THERE ARE MANY REASONS AS TO WHY EARS DO NOT HEAL; why ears become infected or irritated. Perhaps, only one or two overlooked preventative measures are needed to remedy your discomfort and promote faster healing.
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING HAVING YOUR EARS PIERCED FOR THE FIRST TIME, find a technician that uses equipment (needles) that does not contain Nickel alloys, and is willing to sterilize the earrings that you bring in. Most people that have metal sensitivities are allergic to nickel and many ear infections begin with the initial piercing process.
Proper aftercare for any new piercing is necessary to ensuring that your piercing heals completely. Many of the following suggestions can also be helpful if your ears have been pierced for a while and have not healed completely, have lumps or are occasionally tender. YOU MAY BE OVERLOOKING SOMETHING SIMPLE that could slow down healing. If your piercings have closed due to complications, wait a year before trying again.
While your ears are healing, IT IS IMPORTANT TO WEAR EARRINGS THAT ARE ALLOY FREE. Commercially Pure Grade 1 thru 4 Titanium that is sourced in the USA is free of alloys that can cause allergic reaction in most people. There will always be exceptions, but the percentages are low. Small post earrings are usually recommended for new piercings where there is less pulling or migration of the hole. My personal recommendation would be to stay away from hoops, until your ears are healed...unless your earrings/hoops are designed with a straight wire going through the piercing,
RESIST THE URGE TO CHANGE EARRINGS until your ears are completely healed: it will be worth the wait. Experience suggests that for newly pierced ears, 6 weeks to 3 months is not an unreasonable wait, and can be as long as 6 months, even if everything goes well. The thickness and density of your earlobe could be a factor to consider in the length of time it takes to heal as-well-as scarring from previous piercings. Be aware, that for some, the piercing never completely heals and maintanence will always be necessary.
HEALING PIERCINGS REQUIRES PATIENCE AND DUE DILIGENCE! Sometimes complications occur. Trouble shooting and added aftercare may be needed to successfully heal a troubled piercing.
MAINTAIN GOOD PERSONAL HYGIENE; wash your hands when caring for unhealed piercings and try not to handle your earrings in-between cleanings.
Piercings can be cleaned with a sterile salt solution and organic cotton balls or swabs, all available at the pharmacy. You can also prepare a sea salt soak recipe at home. Gently rotating the earrings will help keep them clean. Cleaning three times a day may be required for the first few days; two times a day minimum until the piercing is healed.
• Dip a cotton ball or swab in cleaning solution.
• DO NOT USE rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or antibacterial ointment. These contain ingredients that inhibit your skin cells from regenerating and healing.
•A warm sea salt solution can be used as an alternative to a store-bought cleaning solution. Use 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt per 8 oz purified water. Do not use table salt, which contains iodide.
• Change out the cotton balls or swabs as they get dirty and DO NOT use the same cotton balls or swabs on both ears.
TROUBLE SHOOTING OTHER POSSIBLE CAUSES OF IRRITATION:
• Move the earring from front to back on your ear, making sure that the BACKER IS NOT TOO TIGHT.
• If possible, sleep on your back and avoid sleeping on your side. If you must sleep on your side, sleep on a donut pillow designed for side sleepers and change pillow coverings nightly at first. Tee-shirts can be used to cover your pillow or rolled up to form a donut that you can place around your ear.
• TELEPHONES held against a fresh piercing can introduce bacteria into the open skin.
• HAIR PRODUCTS and dyes can be extremely irritating. If you are not able to adequately cover your ears when using these products, clean your ears afterwards with your sea salt solution to reduce the irritants.
• PERFUME applied behind your ears, and scented body lotions.
•SWIMMERS should take the same precautions as they would with hair products.
• Be aware of putting on and taking off clothing that could get caught on your earrings, including scarves, hats and accessories.
• TRY A DIFFERENT STYLE OF EARRING. Some people simply do not tolerate sleeping with posts in their ears, I being one of them. Therefore, I have designed an ear wire with all the advantages of a hoop, but without the drawbacks.
ONCE YOUR EARS HAVE COMPLETELY HEALED
which will take a minimum of six to twelve weeks, you can swap out your starter earrings. Be aware that even if there is no longer any inflammation, the piercings may not be fully healed. For some people, it may take 5 to 6 months before you are ready to wear dangle earrings. By waiting until your ears are completely healed, future problems may be avoided.
Also, trying on too many earrings in one sitting can irritate your ears. If this happens, you may need to keep one pair in for a day or two to let them calm down. An essential oil blend can calm down irritated ears. (see below)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THAT CAN HELP IN HEALING:
I have found that ESSENTIAL OILS CAN AID IN THE HEALING PROCESS and are effective for getting rid of or shrinking large lumps or keloids (scar tissue) that appear in the earlobes. It is important to use unadulterated therapeutic grade quality essential oils. More information on what synergistic blend of essential oils I use.
The Titanium that I use exclusively in my designs is from USA sourced materials, COMMERCIALLY PURE GRADE 1 & GRADE 2 TITANIUM and hypo-allergenic to most ears with acute metal and alloy sensitivities.
This article is a basic compilation of practical information available. A more comprehensive explanation, on any one topic, can easily be found by doing a keyword search. If your ears show signs of being severely infected, do not hesitate to follow up with your Dr.