What You Need to Know Before Getting Your First Ear Piercing
When you're ready to get your ears pierced, take some time to learn what you'll need to take care of your new piercings. Sterile saline, clean paper towels or gauze, and antibacterial hand soap are critical items for keeping your ears from getting infected. Also, keep in mind that your first set of studs will have to stay in for a while, so choose some that you love.
Know What Goes with What
Your first set of studs will be in place for six to eight weeks and will likely be gold, titanium, or sterling silver. Since you won't be able to change out your earrings until your piercings heal, choose studs that match the majority of your jewelry so that your new earrings will be a nice boost to your outfits and not something you have to work around.
Piercings can last a lifetime, but there are a few things you have to know before you even get a piercing. For the cleanest environment and safest piercing method go to an Association of Professional Piercers (APP) member. These piercers are trained in best practices and are well versed in sanitation and aftercare procedures. While it may be tempting to just stop by a chain store in the mall, the best and safest experience will always be with a professional.
Swelling, redness, and soreness is common for the first few days. However, if after the initial healing period you still swelling, redness, or discharge, consider adding a midday cleaning for a couple of days. Should the swelling, redness, or discharge persists, visit your piercer or doctor. You may either have an infection or be having a reaction to the metal - which is common in lower grade materials like stainless steel and nickel. While your piercing is healing, expect around eight weeks of wearing the same earrings. Invest in quality jewelry for a smoother healing process and reduced risk of an allergic reaction. Your first pair of earrings will have a longer post to allow for swelling, so expect them to seem a little longer than needed after the healing process is complete. If you want to keep your initial jewelry in your rotation, you can get a shorter post later on.
Hands Off Approach
It’s best to leave your piercing alone as much as possible while it heals. Your piercer will provide you all the applicable aftercare information, and often has sterile saline solutions available for purchase in their shop. Spray saline is common and easy to use, but your piercer may recommend a different method such as a saline soak for your ears. It is recommended to spray or soak your ears twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. However, one of the most important things you must do every time you clean your ears is to thoroughly wash your hands first. Do not attempt to use home remedies such as tea tree oil, which overly dries out the piercing and interrupts the healing process.
It is also a good idea to take the time to carefully rinse your piercing in the shower. The humidity and warm water allows you to gently rinse off any potential discharge and build-up from your piercing and jewelry. Avoid soaking the piercing in the bath, as bathtubs are prone to hosting bacteria and may cause infection. Let your piercing air dry, or carefully pat dry with a clean paper towel. Take care to make sure that your bedding, and especially your pillow is clean. Also use a clean towel on your hair while you are healing the piercing. Be aware of any potential irritants around your fresh piercing, such as harsh soaps and fragrances, as well as hair or clothing getting caught on the jewelry.
Once you're through the six to eight weeks of healing, be sure to keep an earring in the hole to avoid a partial closing. While the outside of your piercings can last a lifetime, the center may close. If you leave earrings out for an extended period after your piercing, you may have to re-pierce and start the healing process over again.
With a little planning and care, you can enjoy the chance to add earrings to your jewelry collection. A simple, sparkly stud or a pretty dangling piece can catch the eye and bring attention to your smile. Have fun adding more high quality earrings to your beauty routine!