When Can I Change My Ear Piercing?

Changing your earrings too early after getting your ears pierced can lead to irritation and potentially infection. This blog post will outline the typical earring changing timeline as well as signs that your piercing may not be fully healed.

When Can You Change Earrings After Piercing?

Most reputable piercers recommend waiting 4-6 weeks before changing or removing earrings from a new lobe piercing.[1] This is because it takes around 6-8 weeks on average for the holes in your ears to fully heal after being pierced.[2] During this initial healing period, you want to leave the initial earring studs or balls in place without moving them.

Different Types of Ear Piercings

Different Types of Ear Piercings

Healing times can vary depending on the type of piercing. Cartilage piercings like the helix or tragus generally take much longer – around 3-6 months – to fully heal compared to standard lobe piercings.[3] The more complex the piercing location, the longer it will take your body to heal.

Common Ear Piercing Infection Signs

Some signs that your piercing may be infected include redness, swelling, tenderness, pus discharge, crusty sore, and discomfort or pain spreading from the piercing site.[4] If you experience these symptoms, see your piercer or doctor right away for treatment like antibiotics or sea salt soaks. An infection indicates your piercing is not ready to be changed.

What to Do If You Have an Allergic Reaction to Ear Piercing

Allergic reactions to jewelry material like nickel can cause itching, bumps or rashes around piercing sites.[5] If you suspect an allergy, avoid changing jewelry and consult your doctor or piercer. They can recommend replacing with hypoallergenic materials like titanium, gold or glass once healed to prevent future reactions.

Express Your Unique Style with High-Quality Body Pierce Jewelry Today

For healed piercings, it’s perfectly fine and even enjoyable to change up your jewelry style regularly. Just be sure to use sterilized, implant-grade materials that are the right size for your piercing holes to avoid irritating a healed site. Choosing quality brands is important for maximizing health and comfort.

What happens if I change my piercing too early?

Changing or removing earrings before the piercing has fully healed can cause several issues:[6]

  • Increased risk of infection from bacteria entering an open wound
  • Prolonged healing time as the site has to re-heal after being disturbed
  • Irritation, swelling and drainage from moving the piercing prematurely
  • Possible formation of unsightly and painful keloid scarring
  • Hole closing up prematurely if jewelry is removed too soon

It’s always best to wait the recommended 6-8 weeks (or longer for cartilage piercings) before making any jewelry changes to a new piercing.

Can you change earrings after 2 weeks?

For standard lobe piercings, most experts recommend waiting at least 2-4 weeks before changing earrings to avoid disrupting the healing process.[7] At the 2 week mark, piercings are often still scabby and fragile. Attempting to change jewelry this early increases the risk of tearing the fresh piercing hole and prolonging healing. It’s best to complete the full 4-6 week cycle with the original jewelry.

How do I know if my ear piercing is healed?

Some signs a piercing has fully healed include:[8]

  • No discharge, pain or tenderness at the site
  • Piercing holes no longer appear red, irritated or swollen
  • Ability to rotate or move jewelry with no bleeding or discomfort
  • Cleaning no longer causes soreness or bleeding
  • Hole does not close hours after removing jewelry

If any of these issues are present, the piercing is likely still healing and not ready for jewelry swaps. Wait 4-6 months for most cartilage piercings to fully heal.


How long after getting ears pierced can you change them?

Most professionals recommend waiting 4-6 weeks before changing piercing studs or balls in newly pierced lobes. For cartilage, plan on 3-6 months.

How to heal an ear piercing faster?

Follow aftercare instructions, keep the area dry, use sterile saline solution, avoid touching or moving jewelry, don’t sleep on piercings, and see your piercer if issues arise.

When can I stop cleaning my ear piercing?

Continue cleaning until around 3 months for lobes, or 6-12 months for cartilage piercings. Once fully healed, piercings only require occasional cleaning.

Final Thoughts

While changing earrings is fun, it’s important to give your body time to properly heal a new piercing by avoiding early jewelry swaps. Sticking to recommended timelines and practicing good aftercare allows piercings to heal cleanly without complications. With patience and care, you can enjoy curating your favorite earring collection for a lifetime of self-expression through piercings.

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