8 Top Tips to Care For Pierced Ears

8 Top Tips to Care For Pierced Ears

Have you noticed sensitivity wearing some earrings lately? Even if you have never had problems before, ear irritation can develop over time.

Sensitivity can be due to the manufacture of earrings using cheap alloys. But there are other factors to consider too.

Read the top tips below for caring for pierced ears, along with what to avoid with new piercings to help ensure you prevent infected ears in the future and transition safely to other styles and materials.

How to Care For Newly Pierced Ears

  • Clean new piercings carefully!
  • Wash hands and clean pierced ears twice daily with unscented simple soap and water (or the saline solution supplier by your piercer) with a cotton bud, to get rid of dead skin cells, built-up sebum (natural oils) and body care products. 
  • Don't twist the stud when cleaning, as you could unwittingly re-infect with germs from uncleaned parts of the stud. Rinse, then dry thoroughly with a paper towel and discard.
  • Twist the stud a few times daily with clean fingers but don't fiddle.
  • Leave earrings in all day and night. Do this for eight weeks after a new piercing OR until the holes completely heal, the holes don't close, and infection is avoided.
  • Avoid swimming while your piercing is healing; saltwater could be the exception here.
  • Don't use ear care products or rubbing alcohol that may dry out and irritate newly pierced ears. And avoid hydrogen peroxide and other solutions that inhibit the healing of new piercings.


Eight Top Tips For Preventing Irritation To Your Ears and Caring for Infection

light weight earring options

Tip # One - Earring Weight

Choose lightweight earrings that won't drag your lobes down, resembling Munch's 'Scream'.

Big earrings don't need to be a cause of discomfort as these days, there are many options for boho statement style. 

Choose lightweight materials such as fabric, bone, metal filigree, polymer clay, tassels and feathers. 

Hoops also pack a style punch and are super-light for their relative size.

Tip # 2 Fitting Materials

Choose earrings with hypoallergenic hooks or studs for sensitive ears.

 Avoid nickel and nickel alloys as these are the most common culprit.

To gain a deeper understanding, read my blog about earring materials and sensitive ears here.

earring options for sensitive ears
Earring cleaning ritual

Tip # Three - Keep Earring Fittings Clean

I know this sounds laborious, but it's a ritual worth doing. 

Clean your earrings, especially if you have noticed more sensitivity than usual with your piercings. 

Body products and sebum build up on the fittings and should be removed.

I recommend wiping hooks and studs with a dab of methylated spirits on clean tissues or cotton buds. (Don't double dip!) 

Pop your earring backs and butterflies in an upturned bottle lid with a small amount of the spirits. 

Soak a few minutes, drain (do this away from the sink hole), rinse with fresh water and dry thoroughly with a clean tissue. 

Tip Number Four - Replace Earring Fittings

Have a jeweller switch out worn or damaged hooks and stud posts for new ones. 

Alternatively, upgrade to hypoallergenic options like Argentium Silver or 14k gold/gold-fill.

replace worn and damaged earring fittings
example of wide stud earring backs

Tip # Five - Support Your Ear Lobes

When wearing heavy earrings or large studs, add a wide round back or large butterfly behind your lobes, like these acrylic ones. 

This helps prevent the holes from deforming and supports the earring.

Tip # Six - Earring Storage

Store your earrings away from dust and dirt. 

I hang my jewellery on cup-hooks on the underside of a shelf so dust can't collect on it - and I can easily see all my options at a glance!

Store studs in little boxes or pinned to a card in a drawer.

Earring storage ideas
ear care gel to soothe sore ears

Tip # Seven - Soothe Sore Ears

You've danced into the early hours, and your ears are the casualty, so soothe sore lobes with Ear Care Gel.  

Ear Care Gel is also great to have on hand when you know you'll have to wear earrings for long periods or want to wear a favourite pair that you know are likely to cause unwanted irritation to your ears.

If you don't have any on hand try soothing with ice-cubes or calendula cream.

Tip # Eight - Medical Advice

Irritation can occur in new or old piercings. 

If you notice any of the following, swelling, redness, pain, tenderness, burning, itching or yellow discharge, you may have sensitive ears or have developed an infection. 

If you have tried the above tips or develop a more severe infection, don't hesitate to seek help from your healthcare provider.

infected ear piercing


Now you're good to go - check out this selection of earrings suitable for sensitive ears...


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