Ear gauges have grown in popularity over the past decade among western countries and the trend is still rising. It’s not as uncommon to see an ear gauge as it used to be and they’re even showing up in Hollywood and catwalks.
Are you needing ear gauging explained? It’s essentially the process of stretching an earlobe piercing over multiple months to accommodate larger piercings and jewelry. Are you considering gauging your ears?
This ear gauge guide will explain the most important part of ear gauges which is keeping them clean. Read on to learn about ear gauge tips to keep them healthy, clean, and free of painful infections.
Caring For Ears After Gauging
Remember to avoid touching the gauged area for at least 24 hours if possible. After the first day, you’ll need to thoroughly clean the area multiple times a day.
Always wash your hands with soap and water anytime you get a new piercing or change other ear gauge sizes. Cleaning your hands comes first before cleaning your ears.
Cotton swabs work great for removing dried skin. New ear piercings often build up some dried skin and other crust. Simply dampen a cotton swab with water and use it to remove any dried skin or substances from the piercing.
Use an anti-bacterial soap to wash your ears after removing any dry matter. Lather up a dab of unscented anti-bacterial soap with water. Work this lather around each piercing’s front and back side.
Next, rinse away the soap with cool water. Use a clean paper towel to dry them after all the soap is rinsed off. Do this at least once each day but don’t do it more than twice daily.
A saltwater soak is another effective cleaning technique in addition to washing gauged ears with antibacterial soap. Dampen a clean cotton ball using saline solution and press it against your ear to accomplish this.
Doing 10 minute soaks two to three times per day work best for saltwater soaks. It might help if your piercing feels swollen, irritated, or painful in any other way. Although, do this sparingly if you wear bone, stone, or wooden jewelry.
Other Tips For Avoiding Infections
Avoiding infections is crucial with gauged ears. Any piercing is basically an open wound and vulnerable to infection. You can limit common causes of infections in new piercings by avoiding certain activities.
Try to avoid removing or changing jewelry for three weeks. Stay out of saunas, swimming pools, and lakes. Don’t wear hats or any dirty clothing as they might contain bacteria. Don’t touch the piercing unless absolutely necessary.
Remember to always remove your jewelry when showering after your ears have fully healed. Healing typically takes up to 12 weeks. This is the best time to clean your piercings and your jewelry.
Clean your piercings at the end of your shower. Wait until you’re done washing your hair, face, and body, and then use your anti-bacterial soap on the piercings. Clean your jewelry before putting it back in your ears.
Also, apply a dab of essential oil to your piecing before reinserting jewelry. Both tea tree and lavender essential oils act as natural antiseptics. The oils are great at keeping the hole free from bacteria and smelling pleasant.
How To Clean Wooden Plugs
Do not submerge wooden plugs in water or clean them with soap. Soaking wooden plugs or exposing them to a lot of moisture will degrade them. It will also make some types of wood plugs swell.
Also, wood is a very porous organic material. This is why treating it with soap causes damage to wooden plugs.
Wooden plugs are typically made using crocodile wood, sono wood, saba wood, or teak wood. Wooden plugs should be removed before showering and swimming even after 12 weeks no matter the wood type.
Use a slightly damp cloth to clean wooden plugs and let them completely air dry. Rub jojoba oil into the wood after the plugs have dried to avoid plugs becoming dry and cracking. Any cracking makes wearing them dangerous.
How To Clean Bone And Horn Plugs
Bone and horn gauges often change color over time as you wear them similarly to wooden plugs. They are similar in weight to wooden plugs but require a slightly different care routine.
They also swell so you shouldn’t submerge them in water. However, it’s fine to wash them with anti-bacterial soaps.
Polish a bone or horn plug with oil after they are completely dry. Jojoba oil or tea tree oil makes them shine and also helps them last longer. Use a soft thin cloth for polishing to help the oil penetrate all of the jewelry’s grooves.
How To Clean Stone Plugs
Stone plugs are one of the easiest types to maintain. They are quite water-resistant and withstand heavier washing and antibacterial soaps.
It’s even fine to use a soft-bristled brush and lukewarm water if your stone plugs have cutouts or deep grooves. This cleaning method works for both natural and synthetic stone plugs. Let stone plugs fully dry after cleaning.
How To Clean Glass And Acrylic Plugs
Glass plugs can be fully submerged in water and cleaned heavily with anti-bacterial soap. Just remember to use warm water don’t use eyeglass cleaners as they contain chemicals that are dangerous for piercings.
Acrylic plugs may seem similar to glass but they’re actually more porous. Clean them similarly to glass plugs but avoid fully submerging them.
How To Clean Metal Plugs
Metal plugs are best for beginners as they’re the easiest type to clean and maintain. Any type of metal gauge is non-porous and very hard. This makes them resistant to scratches.
The lack of scratches and grooves reduces any accumulation of germs and skin on the plugs. Metal gauges are also great for ear stretching because of this reason, too.
Use warm tap water and antibacterial soap to clean metal plugs. they don’t require any oils like previously mentioned plugs. Remember that metals like silver and gold are softer and fine bristle brushes work better for cleaning.
Are You Ready For Gauges?
Now you know how to properly clean your piercings and how to maintain an ear gauge. Remember this guide to prevent infections and to keep your jewelry looking great!
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