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How should I care for my new piercing?

Proper care of a new piercing can prevent infection and help the area to heal more quickly. For tongue and lip piercings, use antiseptic mouthwash to clean the area. Use a new toothbrush to prevent infection. For other body piercings, clean the area with antibacterial soap one or two times a day. Do not use alcohol or peroxide because they can dry the skin. Finally, do not remove the jewelry or move it around until the piercing has healed completely.

Always wash hands before touching ear lobes, as initially the hole is essentially an open sore. I often see school aged girls who touch their earlobes or play with their earrings all day and end up getting an infection. Use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (I personally prefer rubbing alcohol), and clean the front and back twice a day for the first month, then at night after bathing for another month. I recommend always wiping off your earlobe and earrings with rubbing alcohol every time you put new earrings on to prevent infection. If there is any soreness, redness or pus at the site of the piercing, see your doctor right away.

The ideal time to leave in piercing studs is 2-6 months, because piercing studs are a bit thicker than regular earrings and, over time, the hole contracts. If a piercing stud is left in place too long, you may end up with a larger hole. For infant earlobes, I like to leave piercing studs in for 3 months, but older children and teens can switch out their earrings after 2 months.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.