Deciding to get your ears pierced is a big deal whether you're seven, seventeen, or well into your thirties. If you're getting ready to go for it, make sure you know the things that could happen to your body when you get your ears pierced. Some are minor and some could be a little dangerous, but it's good to be prepared for anything!
The first time I got my ears pierced, I was 12 years old. I went to a Claire's and, tragically, the girl pierced my ears unevenly! One of the holes was perfectly centered, but the other was barely on the tip of my lobe. This was completely devastating.
I took out the piercings and waited two years for the holes to fully close, and then went to a more professional piercing salon to get them re-pierced. And believe it or not, the technician put the back of one of the studs in too tight and my left lobe got completely infected. I think the universe just didn't want me to have pierced ears and I've since resigned myself to the little kid section of jewelry stores where all the epic clip-ons are.
While I totally doubt you'll have the same ridiculously bad luck when it comes to piercing your ears, make sure you know what to potentially expect.
1. You Could Have An Allergic Reaction
Dermatologist Amy J. Derick, M.D. told Huffington Post, "Nickel is a common allergen," and earrings made from the metal should be avoided. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends piercing with earrings made from surgical grade steel, titanium, or at least 14K gold.
2. There Might Be (Totally Normal) Swelling
Master piercer J. Colby Smith explained to Teen Vogue that a little redness and swelling after a piercing is 100 percent normal, and "ice is the quickest way to reduce swelling."
3. The Piercing Could Get Infected
If you're constantly touching your piercing, it has a higher chance of getting infected. You should really only be touching your piercing to clean it and occasionally to turn it. Otherwise, fight the urge!
4. You Might Develop A Keloid
If you notice really dramatic swelling and a build up of scar tissue, you could be developing a keloid, which Livestrong defined as "a scar made of cartilage and forms as a result of an infection." You'll definitely need to hit up a dermatologist if this starts to happen, so don't wait around if your ear gets infected!
5. You Could Tear Your Earlobes
Once you have earrings, you need to be mindful about not getting them snagged when you're drying your hair with a towel or putting on a shirt and accidentally ripping through your lobe. The ADD explained that surgery is the only way to fix this, so try and be careful (especially if you are stretching gauges!).
6. Sleep May Be Uncomfortable
As Teen Vogue shared, it is completely typical for your freshly-pierced ears to be tender against your pillows. To take some of the pressure off, Smith advised "buying a travel pillow for your neck and situating your ear in the opening."
7. The Piercing Could Close
If you take your earrings out for too long, the holes can in fact close shut. You can either very carefully try to push earrings through (though you risk infection!) or go to a professional piercer to have them re-open the holes.
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Images: Jamie, Marina (2), Interiorrain, operation_janet, symmetry_mind, © Natalia Balcerska Photography, Natalie Vance