Tips For Getting & Caring For Pierced Ears

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Whether you get your daughter's ears pierced when she is young or keep it as a special treat for when she's older, it's important to know how to care for newly pierced ears.“It’s important to remember that pierced skin is skin that has been wounded, leaving it vulnerable to infection,” said board-certified dermatologist Elizabeth S. Martin, MD, FAAD, who maintains a private practice in Hoover, Alabama.

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Where to Get Ears Pierced. Skip the 16-year-old working at teeny bopper accessories store at the mall, and go to a professional. Many jewelry stores pierce ears as well as some doctor's or dermatologist's offices. Check with friends for piercing facilities that demonstrated high standards of safety and sanitation.

Choose Your Stud. Most piercing professionals will offer a range of studs options, from simple gold or silver balls to sparkly cubic zirconia or even real diamonds. Some people can be sensitive to some types of metal so it's best to choose a surgical steel post that doesn't contain potentially irritating nickel or other alloys that might cause an allergic reaction.

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Care for Your Pierced Ears. Dr. Martin shared some key tips for caring for newly pierced ears.

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  1. Always wash your hands before touching newly pierced ears.
  2. Leave the earrings in your ears for six weeks or more – even at night. Removing the starter earrings too early may cause the piercings to close.
  3. Regularly wash your ears with soap and water. Carefully do this at least once a day to avoid infection.
  4. Twist the earrings a few times daily. This will help keep the pierced holes open.
  5. Put rubbing alcohol on your ears: Using a cotton ball or pad dipped in rubbing alcohol, gently clean the skin around the piercings twice a day to keep away germs and prevent scabbing. You may also apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly around the opening.

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“After piercing your ears, keep an eye on them,” said Dr. Martin. “If they become very tender, red, or if the holes ooze yellowish liquid, see a board-certified dermatologist, as you may have an infection.”

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. Thanks to the American Academy of Dermatology for the tips.

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