Are your stretched ears painful, swollen, or irritated?It takes some time and effort, but following ALL the tips below should help you to heal stretched ears within few weeks.
(Please note I’m not a doctor and this isn’t medical advice – if you need medical advice, please see a doctor in your area!
Please do NOT comment asking me if you should see a doctor – it’s better to be on the safe side and see a doctor if you’re not sure.)
Important: If your symptoms don’t get better at all within a week, please see a doctor or professional piercer in your area.
You should see a doctor immediately if you:
- Have severe pain or swelling from the piercing
- Have a lot of discharge that’s thick, green/yellow/gray, and bad smelling
- See red streaks coming from your piercing
- Have a fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or disorientation
- Have any symptoms of infection that last for more than a week
Please be safe and take care of yourself! Infections can be very dangerous, and cause permanent damage or even death.
Why Are Your Lobes Irritated?
There are plenty of reasons why your stretched lobes might be sore, painful, red, swollen, or irritated. Some of the most common include:
1. Stretching Too Fast
If it’s right after you stretched up, it could be because you stretched before your ears were ready to go to the next size. If your lobes are ready to stretch, the jewelry should go in easily and they shouldn’t hurt.
If you force it, you’re causing your skin to tear, which can open you up to infection.
See: How long should I wait between stretches?
2. Jewelry Sensitivity
Surgical stainless steel is safe if you’re sensitive to other materials.
Some people are sensitive to certain kinds of material, and can’t wear them without getting a reaction. This most often happens with acrylic jewelry, but you could also be sensitive to certain types of wood jewelry or other materials.
If your ears are irritated and you’re not sure why and haven’t stretched up lately, it could be because of the jewelry you’re wearing. Try switching to surgical stainless steel for a while to see if it takes care of the problem.
How to Heal Stretched Ears That Are Irritated
To heal your irritated ears, you should treat them like a fresh piercing.
That means using sea salt soaks, being careful not to introduce bacteria to the piercing, and leaving them alone to heal!
- Do sea salt soaks once or twice a day, for at least a week. See: How To Sea Salt Soak Stretched Ears
- Don’t let dirty towels or linens get in contact with your ears. Use only fresh, clean towels, and change your pillowcase every night (or cover your pillow with a clean t-shirt every night).
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before doing sea salt soaks or handling your ears for any reason.
- Do NOT touch your ears unless you have to in order to clean them, change jewelry, etc. Every time you touch them, you’re irritating them further, interrupting the healing process, and possibly introducing dirt and bacteria that can cause infection.
Sea salt soaks might be time-consuming and a bit of a hassle, but they’re honestly the #1 thing you can do to heal stretched ears.
If Your Ears Don’t Get Better
If your symptoms last for more than a week, or if you have any of the above signs of infection, please see a doctor right away.
You can also check the Association of Professional Piercers website to find piercers who are APP members in your area.
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