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ear piercing FAQs

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We have lots of awesome Earrings listed under Products in the Body Jewellery and Silver Jewellery sections
 
Frequently asked Questions

by Wendy RGON. RPT. IRM.

What age should I get my child’s ears pierced?


With children it is often better to wait till 5 to 7years as ears continue to grow throughout your life and early piercing can, by the time the child is a teenager, look too far away from the face.

What is the best method to get my child under 7 years old ears pierced ?


Find a piercing firm that does both ears at the same time, this requires having 2 piercers, but it is so much better for the child. Then its just a simple click and its done... so much less trauma for the child

 
When is the best time to get ears pierced?


Winter is often the best time as swimming pools should be avoided for the first 2 to 4 weeks due the high bacterial content and there is less chance of infections. Swimming in the sea and rivers is fine.


What is the major cause of infections with ear piercing?

 

  • Touching the piercing without washing your hands, hands carry all sorts of bacteria.
 
  • WASH you hands before you touch any piercing.

I think I have an infection but I'm not sure?


Check your jewellery, if the stud is too tight, the body responds making it swell more. Loosen off the butterfly or change to a ring  this often gives instant relief to pain and the swelling subsides quickly. Usual time for this to happen is 7 to 10 days after piercing

If this doesn't help or you need help doing this consult your piercer or seek medical advice


 
What’s the best solution to use to care for my piercing?


We encourage gentle solutions such as Studex, these are soothing and encourage healing.

Tea tree oil is NOT advised; a piercing is a puncture wound and although tea tree oil is a good product it is not recommended for puncture wounds.

Meths and other alcohol products shouldn’t be used as they sting, and kill off the new healing cells causing delayed healing thus increasing the chance of infection and scar formation.

My ears get red itchy and sore when I wear some earrings. Why does this happen?


Some earrings are made of cheaper metals that will often leach substances like nickel, and magnesium into the surrounding ear tissue causing redness, swelling, itching, discomfort and sometimes fluid discharge.

This is often incorrectly thought to be an infection.

Change to some good quality sleepers or studs and clean morning and night with studex.

If you haven't worn earrings in your piercing for awhile you may find that your piercing is hot and uncomfortable for a day or two as the hole stretches back open. A cold flannel or an ice pack can help soothe this.


I took my earrings out and now I cant get them back in, what should I do?


If you have an established piercing i.e. older than a year your holes often remain open but the piercing shrinks with age and becomes very dry (very common in people over 50 due to the decrease in collagen).

Try using a pair of good quality studs and some piercing lubricant ( water based lubricants)  you’ll be surprised how easily they slip in;

Water based lubricant can make changing a child's earrings so much easier as they slide through without hurting.

or visit your piercer and ask them to check you ears.

 

What’s the best way to treat an infected ear piercing?


Put some good quality sleepers in, this allows your piercing to drain (on average studs are only 6mm long and if your ear lobe is swollen they are often not long enough and tight jewellery will make your piercing swell more)

Clean with saline solution or studex apply betadine ointment morning and night for 5 days.

Wash your hands before and after touching your piercing.

Clean all your healthy piercings first then infected piercing last

Change your pillow slip each day

If unsure or infection becomes worse seek medical advice


information is based on Health Department Guidelines for safe piercing of the skin 1998

After Care Instructions for Ear Piercing


The ear lobe and the Helix are some of the fastest parts of the body to heal; it usually takes 6-10 weeks to heal and problems are very rare.

Cartilage piercings however, are more prone to problems; this is because it doesn't heal in the same way as you lobes do

Cartilage piercings can take 3 to 6 months to settle down and a little longer to heal.

Be patient with your piercing; keep cleaning it and caring for it in the following method

THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF INFECTION IS TOUCHING AND PLAYING WITH THE PIERCING, ONLY TOUCH IT WHEN CLEANING.

Wash your hands before you touch any piercing

 

  • DO clean the piercing once a day in the shower.

 

  •  Do use antibacterial soap such as protex.
 
  • Make sure all the soap shampoo, and make up is thoroughly cleaned out of the piercing.
 
  • Cartilage piercings don't like hair products or hair dye so rinse your piercings well.

 

  •  Saline solution may be used to clean the piercing, or a commercial ear cleaning solution (be sure it contains no meths). We recommend the studex solution

 

  •  Soak the piercing for 2-3 minutes, using a cotton wool ball soaked in sea salt water or ear cleaner. Make sure when cleaning to remove all the crusting (dead white blood cells) or it can concrete on the ring and tear the inside of the wound.

 

  •  We recommend applying studex solution morning and night with either a cotton bud or wool ball

 

  •  DO check the piercing every morning to ensure that your hair hasn't become entangled in the jewellery; as the hair aggravates the piercing and increases the likelihood of infection. (hair loves to twist around the butterflys)
 
  • Around 7 to 10 days a lot of extra blood supply is present in the ear as part of the healing process if your studs become tight change them to a sleeper (ring), leaving tight studs in can make the swelling worse. A lot of people mistake this for an infection which  its not
 
  •  If you have long hair it's advisable to use a bobby pin to keep your hair of the piercing.

 

  • With Top-ear piercings it's advisable to get your hair cut a little shorter to keep it of the piercing.

 

  •  DO be careful when brushing your hair not to catch the jewellery in the brush as this can tear the wound and cause inflammation.

 

  •  DO make sure that you use clean pillowcases and bedding to reduce the likelihood of bacteria getting into the wound.

 

  •  DO use B-vitamins with a Zinc supplement as these promote healing. Piercings tend to reflect your general health if you are tired and run down healing is a lot slower

 

  •  DON'T turn the ring in the wound for the first 2-3 weeks as this aggravates the wound, after that you may turn the ring gently once it's been cleaned to allow the cleaning solution to penetrate the wound.

 

  •  DON'T remove the jewellery during the healing phase; pulling it in and out can increase the likelihood of infection. Wait at least 6 weeks

 

  •  Wait at least 4 to 6 weeks before attempting to change jewellery; at least 6 weeks for cartilage piercings. The longer you wait the more chance you give your piercing of healing.

 

  •  Leaving the jewellery out during the healing phase can lead to the hole closing up.

 

  •  DON'T put methylated spirits, Peroxide, or Alcohol onto the wound as they are too astringent and damage the cells, which form the scar tissue.

 

  • DON'T put the headpiece of the phone on the ear that's pierced; be especially careful of this with public phones. If both ears are pierced make sure you clean the earpiece of the phone with disinfectant.

 

  •  DON'T get hairspray or cosmetics on the piercing during the healing phase. When washing your hair make sure to wash the piercing carefully.

 

  •  If you have a butterfly type stud in make sure, during the healing phase, that there is enough room between the stud and your ear to ensure it is not compressing the ear lobe, if stud sinks into ear come and see us.
 
  • Be fussy with your jewellery choices, a lot of cheaper body jewellery has lots of nickel and lead it which can leach into your body causing nasty reactions that are often mistaken for infections
 
  • If you are worried or need reassurance go and see your piercer rather than asking your friends
Removing piercings for Surgery, scans/x-rays 

You are often requested to do this and depending on the age of your piercing this can lead to the piercing closing up.
Use bioflex or PTFE with plastic balls, they not only keep your piercing open but the are safe to scan etc

 

Lumpy growths around your Upper Ear Piercings


The most common cause of delayed healing is by knocking or tearing the stud and taking the stud in and out before the wound is fully healed.

This will lead to a small lump forming around the piercing. These lumps are called granulomas. This is not an infection, this is usually seen in cartilage piercings like nose and upper ear. Its like an over healing that the body does common in teenagers and pregnant woman.

The best course of action to heal granulomas is to apply hot compresses to the wound once or twice a day. Soak a clean paper towel under hot tap water, making sure that it's not so hot that it burns your skin, but hot enough to penetrate the wound. Leave on till the heat dissipates.

Keep going with the hot soaks for around two weeks, on average the over healing takes around two weeks to settle. Be patient

Changing your jewellery can help

Frequently this is mistaken for an infection. If you think you have an infection as well,  follow the steps above when dealing with infection.

The Bioptron light therapy can help these over healings, chat to Wendy about this.

ear

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