While most people choose to have their ears pierced at a piercing studio, some choose to do it themselves, at home. If you do opt to pierce your ears at home, it is vitally important that you do it properly and take all sensible safety precautions. Understanding how to pierce ears at home safely is crucial, as it ensures you successfully pierce your ears, with minimal pain and risk of infection.
Preparing to Pierce Your Ears
Choose your earrings; the best choices are small stud earrings around 10 mm in diameter. This allows room for swelling after piercing without painful pinching. Use earrings of high quality, such gold or titanium, as these are less likely to cause infection. Get a sterilised piercing needle, which has a hole to allow you can slip the earrings through the ears once pierced. Choose a 14 or 16 gauge needle for piercing the ear lobes. Make sure the needle is sterilised and never use a shared needle. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Wear sterile gloves so bacteria from your hands do not get on the needle. Hold the needle in an open flame to sterilise. Use an antiseptic wipe to remove soot from the needle.
Piercing Your Ears
Make sure your hair is well away from your ears. Use an alcohol swab to clean the ears, both front and back. Mark where you want the piercings to go, and if doing both ears, look in the mirror and make sure the marks are even. Find something to put behind your ear, such as cork or soap, to prevent you from pushing too far and piercing your neck. Place the needle in the correct spot. The needle should be perpendicular to the earlobe. Push the needle smoothly through ear. Wiggle the needle and thread the earring through the hole in needle. Push the earring in and remove the needle from back of the ear slowly. Remember to place the back on the earring on the ear. Repeat for the second ear.
Caring for Your Piercings
Caring for your piercings, particularly for the first six to eight weeks after you pierce your ears is crucial to avoid infection and to promote proper healing. Do not remove the earrings for at least six weeks. If you do remove them, it is unlikely you will be able to get the earrings back in and the piercings will quickly close. Wash the piercings twice a day with warm salt water and cotton swabs or with a microfibre cloth. Rotate the earrings as you clean, and remember to clean the backs as well as the fronts. Ensure your ears fully heal before changing your earrings. If you notice any signs of infection, such as continued swelling, pain, redness, or discharge, seek medical advice as soon as possible.