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Just had your ear's pierced? Here's what to expect

Piercings can take anywhere between 8 to 12 weeks to heal completely. How long exactly the healing process takes, however, depends on how carefully you choose your industrial piercing jewellery, and how you take care of your piercing once you get it done. Here are a few tips.

Choose the right kind of jewellery

Picking safe, hypoallergenic earrings is a vital first step. Implant-grade gold or titanium is the best possible choice. In general, it's important to make sure that the jewellery you get is free of nickel.

It’s also important to pay attention to the size of the jewellery you go for. Long bars often catch on clothes, on pillows or in the hair, and pull at the site of the piercing, making it harder for healing to occur. A short bar can be a bad idea, too - it can impinge on the flesh and make healing harder. A reasonable, 14-gauge piece of jewellery that isn't overly long or too short is ideal. If you do want such jewellery, it would be a good idea to choose something after your piercings heal.

Expect different levels of healing

If your jewellery passes through more than one piercing, it's more than likely that the bar, ring or other jewellery will irritate one or another hole. You can expect inconsistent healing, depending on which piercings are the most irritated. A healing piercing can appear in perfect shape one day, and swollen and tender the next. If this is the situation that you come up against, you should apply a compress soaked with brine or chamomile.

Sleep smart

It would be best not to sleep on the side that the piercing is on. Long periods of pressure aren't good for the healing process. If you like to sleep on your side, pierce one ear or another body part at a time so that you can sleep on the other side. If you do need to sleep on the side with the piercing, use a neck pillow, the kind that travellers use on aeroplanes. You can rest your head so that the pierced ear is up against the empty space in the middle of the pillow.

Be careful doing everyday things

Whether you need to brush your hair, or wear glasses or headphones, make sure that you don't catch these items on your piercings. While you might want to reflexively use these items carelessly, it's important to slow down and pay attention to make sure that nothing catches on your industrial jewellery.