Caring for a fresh ear piercing is important to ensure proper healing and reduce the risk of infection. Proper care will also help the piercing look its best and last longer. With the right steps, you can properly care for your ear piercing and enjoy it for years to come.
Ear Piercings Risks to Keep in Mind
Although ear piercing is done frequently around the world, there are still some risks to getting it done. Here are a few of the common risks of ear piercings:
Perichondritis occurs when the skin around the cartilage of the ear becomes infected, causing inflammation and pain around the affected area. The infection can spread to other parts of the body if not treated promptly.
Treatment usually involves antibiotics, antifungal medications, and sometimes surgery to remove the infected cartilage. In severe cases, the infection can cause permanent damage to the affected area. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious complications.
An abscess is a painful, localized collection of pus that can develop from a variety of causes, including an ear piercing. This occurs when the piercing site becomes infected with bacteria or other pathogens, often due to improper care or an unclean piercing environment. People with pierced ears can be more prone to developing abscesses due to their piercings, as there is a greater chance of infection due to the presence of bacteria in the ear canal.
Symptoms of an abscess due to an ear piercing include redness, swelling, tenderness, warmth, and pain at the site of the piercing. The area may also be filled with pus or other discharge. If left untreated, the infection can spread and cause further complications.
If you suspect that you have an abscess due to an ear piercing, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor may recommend antibiotic treatment, or they may need to surgically lance and drain the abscess to relieve the pressure and allow it to heal. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the abscess.
Related: Why Does Jewelry Turn Skin Green?
Jewelry metal allergies occur when the skin comes into contact with certain metals, such as nickel, and it can cause a red, itchy rash. Nickel and cobalt allergies are the most common types of metal allergies and can be caused by wearing jewelry containing nickel or cobalt. Jewelry made from other metals, such as gold, silver, and stainless steel, can also cause a reaction in people with metal allergies.
In order to prevent jewelry metal allergies, it is important to wear jewelry made from hypoallergenic metals such as titanium, platinum, and palladium. These metals are much less likely to cause an allergic reaction, as they contain very low amounts of nickel and other potentially irritating metals. It is also important to avoid wearing jewelry with broken clasps or sharp edges, as these can cause skin irritation.
If you do experience jewelry metal allergies, it is important to remove the jewelry immediately and consult a doctor or dermatologist. Your doctor can prescribe a topical cream or oral medication to help reduce the inflammation and itching associated with metal allergies. They can also provide advice on which metals to avoid and which hypoallergenic metals are safe for you to wear.
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Top 6 Mistakes to Avoid With Your Ear Piercing
Here are the top 6 mistakes that people make with their ear piercings:
1. Letting the Piercing Close
It can take several months for an ear piercing to heal completely. Although after six to eight weeks earrings can be taken out temporarily, if they are left out for too long the piercing can close up.
Generally, when the skin around the piercing stops producing discharge and the redness fades, it is considered to be healed. However, keep in mind that healed does not equal permanent with ear piercings.
If the piercing is new, it only takes a few hours for the hole to close up. Even if the piercing is older, there is still a chance that the hole can close up if the earring is left out for too long.
Another common mistake that people with new ear piercings make is going swimming. When someone with a new piercing goes swimming, they submerge an open wound into water that is filled with living organisms that you do not want in your body. This can cause an icky infection that can take the shine away from your new piercing.
It is recommended to wait at least two weeks before jumping into any pools, jacuzzis, natural bodies of water, or bathtubs.
3. Not Washing Hands Before Touching
Touching the piercing with dirty hands can cause an infection. Make sure to wash your hands before handling the piercing, including before you clean your piercing. If hot water and soap are not available, make sure to use hand sanitizer beforehand.
Also, avoid unnecessary touching of a new piercing. This will reduce the amount of movement and rubbing so that your skin can heal quickly and painlessly.
4. Not Cleaning the Piercing Properly
Your piercing should be cleaned at least twice a day, every day. Make sure you wash your hands before cleaning your piercing. Use the cleaning solution recommended to you by your piercer by using a clean cotton ball to apply to the front and the back of the piercing site and gently turn the earring when it is wet.
5. Letting Hair Touch the Piercing
Your hair holds all the oil, sweat, and bacteria along with the shampoo, conditioner, and any hair products that you may have used. When you let your hair rub against a piercing that hasn’t yet closed and healed, you can be pushing all of that gunk into an open cut on your skin.
Make sure to put your hair up at night to keep all that ick away from your piercing. Do this for at least a month to minimize the chances of infection.
6. Using Cheap Materials
After meticulously taking care of a new piercing for eight weeks, anyone would be excited to start changing out the earrings for something more stylish. However, make sure you examine any earrings before you put them in your ear. Certain metals are likely to cause allergic reactions, and that’s the last thing you want.
We recommend using earrings that are plated with 14K yellow gold since the purity of yellow gold is higher than most available metals. However, white gold is not recommended since it is often mixed with nickel.
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It may be tedious and time-consuming, but a new ear piercing must be taken care of properly. Make sure to avoid these six mistakes to keep your piercings healthy and pristine.