The Complete STUDS Guide to Ear Piercing Aftercare

Congrats Stud, you’ve just been pierced! So what happens now?

The Complete STUDS Guide to Ear Piercing Aftercare

Taking proper care of your piercing and doing your aftercare diligently is key for optimal healing. Read through this guide to learn all about how to take care of your new piercing and what to expect during the healing process:

How long will my piercing take to heal?

While healing times can vary for everyone, it’s dependent on factors such as your overall health, sleep and stress levels, and your aftercare regimen. 

Typically, ear lobe piercings take around 4-6 months, while upper or inner ear piercings take between 6-12+ months to fully heal. 

You’ll know your ear is healed once any discharge, swelling, redness, flaking, or soreness stops. In general, your piercing should continue to feel better with time and a consistent aftercare routine!

Recommended Downsize Time Frames*:
*Tissue heals from the outside in. During the initial healing period, your piercing may feel fine on the outside, but the interior may still be healing. While your piercing may be ready for a downsize, it does not mean it has fully healed and you should not be switching over to hoops or fashion jewelry just yet!

Lobe: 2-3 months
Stacked Lobes: 2-3 months
Upper Lobe: 2-3 months
Snakebite Midi: 3-4 months
Helix: 3-4 months
Flat Helix: 3-4 months
Forward Helix: 3-4 months
Conch: 3-4 months
Tragus: 3-4 months
Anti-Tragus: 3-4 months
Rook: 3-4 months
Daith: 3-4 months
Industrial: 4-5 months

Full Healing Time Frames*:
*Your piercing is fully healed, both on the outside and the inside. *At this point, you may change your jewelry to hoops and fashion styles of jewelry.

Lobe: 4-6+ months
Stacked Lobes: 4-6+ months
Upper Lobe: 4-6+ months
Snakebite Midi: 6-9+ months
Helix: 6-9+ months
Flat Helix: 6-9+ months
Forward Helix: 6-9+ months
Conch: 6-9+ months
Tragus: 6-9+ months
Anti-Tragus: 8 months - 12+ months
Rook: 8 months - 12+ months
Daith: 8 months - 12+ months
Industrial: 8 months - 12+ months

How should I clean my piercing?

  1. Prior to cleaning your new piercing, thoroughly wash your hands. Other than to clean your piercing, avoid touching it as much as possible—do NOT rotate or twist. 

  2. Spray the front and back of your piercing with sterile saline solution, 2 to 3 times a day. For certain piercings, it may be easier to apply using a clean non-woven gauze saturated with saline solution. If your piercer suggests using soap, gently lather around the piercing and rinse as needed. Avoid using harsh soaps, or soaps with dyes or fragrances.

  3. Rinse the pierced sites (front and back) and surrounding area with water as needed to remove cleaning solution residue. Moving or rotating jewelry is not necessary during cleaning or rinsing.

  4. Dry the area by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry causing injury!

Pro Tips: 

  • Do not use cotton swabs/pads, as the fibers can get caught under your jewelry and irritate your piercing. We recommend using non-woven gauze or spraying saline directly onto the front and back of your piercing!
  • Exercise during healing is fine; listen to your body. We recommend avoiding contact sports that may potentially cause your piercing to get bumped around.

  • Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you are sleeping. 
  • Try your best to avoid sleeping directly on your fresh piercing(s). (Pro Tip: Use a travel pillow and place your ear in the middle hole of the pillow when laying down on your side.)
  • Stay dry(ish). Avoid submerging your new piercing in water such as pools, baths, and oceans! Showering is fine, just remember to keep your piercing clean, and rinse thoroughly of any residual soap.

  • After the initial healing time frame, it is important for the health of your piercing that you pop back into a Studs studio to have one of our piercers check your healing status and down-size the length of your post if it’s ready. Book your complimentary checkup appointment here!

What is normal during a piercing's healing process?

During the first few weeks, some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, and/or bruising is expected. Throughout your healing process, you may also notice some discoloration, itching, and the secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry—this is also normal! The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals. Once your piercing is healed, the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it! 

If you don’t stick to a regular cleaning regimen for your piercing, some body secretions may accumulate with a faint smell. This is normal, and we recommend including cleaning as part of your daily hygiene routine.

It’s important to know that a piercing might seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. The key is to be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire initial healing period.

If you remove your piercing jewelry, it’s possible that your piercing may shrink or close in minutes! This varies from person to person, and we recommend keeping your piercing jewelry in until it is fully healed.

If you have any questions about your piercing, you’re always welcome to come back into one of our Studs studios to have a piercer check up on your healing process. Just reach out to us at or book a check up here.

**If you experience any abnormal symptoms outside of those listed above, we recommend checking in with your doctor.