.   Each time you clean the studs, turn them gently (like turning a knob) several times.  This is essential for the piercing to heal properly, so that the earring does not become stuck in the hole.

3.   The hair may be washed as usual.  But be sure that the soap and shampoo are completely rinsed from the ears; then dry the ears carefully.  Cover the ears when using spray cologne or hair spray.  Keep hair away from ears whenever possible during healing period.

4.   Leave the training studs in place for four to six weeks.  You may try using more decorative earrings after this time, if the holes appear well healed.

5.   For the first six months, do not go longer than 24 hours without any earrings in place; otherwise the hole could begin to close.

6.   If after a four-week healing time you feel soreness when changing earrings, go back to using training studs and continue these instructions for an additional two weeks.

7.   After the four-to-six-week training period, other post earrings may be worn.  The posts should be made of 18K gold, surgical stainless steel, titanium, or platinum.  No heavy earrings should be worn for at least four to six months after the training period.

8.   Be aware that while your piercings are new, the holes are slightly larger than they will be than when they heal.  Don’t allow the backing to get pulled inside the earlobe.

9.   Don't keep the clasp too tight against the earlobe, if you are using a standard post earring. The butterfly backing can catch hair, dirt, pus, dried blood, and serve as a breeding site for bacteria. Make sure you leave room for your piercing to breathe.

10. Persistent pain, persistent bleeding (beyond minimal oozing, redness, swelling or discharge is not a normal result of ear piercing.  This condition could indicate infection, or an allergic or foreign body reaction to the earring.  Should this occur, remove earrings immediately and contact our office to schedule a visit.  Use antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin, until we can examine the ears.

     --  © 2012, David M. Epstein MD