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When Can You Change Your Ear Piercing? A Complete Guide

When can you change your ear piercing?

It’s been a few weeks, maybe a month, and you’re itching to switch out your starter earrings for something a little more, dare we say, glamorous.

We get it. But before you rush to the nearest Claire’s, you should know a few things about ear piercing changing.

When Can You Change Your Ear Piercing: male model with multiple ear piercings
Image by Kilian Seiler via Unsplash

When can you change your ear piercing? Well, you must give the piercing enough time to heal and wait until it does not irritate anymore.

If you are unsure about the correct changing time, we are here to help. We’ll discuss the complete ear-care solution and the best time to change the starter jewelry.

What Is the Healing Process for Ear Piercings?

If you’re considering getting your ears pierced, you might be wondering about the healing process.

Let’s find out how the recovery will go:

Ear piercing

The Various Stages of Healing

The inflammatory stage: You will experience inflammation in a new piercing.

It’s your body’s response to the trauma of the piercing.

This stage may last for two to three days, and you may experience some redness, inflammation and pain.

The proliferative stage: After the initial swelling subsides, your body will enter the healing stage.

New tissue will begin to grow around the piercing.

When Can You Change Your Ear Piercing
Image byb Cat Han via Unsplash

This stage can last for four to six weeks, and you may see some discharge from the piercing during this time.

The remodeling stage: Once the new tissue has fully grown around the piercing, your body will enter the remodeling stage, during which the tissue will continue to mature and strengthen.

The maturation process can go on for six to 12 months, but some piercings may take around two years.

This stage ends when the new skin’s color and texture are similar to the surrounding skin.

When Can You Change Your Ear Piercing: Asian young girl getting ear piercings

The Signs of a Healed Ear Piercing

A healed ear piercing will look different from a recovering wound. During the healing period, the discharge should lessen gradually.

A fully healed piercing should not:

  • Produce any discharge
  • Be painful or tender to the touch
  • Have red or pink surrounding skin

For any concerns, talk to your piercer or doctor.

Large ear piercings back view

Do Ear Piercings Heal Differently from Other Piercings?

Everyone’s ability to heal is different, so their healing process and time will be different too.

Ear lobe piercings heal quicker than other ear piercing types because the soft tissues heal faster and are less susceptible to infection.

However, when the piercing is in the cartilage, nose piercings will heal quicker because of having more blood flow.

There are four main types of ear piercing: lobe, helix, conch and tragus piercing.

The healing process for each type is the same, but the duration could be different.

When Can You Change Your Ear Piercing: Multiple Ear piercings

What Are the Risks of Ear Piercings?

When can you change your ear piercing? You should wait until the wound’s complete recovery.

And a smooth recovery depends on how you handle the risks.

Metal Allergy

A metal allergy, like nickel, may trigger reactions like redness, swelling and itching.

For severe allergies, get the earrings removed by a doctor.

Infected Ear piercings

Both gold and silver alloys can have nickel, and the percentage is even high in Grade 1 white gold.

These metals also have copper, significantly in rose gold and sterling silver jewelry, which can also create allergic reactions.

Copper allergy is quite rare, but you should be careful nonetheless.

To avoid metal allergy, you can use 14K or higher gold jewelry or ornaments made of surgical-grade stainless steel, platinum or titanium.

Avoid silver jewelry, particularly during the healing period, to avoid allergic complications like itchiness, red skin and inflammation.

 Ear piercing


Piercing your ears creates an open wound, which means there’s a risk of infection.

Symptoms of an infected body piercing include redness, swelling, pain, pus or crusted discharge.

There could also be an abscess, which is a bacterial infection creating a pocket of pus under the pierced skin.

It can happen if an infection goes untreated or bacteria gets trapped under the skin.

Symptoms of an abscess include a visible pus buildup, pain, tenderness and warmth around the piercing.

Complicated and untreated infections can cause scarring, nerve damage and tissue damage.

Take medical treatment if you notice any of these symptoms.

When Can You Change Your Ear Piercing: Ear piercings
Image by Ari Roberts via Pexels

When Can I Change My Ear Piercing?

How long should I wait to change my ear jewelry? Well, you will need to wait until the wound has completely healed.

The recovery time can change depending on your immune system, aftercare routine and the piercing type.

Lobe piercings heal the quickest, taking only 6 to 8 weeks. Cartilage piercings, including midi, helix, conch, and tragus, may take around 3 to 9 months, and you should wait at least 6 months before changing the earrings.

Ear piercing close up

The complete recovery could take over a year if it’s an anti-tragus, rook, daith or industrial piercing.

Some people can heal faster and change the piercing jewelry earlier than this timeframe.

However, you should not take risks because premature earring removal can cause the healing process to start all over again.

It may also result in pain, infection and a bad smell.

Can an ear piercing heal in 2 days?

No. The newly pierced ears will still be in the inflammation period, so there could be pain in the fresh wound.

Ear piercing

Can I change my ear piercing after 5 days?

No. It’s still the proliferative phase when the pain goes away as your body starts to heal the wound.

Can I change my ear piercing after 2 weeks?

The answer is still no. There is a high chance that you could infect the piercing by trying to change the earrings.

Can I change my ear piercing after 3 weeks?

Some people heal faster than others, so it’s possible that your piercing has healed after this period of time. However, don’t do it if the earrings removal requires force or feels painful.

Ear piercings
Image by Kimia Zarifi via Unsplash

Can I change my ear piercing after 6 weeks?

All types of lobe piercings can recover within 6 weeks. However, you should not take risks if your healing is slow or if it’s a cartilage piercing.

Always check with your piercer before changing the jewelry.

Tips for Ear Piercing Aftercare

When healing, taking care of your ear piercings is crucial for a speedy recovery and keeping them infection-free.

Ear piercing

1. Keep them clean

Make sure to clean the freshly pierced ears twice daily with a saline solution or mild soap.

It will help to prevent infection and speed up the healing process.

2. Be gentle

When cleaning your piercings, touch them gently. Don’t rub the area around your piercings.

3. Don’t touch

It may be tempting to touch or play with your new piercings, but resist the urge.

Touching them may cause infection and slow down the healing process.

4. Keep them dry

Don’t swim in the pool during that time; dry them immediately after a shower.

5. Avoid irritants

Be careful that perfumes, lotions, hair products and similar chemical elements don’t get into the piercings.

Asian female model with ear piercings
Image by Cottonbro via Pexels

6. Don’t remove your jewelry

Leave your earrings in during the healing process. Removing them before time can cause irritation and infection.

7. Change your pillowcase daily

The piercings can discharge, so changing the pillowcase each morning is necessary.

You can also use an extra cover on the pillow when sleeping and change that daily instead.

How to Remove the Starter Earrings for the First Time

When can you change your ear piercing? The waiting period can extend from several weeks to months to change the starter earrings.

But how do you do it when the time finally comes?

Here are a few tips to change the piercings without causing any pain or damage:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before you start to prevent bacteria from getting into the open wounds.
  • Twist the piercing stud or rotate (for a ring) the jewelry to see if it freely moves. If there is no problem, gently take it off.
  • If the earring backs are stubborn, don’t panic. The ear’s natural buildup can cause this, and your piercing shop has the right tools to remove it.
  • Inspect your earlobes for any redness or irritation. You’re ready to wear new earrings if everything looks good.
Multiple ear piercings

How Many Ear Piercings Can I Get?

We all love a little bit of sparkle and shine. But how much is too much? When it comes to ear piercings, is there such a thing as “too many?”

We believe that you can never have too many ear piercings! Whether you’re rocking a simple stud or a flashy hoop, earrings are the perfect way to accessorize any outfit.

Plus, they can show off your personality.

However, if you are considering multiple piercings, don’t go for more than 3 or 4 in one sitting.

Getting more than that will be painful and hard on your body.

Final Words

When can you change your ear piercing? We hope the guide above gives you a clear idea about the correct time for changing the starter jewelry and the piercing aftercare.

However, we are not medical experts, so consult with your piercer before changing the jewelry.

FAQs about When You Can Change Your Ear Piercing

Can you change earrings after 2 weeks?

No, you cannot. The piercing is still healing after two weeks. There will still be scabs around the wound that you should clean regularly.

How do I know my ear piercing has healed?

A healed piercing won’t have any inflammation, crusting, pain or redness. The skin around the wound should look like normal, healthy skin. For any confusion, ask your piercer or doctor for their opinion.

Can I change my earrings after 5 weeks?

You might be able to. Some people recover completely within this time. But you should check it with your piercer before changing the earrings.

How soon can I change the jewelry in my ear?

You can change the jewelry as soon as the piercing has healed. The healing time is usually 6 to 8 weeks.