Ear Stretching (5 of 5) || How to care for your stretched ears!
How to Clean Ear Gauges
Body stretching has become a common practice, particularly in ear lobes. The term "gauges" often refers to the size of the opening and jewelry. In order to keep your widened ear piercings clean (and free from infection), you must perform routine cleansing of your jewelry. Additionally, you must follow after-care guidelines any time you get a new piecing or move up a size, and keep your healed piercings clean. With just a bit of daily attention, you can keep your gauges healthy and fresh.
Disinfecting Ear Gauge Jewelry
Wash "synthetic" jewelry with antibacterial soap and water.For many types of ear gauge jewelry, cleansing with antibacterial soap is the most effective way to keep your piercing and jewelry fresh. Simply lather the jewelry with antibacterial soap, rinse in cool water, and dry with a clean paper towel. This method works for the following jewelry materials:
- Acrylic and dental acrylic
Clean horn, bone, or stone jewelry with mild soap and water.Ear gauge jewelry made from organic materials cannot withstand harsh antibacterial soap. Instead, wash your horn, bone, or stone jewelry in the mildest soap you can find (baby soap is an excellent choice), rinse with cool water, and dry with a clean paper towel.
- Do not allow your organic jewelry to soak in water.
Wipe wood jewelry with a damp cloth.Wooden jewelry should never be submerged in water. Instead, wipe wooden pieces of jewelry down with a damp cloth, then apply a drop of oil to condition them.Good oils for this purpose include:
Caring for Freshly Gauged Ears
Wash your hands.Anytime you receive a new piercing--or move to a larger size gauge--it is important to refrain from touching the area for at least 24 hours. After this, you will need to clean the area several times a day. Before touching your piercings it is important to wash your hands with hot water and soap.
Use cotton swaps to remove dried skin.Your fresh ear piercing may accumulate some dried skin or other crust. With clean hands, moisten a cotton swab with water and use it to carefully removed any dried matter from the front and back of each piercing.
Wash your ears with anti-bacterial soap.Once the dry matter has been removed, lather a drop of unscented antibacterial soap and water, and work this around each piercing (front and back). Rinse each piercing with cool water and dry them with a clean paper towel.
- Do this at least once, but not more than twice per day.
Perform a salt water soak.In addition to cleansing with antibacterial soap, you may want to perform a salt water soak. In order to do this, moisten a clean cotton ball with saline solution, and press it up to your ear piercing.
- You can do this for 10 minutes at a time, 2-3 times per day.
- Perform a salt water soak if your piercing feels swollen, irritated, or otherwise painful.
- Use this practice sparingly with bone, stone, or wooden jewelry.
Avoid infections.A piercing is essentially an open wound, and as such, is prone to infection. You can prevent infections in your ear piercings by avoiding risky activities. For at least 3 weeks after getting a new piercing (or sizing up your gauges), avoid:
- Removing or changing jewelry
- Saunas, swimming pools, lakes, and other bodies of water
- Wearing hats or dirty clothes
- Touching the piercing unnecessarily
- Touching the piercing with dirty hands
Maintaining Ear Gauges
Remove your jewelry when you shower.Once your piercings are fully healed (after 12 weeks), you should remove your jewelry when you shower. This is the most effective way to clean both your piercings and your jewelry. Be sure that your hands are clean before you remove your ear gauge jewelry.
Clean your piercings last.In the shower, wait until you have finished washing your hair, face, and body before washing your piercings. Then, lather some antibacterial soap and work it in and around your ear piercings. Rinse completely.
- Clean your jewelry before reinserting it.
- Follow the cleansing instruction based on the material your jewelry is made of.
Apply a drop of essential oil to your piecing.Once your piercings and your jewelry are clean, it is time to put your jewelry back in. If you are concerned about the smell of your piercings and/or jewelry, rub a drop of either tea tree or lavender essential oil into your gauge before reinserting jewelry to help keep the hole free from germs and smelling nice.
- Tea tree and lavender essential oils are naturally antiseptic.
QuestionShould I keep my gauges in when cleaning your ears if you just sized up?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you already stretched, you should just do sea salt soaks, as a newly stretched piercing can close up quickly if you take it out. So, don't risk removing them.Thanks!
QuestionHow do you I heal a gauge infection?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhen stretching, treat your piercing as though it were fresh. ALWAYS wash your hands before and after touching your piercing. If your piercing is red, irritated, or swollen, remove your stretchers; if you like, you can put a smaller-gauge ring in place so it won't close up. Then, keep it clean with mild soap and water. Once any pain or irritation has passed, you can start stretching again, but take it slow. You don't want to build up any scar tissue from forcing things. All that being said, if your piercing has pus, smells, or has streaks of red coming from it, go see your doctor.Thanks!
Video: How to Clean Stretched Ears! | Alyssa Nicole |
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