First, if you have found yourself on this page, I am assuming you are now the proud and extremely sore owner of a newly done helix piercing. Or, perhaps you here because you want to get one, good on you for planning. Now, let’s talk about what you’re here for how to care for your helix piercing.
Definitely, Don’t Sleep On It
Sleeping directly on the side of the fresh piercing is a no. Try to sleep on the other ear, or get one of those neck pillows and position it so that your ear is in the hole. Sleeping like this will allow the piercing to heal more quickly by keeping the weight of your head off of your piercing.
Dealing with Keloids and Piercing Bumps in General
Keloids are raised scar tissue that is more common with cartilage piercings and for people of specific ethnic backgrounds. Keloids will appear as small raised bumps around the healing piercing site. Do not attempt to pick these off; they are part of your body’s natural healing process if they do appear. You need to go over them as well when you are cleaning the wound site, but don’t pick at them. Picking will delay healing and possibly create a more significant and long-lasting keloid.
Keloids aren’t the only reason you may have a “piercing bump.” Though most are related to the healing process and aren’t lasting issues. If the bump has puss or the area feels hot, that is potentially an infection. Gently draining the bump and flushing with saline is best, but if it gets worse or you start feeling sick, take your butt to the doctor, do not try and wait it out if it continues to worsen.
Cleaning: What to Use and Technique
The best way to clean a helix piercing is twice a day mix up some warm water with salt; this is saline. Oh and don’t use table salt, the iodine in it isn’t good for healing, sea salt will do the trick. You can also get a cleansing product, but saline is just as effective. Using a clean Q-tip or a folded clean paper towel, dip into the cleansing agent, and gently remove any dried blood or dead skin. Gently move the jewelry and remove any dried fluids. Be sure to get both the inside of the ear as well as the back of the ear.
Soaps at this point are, this includes shampoo, going to be too harsh and irritating. Try your best when washing your hair to keep it out of your piercing and leave the soap alone, two saline flushes a day is going to keep your piercing perfectly clean.
Leave the Darn Thing Alone
Seriously, the best thing you can do is leave it alone. The more you touch it with your grubby little hands, the more germs you expose to what is an open wound in your head and the higher the chance of infection. Also taking it out earlier is asking for trouble because of what I just said, and you risk the piercing closing. Cartilage piercings have a healing period of around 12 months, so don’t get lazy with the cleansings or get over-eager to have new piercings. Honestly, the better game to play in the long game.
So for a quick care rundown, clean piercing site and the jewelry itself every day, twice a day with either a cleansing agent or a saline solution for the entire healing period. Remember sea salt for the saline, not table salt and no soap. Other than for cleanings your best way of avoiding infection is not to touch the piercing while it is healing. And please, if you think your piercing is infected, seek medical attention, don’t wait.