So...you've gotten over your fear of needles and you finally got your ears pierced! Now comes the harder part—the aftercare. This is the step that is most important because it can determine whether or not your piercing lasts. To make sure your new ear candy is here to stay, we've listed down five easy tips to keep in mind:
Spray and clean the area with a saline solution.
Apply it to the front and back of the piercing twice a day, every day. It might make more sense to use rubbing alcohol for cleaning, but it can be too drying, so it's best to stick to a gentle salt solution. You can make your own saline solution by mixing 1 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon of non-iodized salt. Store it in an airtight container and pop it in the fridge to prevent bacterial growth.
Don't touch or twist your piercings around.
We know you're in awe of your cool new piercing and that your immediate reaction is to touch it, but we're here to tell you not to do that. Aside from accidentally infecting the piercing with bacteria from your fingers, you are actually prolonging the healing process by making the drying wound raw again.
Keep hair and hair care products away from your piercings.
This may be hard to do, especially if you have long hair, but it's essential that you keep your strands away from your piercings. Long tresses can get caught up in the earring and one wrong tangle or pull cannot possibly end well.
Don't take your earrings out prematurely.
It's been a few days or weeks and you're already bored with your studs—you want to change them into hoops already! Just chill out first and wait a few more days. Six weeks will do for a simple lobe piercing, but it takes 12 weeks to a year for a cartilage piercing to fully heal. When you are cleared to change your earrings, make sure you use hypoallergenic posts to prevent infections.
Don't leave them without jewelry for too long.
Yes, you can take out the stud once you feel it's completely healed, but make sure not to leave them out for too long as piercings close quickly when left bare!
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.