I've never had a lot of piercings. I got my ears pierced when I was about 10 years old. All I really remember about the experience was that I cried a lot and I never wanted to do it again. When I was a senior in high school, I got a second set of holes above the ones I already had. I really liked them, but it took a year for them to stop hurting. It's not like they would hurt all the time, it would just hurt occasionally and I never changed them for fear that they would close up. Then in college, I decided to get my cartilage pierced. I loved how it looked, but it hurt. I couldn't sleep on that side and my ear would get red. Again, it wasn't all the time but it would act up occasionally. Plus, when I got my hair done, I was always afraid it would get caught on the brush. There was one time this happened right after I got it pierced and let me tell you... I'm cringing right now just thinking about it. I eventually decided to take that one out because it was bothering me so much. I totally regret it! I think it is such a cute piercing.
I'd have to say the "upper" ear piercing is my favorite kind of piercing. Especially this one.
But how can I have these without worrying about it getting infected and then having to take it out anyway?
I've come up with some tips to care for/maintain ear piercings (and possibly other piercings as well) so that you can enjoy them without worrying about the pain that comes with them.
1. Choose the side you sleep on the least. I never thought this would make that much of a difference. I never had a problem with my other piercings, so why would it matter now? It does. Before you get your piercing, pay attention to which side you are most comfortable on while you sleep. This way you'll know what side to NOT get pierced.
2. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. I cannot enforce this enough. The person that does your piercing will give you some sort of cleaning solution and tell you that you must use it. DON'T IGNORE THEM. I always was like, "Yeah, yeah. I get it. I'll clean them at some point." My suggestion is that you clean them twice a day, if possible. Once when you wake up and then again before you go to sleep. Don't be afraid to get in there either. I know it hurts, but trust me. It will hurt 10x longer if you don't clean it now. If you run out of solution, you can use a rubbing alcohol instead.
This is a great idea I found. Put the ear cleaning solution in a spray bottle, so then you can just spray the solution right onto your piercing. This will cause the liquid to go behind the earring so it will get to the site PLUS it will be less painful.
3. Wash your hands before touching your earring. This means before cleaning and anytime after. There are so many germs on your hands and you do not want those to get into your piercing. I know it's tempting to twist the earring while your day dreaming, but if you absolutely must, wash your hands before you do!
4. Clean your earrings after you get out of the shower. There is a high chance that a lot of the soaps you used are caught behind your earring, which may cause infection. Prevent this by cleaning right after the shower. You may even want to leave this step until after you are finished getting ready. That way, if you use hairspray, you can clean that off your piercing as well.
5. Keep your bed sheets clean! There is a lot of oils that come from your hair and face that get onto your pillow. After a period of time, these oils build up on your pillow and can cause your piercing to get infected. Try to change your pillow cases once a week if you can. If not, at least change them every other week. This is not only good for your piercing, but for your skin as well.
6. If you have pain, take something for it! I'm not a doctor, so I'm not going to tell you what you can and can't take. I only suggest that an over the counter pain killer can help with the pain you may experience after getting your piercing.
7. Follow the instructions for when you can change your piercing. You just got this new piercing and you want to try some different earrings. I get it. But wait until the specific amount of time has passed. There are so many different kinds of earrings out there and the material they are made of can lead to irritation and infection. The earring that is used for the piercing is probably allergy free and gentle on the site, which will help prevent infection. To be safe, keep the earring in for the suggested amount of time before trying to change it.
If you try to follow these instructions, you should be able to enjoy your piercing without worrying about pain or infection. It's important to remember that your body needs time to heal the piercing, just like if you would get a cut on your hand. Give your body the time to heal it and help the process along by taking proper care of the piercing.
*I am not an expert on this topic. I only have provided some common ways to properly care for the piercing and there is no guarantee that these will work. If you experience any major problems, please contact the place that did the actually piercing.