Ear Piercing - Aftercare
Ear piercing can be done using various methods.
During piercing procedure, an opening is created in the earlobe with
a sharp object. Some commonly used methods for ear piercing are
standard needle method, indwelling cannula method, dermal punching
and piercing gun. Nowadays, piercing gun is more frequently used for
ear piercing. Care should be taken that piercing instrument should
be sterilized properly and piercer should wear gloves during the
piercing procedure. Titanium and surgical stainless steel are
considered as ideal materials for initial jewelry.
Care for Ear Piercing
Ear piercing usually heals completely within 8-10 weeks in most people, if aftercare is done properly. However, upper ear cartilage piercing can give rise to many problems. Small lumps and granulomas around the piercing are commonly found.
Here are some helpful tips for ear piercing aftercare:
Clean the piercing once a day, preferably in shower. If you clean it more times, it can affect your body's natural defense to heal itself.
Rinse the piercing with saline in order to remove the crust, which is developed from accumulated lymph.
Take care that your hair should not disturb the piercing. It can transmit the hair products, oil, dirt, bacteria and other irritants into the piercing wound.
Take a B vitamin with zinc. This promotes healing. Also, add a multivitamin to your regime to speed up healing and boost immunity.
Clean pillowcases more often than normal so that the bacteria don't have time to breed and move into wound.
Use your head when using shampoos and hair care products. These can work into the wound and inflame or irritate it. Always use dye free or perfume free products while you are in the healing stages of a piercing.
Rinse with saline to remove the crust that builds up. This crust is from clear fluid that gets secreted called lymph. It is harmless, but the crust has sharp edges that may damage the skin around the wound.
The proper mixture for a traditional sea salt soak is as follows:
1/4 tsp Sea Salt to 1 cup of water.
2 tbsp Sea Salt to a full gallon of water (if you want to pre-mix and use
whenever needed). To do the soak, you will fill a cup (dixie cups actually work best so that you do not cross-contaminate because they're meant for single-use only) and use it like a suction cup over the piercing (all around) for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times daily.
There were a lot of discussions about the antibacterial soaps in the past years, and we came to realize that neither Betadine nor Antibacterial Soap is good for healing a fresh piercing as you're attempting to heal the skin within the hole and the chemicals are far too harsh and actually kill off skin cells rather than help with healing. This kind of soaps are good for your personal hygiene. Wash your hands every time you change your piercing jeweler.
Do Not use alcohol-that could sting if it gets too
close to the new piercing and is far too harsh for a fresh piercing.
And removing the unattractive coloration isn't just an aesthetic
issue. Iodine should be removed from the skin after the piercing is
done to prevent any irritation.
Things to Avoid
Don't touch the piercing except to clean the area. Wash your hands before you touch it also.A gentle rotating is all it needs to keep from crusting up.
Don't remove the piercing for the first three months. This gives optimum healing time, plus it keeps the wound from being further damaged by the ear ring going in and out.
Don't use alcohol, witch hazel, or hydrogen peroxide on a healing ear lobe or ear cartilage. These products have been known to promote scarring in tender flesh like an ear.
Piercings go through two very distinct key healing phases. The first is very prone to infection and inflammation; extreme care should be taken in the first 6 weeks of this healing process. This insures that no scarring or keloids will form. Once the scar tissue is there, it is very difficult to get rid of easily, if ever. The second phase completes the healing process and ensures that you can maneuver the piercing as you wish, whenever you wish.
Leave studs in ears for 6 weeks continuously. (12 weeks for cartilage) After 6 (or 12) weeks the piercing studs can be removed, and other post-type earrings may be worn continuously.
Use only post style earrings for the first 4 months after piercing (12 months for cartilage). The post should be surgical steel or other hypo-allergenic material, such as 14K or 18K solid gold - no costume. Sterling silver (stamped 925) is OK after 4 months, but costume or plated earrings often annoy the ear. Light-weight hoops or dangles are OK after 4 months.
Minor pain/redness may occur immediately - this is normal. This should settle within 24 to 48 hours provided proper after-care procedure is carried out. If undue pain/swelling/redness occurs at any time, seek medical advice immediately, before removing the ear-piercing stud.
The jewelers are extremely important especially for the first piercing. The preferable metal is titanium, as this one is the most convenient and does not contain toxic substances, which reduces the chances of allergies, suppuration and infections. Normally, it is essential that the piercing has the appropriate size for the body spot where it is going to be placed.