At doctor’s offices or pharmacies that use Studex ear piercing systems you’re in good hands: This useful guide informs you about everything you need to know about professional ear piercing and the correct aftercare. If you have any individual questions about these topics, your doctor or pharmacist is always happy to help. Beauty and health should always go hand in hand, also in terms of ear piercing. Your doctor or pharmacist is happy to advise you.
What is the difference between ear piercing and body piercing?
Body piercing means piercing the skin in areas other than the earlobe or upper flat cartilage area. First, the respective part of the body is pierced with a sterile, single-use hollow needle. Then the sterile jewelry is inserted through the fresh hole and closed manually by the piercer.
The areas marked in pink in the image are suitable for professional ear piercing with state-of-the-art precision instruments at your doctor’s or your pharmacy.
What is the difference between earlobe piercing and ear cartilage piercing?
Traditional ear piercing through the soft earlobe with state-of-the-art instruments is barely noticeable. Most people say they only feel the slightest little pinch. The earlobes are well supplied with blood; therefore the hole heals quite quickly. This means, after only 6 weeks you can remove the hypoallergenic studs and wear other earrings. Normally, after approximately 5 to 6 months the holes have fully healed.
Ear piercing through the upper flat cartilage area (helix) is the second popular type of ear piercing. Cartilage is the only body tissue that is not supplied with blood. In these areas, the body cannot use blood to transport metabolic products and supply nutritive substances but has to use diffusion instead. Therefore, the healing process of an ear piercing in this area takes considerably longer. The hypoallergenic studs in the cartilage area may only be replaced by other earrings after a healing period of 12 weeks. It takes approximately 12 months until your ear cartilage piercing is fully healed.
How are ears professionally pierced?Here is what the piercing process looks like.
Anamnesis: Do you have allergies?
Do you know if you get allergic reactions to certain substances? For example, nickel, house dust, certain drugs or antiseptics? Are there any known cases of allergies in your family? If you are uncertain, please clarify this with your general practitioner before having your ear pierced. This is essential to avoid complications.
Which materials should you choose?
In everyday life, nickel can be found in many places: jewelry, glasses frames, watches, zippers, buttons, buckles or scissors. Also steel always consists of nickel and other materials. Even lettuce or chocolate contain traces of nickel. Cheap fashion jewelry can contain a high amount of nickel. As some people can get allergic reactions to nickel, the EU nickel directive imposes limits on the amount of nickel that is allowed to be released onto the skin per week. For ear jewelry these limits are a maximum of 0.2 micrograms per square centimeter per week (i.e. 0.2 millionth of a gram).
Materials such as surgical stainless steel with the designation 316L as well as medical titanium, which are common materials for piercing studs, are also used in medicine, e.g. for surgical implants that remain in the human body all life long without causing harmful side effects. You can be sure that all piercing earrings inserted by your doctor or pharmacist are hypoallergenic and skin-friendly and fall significantly below the maximum limit of the EU nickel directive, which makes them perfectly suited for ear piercing.
Are there any age restrictions for ear piercing?
Adults (aged 18 or older) also have to sign a release form before having their ear pierced.
In general, there is no legal minimum age for ear piercing. Parents or legal guardians can individually decide on the right point of time for their child. Your doctor or pharmacist is happy to provide individual medical advice.
From a medical point of view, age does not play a role for ear piercing. As the German Association of Otolaryngologists (Deutscher Berufsverband der Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Ärzte) states:
From a medical perspective, it does not matter whatsoever if the ear is pierced as a child or as an later. Michael Deeg from the Association of Otolaryngologists in Freiburg, Germany, explains, “The earlobe is equally suitable for ear piercing at every age.” The expert says that the experience of pain was not higher for children than for adults. Often the piercing itself would only be perceived as a little pinch.
Source: news.de/dpa, Oct. 16, 2012
What are the risks of ear piercing?
Before piercing the ear, your doctor or pharmacist will clarify any so-called contraindications with you and inform you about the general risks of ear piercing as well as the importance of proper aftercare. Contraindications may be e.g. hemophilia (bleeding disorder), HIV, hepatitis or proneness to heavy scarring. You are also questioned about known allergies, especially metal intolerances. The medical expert then examines your ear for possible cuts, rash or skin irregularities and recommends to postpone ear piercing to a later point of time in case of any findings.
It may be very small, but a freshly pierced hole is a wound. Therefore, hygiene is essential. In order to minimize the risk of infections or inflammations, especially due to improper or insufficient aftercare, it is important that you follow the care instructions given by your doctor or pharmacist.
What about hygiene at the pharmacy or doctor’s office?
In Germany, ear piercing is subject to the respective regulations on the monitoring of businesses according to the regulation on the prevention of communicable diseases (“Bestimmungen der Überwachung von Betrieben gemäß der Verordnung zur Verhütung übertragbarer Krankheiten”), in short “hygiene regulations.” The ear piercing procedure as well as requirements to the facilities and their equipment is defined by special hygiene plans, which also cover all other topics such as disinfection, cleaning and disposal. You can be sure that the medical experts at your doctor’s office or pharmacy observe all hygiene regulations. The piercing expert wears disposable gloves. The ear is properly disinfected. The hypoallergenic piercing stud and the clasp are packed in a sealed single-use cartridge, thus ensuring sterility. The expert loads the cartridge into the instrument without touching the earring or the clasp. The instrument itself does not get in contact with your ear. However, the instrument, the workplace and all surfaces are disinfected after each use.
What do you have to observe regarding aftercare?
After the ear piercing, proper and regular aftercare is essential for keeping your ears beautiful and healthy. Newly pierced ears must be cleansed with appropriate aftercare products at least twice a day. Your doctor or pharmacist will explain the aftercare details to you and give you a care product and detailed instructions for newly pierced ears. By carefully following these instructions, inflammations, infections or other complications can easily be avoided.
Do not touch the stud or your ear unnecessarily during the healing period. Always wash your hands thoroughly before touching the studs or your ears. The instrument positions the clasp automatically correctly on the post. Do not push the clasp along the post toward the ear. This ensures the correct positioning of the stud and allows for adequate air circulation at the piercing channel. An earring that sits too tightly can cause an infection.
How long should you wear the piercing studs?
Leave the hypoallergenic piercing studs in your earlobes for at least 6 weeks continuously before removing them. For cartilage piercings, leave the piercing earring in your ear for at least 12 weeks continuously. The studs should not be removed from the ear during this period, not even for aftercare.
What do you have to observe when bathing, showering and washing your hair?
Generally, try to keep your ears dry in between cleansing with a piercing care product. Keep hairspray, shampoo, soap and other preparations away from your new ear piercings. After showering or bathing, the ear should be rinsed with clear water and then prepared with a care product.
Do you have to remove the studs during sports activities?
Can ear piercings close?
Ear piercings that are newly pierced or not fully healed would close, if you removed the studs. Therefore the piercing studs should be worn continuously for at least 6 weeks (earlobes) or 12 weeks (ear cartilage). It takes up to 5 months (earlobes) or 12 months (cartilage area) until the ear piercings have fully healed.
Once your ear piercings are fully healed, however, they cannot grow back together. The inside of the piercing channel will be covered by skin, which thus seals the “wound” caused by piercing the ear. Sometimes it may look like the piercing closed, since healed piercings usually excrete sebum, if you don’t wear earrings for a while.
Can you go swimming with newly pierced ears?
Which earrings are recommended after the healing period?
Even after the first healing period of 6 or 12 weeks after piercing, we recommend to use only post-type earrings during the following healing period, no hook earrings. The earring post should be made of surgical stainless steel or other hypoallergenic material such as titanium, karat gold or sterling silver. We do not recommend using cheap fashion jewelry, as this type of jewelry may release a large amount of nickel, or may even be laden with the harmful heavy metals lead or cadmium or the equally harmful metal cobalt.
What to observe regarding the connective tissue?
Caution in case of intolerance to antibiotics or cross-intolerances
Normally, there are no complications when the ear piercing is performed by a trained expert or medical professional. In rare cases, however, the wound may get infected. The most common cause of infection results from an improper aftercare. Depending on the severity of the infection, the use of antibiotics may become necessary. Therefore we recommend that you always contact your doctor to clarify any possible intolerance.
When should you seek medical advice?
Severe infections can lead to intense redness or swelling, bleeding or festering and are often very painful. In such circumstances, seek medical advice at your general practitioner’s or dermatologist’s immediately. Depending on the severity of the infection, your doctor will decide if the piercing earring has to be removed. He will cleanse the wound thoroughly and disinfect it, and advise you on how to further promote the healing process at home. Do not treat complications associated with ear cartilage piercings lightly! Failure to seek medical advice in case of complications may result in permanent scarring of the ear cartilage.
EAR PIERCING CHECKLIST
What to observe:
- Have your ears pierced only by trained experts or medical professionals.
- Please clarify in advance if you or your family suffer from allergies (e.g. nickel, house dust, certain drugs or antiseptics).
- Do you take any drugs? Are you resistant to antibiotics? If you are not certain, please contact your doctor.
- Please inform yourself about possible regulations on wearing earrings at your school, your sports club, etc.
- Consider carefully in advance which area of your ear you want to have pierced.
- Make sure that sterile single-use cartridges are used with the instrument and that it is operated with manual pressure.
- Please make sure that your earrings are hypoallergenic and skin-friendly in accordance with the EU nickel directive.
- Carefully follow the care instructions given by your doctor or pharmacist.
- Keep dirt, shampoo or soap away from the wound and avoid swimming, if possible.
- If inflammations or other undue symptoms occur, seek medical advice immediately.
- Let the wound heal completely.
- After the healing period, choose earrings made of hypoallergenic materials.
Do you have any questions regarding ear piercing?
For further information, contact your doctor or pharmacist, or send us an inquiry via our contact form.