How do you keep your ear piercing from closing without earrings

Biden WatchBlog How do you keep your ear piercing from closing without earrings
Simple ear piercing maintenance tips to prevent closure without earrings

  Reading time 9 minutes

Getting your ears pierced is a commitment, not just a fashion statement. One of the greatest concerns after piercing your ears is the potential of the piercing holes closing up, especially when you cannot wear earrings. There could also be circumstances where you’ve forgotten to put earrings back in, or you’re avoiding them due to medical reasons.

The key to keeping ear piercings from closing is understanding the healing process and maintaining a clear passage in the piercing area. This often involves gentle care and employing alternative methods to keep the piercing open, so even when you’re not flaunting your favorite studs or hoops, your ear piercings remain intact and ready for the next time you choose to adorn them.

Understanding the Ear Piercing Healing Process

The Initial Healing Phase

The journey toward fully healed ears starts the moment you get your ears pierced. This initial phase is crucial as it lays the foundation for newer piercings to mature properly. Lobe piercings generally take about 6 to 8 weeks to heal, while cartilage piercings might take anywhere from 4 months to 1 year due to the denser nature of cartilage. It’s imperative during this period to maintain a regimen that prevents infection and encourages proper healing.

Long-term Healing and Maintenance

Even after your piercings have healed, the tissue around the piercing area is still relatively tender and can close if earrings are not worn for an extended period. This is particularly true for newer piercings, which might not have completely settled into their fully healed state. To keep a piercing open, it’s essential to understand that the skin inside the piercing forms a fistula—a tunnel of scar tissue—and this takes time to develop fully.

Effective methods to maintain your ear piercing without using earrings

Tips to Prevent Ear Piercings from Closing

Regular Cleaning and Care

Consistent cleaning can help much with piercing aftercare. Is there a specific routine that one should follow? Absolutely. Daily cleaning of the piercing area with a saline solution will also aid in warding off bacteria, which not only prevents infection but also helps keep the hole from closing up by promoting a healthy environment around the piercing.

1Wash your hands with soap and water before touching your piercing.
2Clean the pierced area with a saline solution or a mild antiseptic solution.
3Gently rotate the earrings if they are already in place to prevent them from sticking to the skin.
4Avoid touching the piercing unnecessarily to reduce the risk of infection.
5Keep hair products, makeup, and other cosmetics away from the pierced area to prevent irritation.
6Use a clean cotton swab to remove any crust or discharge that may accumulate around the piercing.
7Apply a thin layer of antibacterial ointment to the piercing site if recommended by your piercer.
8Avoid swimming in pools, lakes, or oceans until your piercing is fully healed to prevent infections.
9Consult your piercer or a healthcare professional if you notice any signs of infection or complications.

Temporary Alternatives to Earrings

If for some reason you cannot sport regular earrings, there are still ways to prevent that hole from shrinking. Here are two practical options:

  1. Plastic retainers: These clear or flesh-toned alternatives can be a godsend for people who need their ear piercings to be inconspicuous, for situations such as job interviews or surgery.
  2. Piercing studs: Wearing piercing studs, which are specially designed with a thinner post, could also serve as a placeholder to keep piercing open when traditional jewelry is not an option.

Massage Techniques to Maintain Hole Integrity

Gentle massage to the earlobe or the outer ear can stimulate blood flow and assist in maintaining the elasticity of the piercing area. Implementing a mild, hypoallergenic oil during the massage could also provide moisture, which helps keep the tissue supple and less likely to close over.

What to Do If You Can’t Wear Earrings

Special Situations Where Earrings are Not Possible

Medical procedures, certain jobs, or even sports activities might dictate a period where you cannot wear any earrings. In such cases, following the guidelines for temporary alternatives and massage strategies will prove helpful.

Professional Advice for Maintaining Piercings

It’s a wise move to consult with a piercing professional or a dermatologist about alternatives and care tips specific to your situation. These experts may offer solutions that are tailored to your ear’s condition and the particular type of piercing you have.

Preventing ear piercing closure naturally without relying on earrings

Home Remedies and Natural Solutions

Saline Solutions and Natural Oils

Sea salt soaks and saline solutions are the staples of piercing care. Regular application does not only cleanse the piercing but helps keep the holes from tightening. When combined with natural oils such as tea tree or coconut oil, these solutions will also keep the area lubricated and less prone to closing.

Herbal Treatments to Promote Healing

Some might find herbal remedies, like chamomile compresses, beneficial for soothing the piercing area. These natural alternatives can enhance healing and maintain the piercing’s patency without introducing harsh chemicals that could irritate sensitive skin.

When to Seek Professional Help

Signs of Infection or Complications

Recognizing the signs of an infection—such as redness, pain, swelling, or discharge—is crucial. If these occur, it’s important to seek professional help immediately as an untreated infection could lead to the piercing closing, among other more serious complications.

Re-opening Closed Piercings Safely

If you find that your piercing has started to close, don’t attempt to force it open yourself. A professional can help reopen it safely and provide advice on care to prevent re-closure.

Keeping your ear piercing open without earrings: expert tips and tricks


Preserving an open ear piercing without earrings is a balance of preventive care, clever alternatives, and timely professional intervention. Embrace patience and dedication to aftercare to ensure your piercings remain a viable accessory option for the long term. Always remember, the best outcomes come from a combination of personal vigilance and informed decisions—whether you’re treating your piercing at home or seeking assistance from a specialist.

FAQs After the Conclusion

  1. How often should I clean my piercing if I’m not wearing earrings? Cleaning your piercing should be part of your daily routine, even if you’re not wearing earrings. Once a day is usually sufficient, but if you’re prone to infections or live in a particularly hot or humid environment, you may want to clean it twice a day.
  2. What’s the best way to keep my ear piercings open without earrings at night? You can wear retainers made of medical-grade material or lightweight sleepers that are specifically designed to be worn overnight to keep the piercing open without causing discomfort.
  3. Is it safe to use petroleum jelly or similar products on a piercing to keep it from closing? Petroleum jelly is not recommended for use on piercings. It can trap bacteria against the skin and doesn’t allow the piercing to breathe, which could lead to infection.
  4. How can I tell if my piercing hole is starting to close? You may notice that the piercing site is getting tighter or experiencing resistance when trying to insert an earring. There might also be slight discomfort or a pinching feeling, which are signs that the hole is shrinking.
  5. Are there any specific foods or vitamins that can help in keeping my piercing open and healthy? While no specific foods or vitamins directly keep a piercing open, maintaining an overall healthy diet rich in vitamins A, C, and E can promote skin health and aid the body’s healing processes. Staying hydrated is also crucial for skin elasticity.