Everything you need to know about re-piercing your ears: The methods to try, factors to consider, and more
Take it back
As many of you know, we can't wear our piercings all of the time. Whether it is to prevent getting hurt during sports or to feel more comfortable when going to sleep, there are periods when we need to remove them in order to go about our lives. But what happens if you're going for a dinner date weeks later at someone's house and want to snazz up your lewk with some hoops, only to discover (with horror) that your piercing holes have closed? What now? You've got your pretty earrings all laid out but none of them will fit.
Magnetic earrings and clip-ons hurt after hours of wear, so they're less favoured. Not all hope is lost, though — you can consider reopening the hole yourself or getting a professional to help you. Below, we've laid out a step-by-step guide to get your piercing holes back and dangle those beautiful jewels on your ears once more.
Should you force it back open?
First things first, you need to determine if the hole closed recently or has already been sealed for more than six months. If it's the former, there's a chance that you can manually open the hole with a bit of wiggling. Gently feel the back of your earlobe and check for a thin layer of skin that has grown over the surface. It should be a small knot made of dead skin cells with a hollow tunnel underneath it. Applying a small bit of pressure should do the trick. To make sure you're doing everything safely and hygienically, attempt these instead:
1. Shower in warm water or hold a warm cloth to your earlobe. This will soften the skin.
2. Clean the area with rubbing alcohol using a cotton swab. Make sure to wipe both the back and front of the lobe.
3. Lubricate the opening by massaging on a non-antibiotic ointment like Vaseline in order to reduce friction.
4. Disinfect and coat your earrings with lubrication as well.
5. Stretch the hole to enlarge it. Gently pull the sides of your lobes in opposite directions and allow the lubricant to enter the opening.
6. Carefully insert the earring through the earlobe (both sides are fine). Use to a mirror to help you.
7. Try different angles to find the best fit that allows you to pop the ring through. This may take several minutes. To feel the location of the earring tip, place your thumb on the back of your earlobe.
8. If you experience any pain in the process, numb the surrounding area with ice for a while and try again later.
9. Twist and push the earring through, then secure it.
What if that doesn't work? Or what if your piercing hole has closed completely?
Feeling excessive pain is a sign that shoving the earring through is not going to work out — you need to consult a professional. There's either too much skin or you're just doing it wrongly. If this happens, putting unnecessary force will risk infection or create even more scar tissue when the skin heals over. A piercing professional will help you to re-open the tunnel effectively. After all, they have the proper equipment with a sterile environment to mitigate bleeding and infection.