How to care for pierced ears

When you get your ears or another body part pierced, it’s important to follow the care directions your piercer provides. Doing so will help to prevent infection. Common instructions include: Wash your hands before touching newly pierced ears. Leave the earrings in your ears for six weeks or more even at night. Carefully wash your ears with soap and water at least once a day. Twist the earrings a few times a day. This keeps the pierced hole open. Put rubbing alcohol on the skin around the piercing twice a day to keep away germs and to prevent scabbing. Also apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly
around the opening. The piercer may recommend a special ointment or cream if there is concern for infection. Pay attention if your ears get sore, red or
puffy, or if a yellowish liquid oozes out of the hole. If it doesn’t go away quickly, see a dermatologist as you may have an infection. If you have questions about caring for your piercings, see a board-certified dermatologist. To find a dermatologist in your area, visit


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