Top 7 Tips for Wearing Earrings Again After a Long Time (2023)

Here’s what happens when you don’t wear your earrings for a long time – you come home to a completely blocked/ sealed off piercing hole, a partially sealed earring piercing hole, or an intact piercing hole. In the latter case, you may or may not have issues reintroducing earrings back in if you haven’t had them on for some time; and if you are lucky, the earring will slide back in perfectly.

In case of partial closure, the reintroduction of the earring might cause some bleeding, and if you are not completely sure about the level of closure of the hole, you might end up with badly damaged or a lacerated earlobe.

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As you can imagine, none of these sound fun, which is why you need to be extra careful when trying to wear earrings after being off them for some time.

This article shares tips on how to wear earrings again after not wearing them for a long time.

Why do your ears hurt after not wearing earrings for a while?

1. Trauma

Your ears could hurt after wearing earrings, and the main reason why this happens is because of the re-traumatization that happens when you take the earrings out only to put them back in after a very long time.

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Essentially, when you wear earrings after a long time without having them on, you will be inserting a foreign piece of metal into your ear, and it will be stuck there probably for hours and, in other cases, days.

During this time, the skin around your ear’s piecing grows more and more sensitive compared to all other areas of your skin.

Basically, you have an internal wound, and though the piercing might have healed in the past, you only end up re-traumatizing the piercing, hence the pain/ discomfort.

2. Metal Allergies

But the soreness is not the only reason why the piercing hole now hurts even though you could have been wearing earrings constantly in the past. The other reason for the soreness has everything to do with the metals.

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When you experience sore ears when you wear the earrings again after a long time, only for that pain to disappear or subside when you take off the earrings, it only means that your body has just undergone something called contact allergy to specific metals in the earrings. Contact allergies or earring allergies are common when you reintroduce earrings after not having any earrings on for a long time.

The reason for the contact allergies is that the metals, specifically the metal alloys, are not designed for the human body, which also means that the metal allows pretty much incompatible with the human body, and when your body comes in contact with the metal alloy, the body builds up resistance to the alloy, and this resistance manifests as the allergic reaction that is characterized by swelling, soreness, and in other cases, bleeding.

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The good news is that just because you are having an allergic reaction to the earrings doesn’t mean that you cannot wear earrings ever again.

However, having this reaction means that you should be extra careful with the earrings you choose next time, and it wouldn’t be a good idea for you to wear the same earrings you had on when your ears started to hurt.

7 Tips for wearing earrings again after a long time

1. Wear earrings made of safe metals

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You have many options for safe metals, but one of the safest metals is titanium, and Titanium earrings are your safest bet.

These earrings are safe on your skin, which is why they are used in most of the medical implants on the market.

While you’d have to spend more on titanium earrings, it would be a good idea to make this investment because the titanium earrings can be worn 24/7 safely, with no bad reactions.

Alternatively, try out the surgical stainless steel or the rhodium-plated white gold earrings.

2. Start off with studs

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If you have sensitive ears and you haven’t been wearing earrings for a long time, you might want to start (or restart) things off with a nice pair of studs.

Skin-safe studs, often made of surgical stainless steel, are safe on the skin, and you can wear then 24/7 without worrying about allergic reactions.

The studs are also preferable because the small size will allow the piercing you haven’t had earrings in for a while to heal, especially in cases of active allergic reactions.

The stud also means that you won’t have to worry about causing additional trauma to the piercing hole – you won’t need to take the earrings on or off.

3. Surgical Stainless steel and healing time

If you haven’t worn your earrings for years, you might experience some bleeding the first time you wear the earrings, but you can reduce potential damage to your earlobes by wearing surgical-grade stainless steel stud earrings.

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With the stud earrings, you won’t have to get them on or off all the time, and this means that you will have more than enough time for the re-traumatized piercing to heal. Note that putting the earrings on and removing them at the end of every day or after a few hours will that the piercing wound keeps opening and closing, and you do not want that.

Think of the reintroduction of the earrings as the re-piercing of the earlobe, which means that you have to let the piercing heal with the earring stud in the piercing hole. By treating the newly introduced earring as the stud that you first got in the ear when you had your first piercing, it means that you need to leave the stud earring in for about 4 to 6 weeks or even 8 weeks, depending on how fast you heal. You’ll need to rinse out the piercing/ area with a saltwater rinse to clean out the goop.

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Note that you should opt for the surgical stainless steel rather than ordinary stainless steel earrings because most of the plain stainless steel earrings actually contain nickel. So, unless the earrings are surgical-grade, it would be a good idea to stick with titanium earrings. Also, it would be a good idea to insist on the surgical-grade stainless steel – these cost more, but they are worth it. Remember that keeping the earring in when you are allergic to the metal is only going to aggravate the situation.

An alternative to surgical-grade stainless steel is titanium.

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4. Antibiotic treatment

To reduce the inflammation and reduce the risk of infection, you’d want to opt for an antibiotic ointment treatment.

While most people opt for Neosporin, you might react with Neosporin, and antibiotic treatment is preferable.

5. Avoid allergens

Basically, this means avoiding gold and silver earrings, and basically all other metal earrings that are free of nickel and other potential allergens.

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6. Apply Vaseline

Besides medication, one of the most effective ways of controlling the soreness is the application of Vaseline.

7. How to put earrings in after a long time

Follow these steps to reinsert the earrings:

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  • Take a warm shower/ bath to soften your earlobe’s skin.
  • Wash your hands the sterilize your earring posts
  • Stretch out your earlobe to widen the piercing hole then check the hole’s size from the front to the back.
  • Once you have located the holes, perhaps with the aid of a mirror, apply ice on your earlobe to numb it completely before you reinsert the earring.
  • Now push the earring post from front to back, gently, but if this doesn’t work, you’ll have to reinsert it from the back to the front. Be gentle.
  • If it still isn’t going through, try different angles. Note that reinserting earrings to your cartilage piercing might be a little hard, and you need to be very gently. This might hurt.
  • If all these attempts fail, you may want to visit a professional to have the earlobe re-pierced.


You are not always guaranteed a safe ride to the world of accessories when you put your earrings back on after years, but you shouldn’t give up on your love for jewelry because of the soreness you may have to experience.

The good news is that your piercing will heal up very well eventually, and all you need to do is to follow the steps/ tips shared above.

Thanks for reading. I really hope this post helped you guys. If you guys want to read more tips, read here or here.

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Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.


How do you wear earrings again after a long time? ›

Lubricate your ear with a non-antibiotic ointment (like Aquaphor or Vaseline) to keep the skin pliable. Gently stretch your earlobe to help open up the area and thin the piercing hole. Carefully try pushing the earring through the back side of the earlobe. Experiment with different angles, always using gentle pressure.

Why do my earrings hurt after not wearing them for a while? ›

So, if you experiencing sore ears from wearing earrings, and the pain goes away when you do not wear earrings, the reason is most likely that your body has developed a contact allergy to the metal in the earrings.

What happens if you don't put earrings for a long time? ›

If you stop wearing earrings, your pierced ears will eventually close up. This is because when you get your ears pierced, a small hole is made in the earlobe. Once the earring is removed, that hole will start to heal and close up.

Why does my earring hole hurt after years? ›

An infected ear piercing can also develop years after a person got the original piercing. Usually, the infections are minor, and people can treat them at home without complications. Touching the piercing too often with dirty hands or not cleaning the area can lead to infections.

How long is too long to leave earrings in? ›

One of our most frequently asked questions is how long to leave earrings in after piercing. The quick answer is 6 weeks for an earlobe piercing, and 12 weeks for a cartilage piercing.

How long does it take for earring holes to close after years? ›

It's hard to predict how quickly your body will attempt to close a piercing, but as a general rule, the newer it is, the more likely it will close up. For instance: If your piercing is less than a year old, it can close in a few days, and if your piercing is several years old, it can take several weeks.

What can I put on my earrings to stop irritation? ›

Smearing a little Vaseline onto the posts of your earrings forms a protective layer between your skin and the metal. This will help to prevent an allergic reaction. A layer or two of clear nail polish will also do the trick.

Why is there a lump in my earlobe after wearing earrings? ›

This is typically due to an allergic reaction by the skin to some types of jewelry. Contact dermatitis can develop over time as the skin has increased exposure to the jewelry at issue. Nickel earrings may cause one or both of the earlobes to swell, as may other non-hypoallergenic metals.

How long do you have to keep earrings in so the hole doesn't close? ›

Taking Care of Your Ears

When you first get your ears pierced, you should leave the earrings in until your ears are completely healed. This usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks. If you don't, your holes could close up and you'll have to go through everything all over again!

What is the black stuff in my earring hole? ›

The black stuff is normal. It's actually just dead skin cells. When a piercing hole is made and the earring is put it, the ear will be trying to heal itself for a long time. Even if you've had piercings for a long time, they will always closed up eventually because the cells are always trying to regenerate themselves.

Should you sleep with earrings in? ›

The general rule is to avoid wearing earrings while sleeping, with the exception of when you get a new piercing. You will need to keep these small studs in place for 6 weeks or so, or until the piercing heals.

Can I use hydrogen peroxide for ear piercing? ›

General Care for Body Piercings

Do not use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. (Both slow the healing of pierced area by drying and killing new healthy cells.) Do not use bacitracin or other ointments.

Why is my old earring hole crusty? ›

Why is my old piercing crusting? It is also normal to experience a whitish to yellowish secretion coming from the piercing. This is called sebum, which is just your body's natural secretion and what creates crust on the jewelry.

How do you clean old ear piercing holes? ›

Clean with a clean cotton pad or swab dipped in salt solution. You can make this solution by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Use this around the pierced area a few times a day to remove any bacteria. Dab (don't wipe) the piercing.

How often should you remove your earrings? ›

If you are wearing the same pair all the time, it's good to clean your earrings weekly. If you are switching between pairs, you can clean them monthly or as needed. If you have sensitive ears, you'll want to try to clean your earrings more often.

Will my ear piercing close up after 10 years? ›

Can earring holes close after 10 years? Even if you've gone months or years without wearing earrings, you may still have a usable hole there, though it's likely partially closed. With a partially closed piercing, a thin layer of skin has grown over the hole, but there's still a tunnel underneath it.

Why wont my earrings go in? ›

It can become difficult to insert a pierced earring for many reasons. The most common cause is simply increased friction between the ear hole and the earring. This is most easily remedied by putting petroleum jelly on the earring post and then inserting it into the ear.

Do earring holes ever heal? ›

Typically, ear lobe piercings take around 4-6 months, while upper or inner ear piercings take between 6-12+ months to fully heal. You'll know your ear is healed once any discharge, swelling, redness, flaking, or soreness stops.

Can you Repierce the same hole? ›

Because the tissue grows back — albeit scarred — it can easily be pierced again. However, it's important to make sure the area is fully done healing before going back in with another needle. “If there's an abundance of scar tissue present, your piercer will evaluate how safe it is to re-pierce,” says Lynn.

What does earring rejection look like? ›

the piercing remaining sore, red, irritated, or dry after the first few days. the jewelry becoming visible under the skin. the piercing hole appearing to be getting larger. the jewelry looking like it is hanging differently.

What piercings reject the most? ›

What piercings reject the most? Surface piercings have the highest rejection rate. Surface piercings such as microdermals as well as eyebrow piercings and navel piercings reject the most because they are closest to the surface of the skin.

Why wont my earrings come out first? ›

Don't panic if your jewelry isn't coming out right away, because “it's normal for your ear's natural buildup to harden the jewelry, which can make it more difficult to remove,” says Lorusso, adding that professional piercers have a variety of tools that can help remove jewelry.

Can I put Neosporin on my earrings? ›

NEVER USE: Bacitracin or Neosporin. Petroleum based ointments CLOG the piercing and make it difficult for your body to heal. NEVER USE Rubbing Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, Claire's ear care solution. These products are too strong and will irritate your skin and piercing.

Should I put Vaseline on my earrings? ›

--NEVER use products like alcohol, peroxide, bactine, hibiclens, neosporin, vaseline, etc. These products are not meant for piercings and even says on these bottles "not meant for puncture wounds." --Do not remove your jewelry until it's healed, six months.

Does putting clear nail polish on earrings help with irritation? ›

I wanted to find a way that I could wear earrings without any pain, irritation, or itching. The gist of the clear nail polish hack is that you paint your earring posts with clear nail polish and the coating will serve as a barrier between your skin and the earring post so that you won't be irritated by the earrings.

Why do I feel a small ball in my earlobe? ›

Earlobe cysts, otherwise known as epidermoid cysts or epidermal inclusion cysts, grow slowly. A doctor will usually recommend removal only if there is pain, discomfort, bursting, or infection. Cysts commonly form on adults in areas that are not heavily covered with hair, such as on the face, neck, or trunk.

How do I get rid of a bump on my earlobe earring? ›

If you have a high ear piercing or cartilage piercing, you may also notice a small bump that forms around the piercing. This is called a granuloma and is also fairly normal. These bumps form when fluid gets stuck inside, but can be treated at home by applying a warm compress once a day.

How do I get rid of a lump in my earlobe naturally? ›

Try applying a hot, wet compress to the cyst a few times a day. The heat will help pull out the pus, allowing the cyst to drain. This can relieve pain and itching. You might also try soaking the area in a warm, shallow bath.

Why is there gunk in my ear piercing? ›

If you've had an ear or nose cartilage piercing, small lumps can sometimes form around the piercing. The lumps, called granulomas, are trapped fluid. You can treat them by soaking a pad in warm water then holding the pad against them once a day.

Should you twist new ear piercings? ›

Don't touch a new piercing or twist the jewelry unless you're cleaning it. Keep clothing away from the piercing, too. Excessive rubbing or friction can irritate your skin and delay healing. Keep the jewelry in place.

Can ears be re-pierced in the same spot? ›

As a result, getting re-pierced in the same location can be a good location for a piercing to be re-established. This is because the dense tissue will support the piercing and be less prone to infection. It does depend on the way your piercing has healed, and the type of scar tissue.

Should I remove earring crust? ›

After the first few days your body will excrete lymph as it begins to form the fistula inside your piercing. This lymph 'crust' will likely collect on the jewelry or around the piercing. Do not pick at it.

Why do earring holes get infected? ›

Any bacteria left to fester can quickly turn into an infection. If you touch your piercing with dirty hands or instruments, you can introduce an infection. If the earrings are on too tightly, not allowing room for the wound to breathe and heal, an infection can develop.

What are sleeper earrings? ›

What is a sleeper earring? Sleeper earrings, also frequently called starter earrings, are created to be worn by people who have had their ears pierced for the first time. They are named as such because they must be worn around the clock, which includes during sleeping time.

Should you shower with earrings in? ›

#1: Take Earrings Out Before Showering

To properly wash your earlobes, you must remove your earrings and gently massage the earlobe with water and soap. Also, earrings can get damaged when they come in contact with liquid, so removing earrings before showering will help preserve them.

Should I wear earrings everyday? ›

If it is not a new ear piercing, you can wear your earrings for as long as you want (provided that you clean out your earrings regularly and do not sleep with them). Choose an earring to help you to match your style and make you look and feel beautiful.

How do I start wearing earrings again? ›

Lubricate your ear with a non-antibiotic ointment (like Aquaphor or Vaseline) to keep the skin pliable. Gently stretch your earlobe to help open up the area and thin the piercing hole. Carefully try pushing the earring through the back side of the earlobe. Experiment with different angles, always using gentle pressure.

Should I put Neosporin on a piercing? ›

Gently pat dry the affected area with clean gauze or a tissue. Then apply a small amount of an over-the-counter antibiotic cream (Neosporin, bacitracin, others), as directed on the product label. Turn the piercing jewelry a few times to prevent it from sticking to the skin.

What happens if you soak earrings in hydrogen peroxide? ›

You can also completely submerge the earrings in hydrogen peroxide for 5-10 minutes. This will get rid of any fiber or cotton that has gotten caught on the earrings. Remember to rinse the earrings thoroughly afterwards. Once you have washed and rinsed them, leave them on a dry, clean cloth to dry.

Should you clean dried blood off piercing? ›

Make sure the skin around it looks normal, and clean off any dried crust/blood with a cotton swab. If any problems occur, don't hesitate to contact your piercer!

Why do my ears hurt after putting earrings in after a long time? ›

In some cases, your ear lobes may go beyond being sore, they may even swell, itch, or bleed. If earrings make your ears sore, even when you've had your ears pierced for years, the most likely reason is that you are allergic to the materials in the earrings you are wearing.

How do you fix dry earring holes? ›

How to Address Earlobe Dryness. If you've taken out your jewelry and are not seeing a big difference, keep your earring out of your ear and try using a moisturizer or balm every day, twice a day.

Why do my earrings stink? ›

Your earrings smell because of a build up of bacteria, dead skin cells, oils, sweat, and products. Luckily, this is easily resolved with a quick wash.

Can I sleep without earrings after 7 months? ›

Your ear piercings take around 6–9 months to fully mature. During that time it is recommended that you continue wearing jewellery if you wish to keep the piercings. Don't take your earring out for too long and don't do it too often as this can damage the fine tissue within and lead to issues.

Can I sleep without earrings after 10 months? ›

For a normal lobe piercing, allow for at least two months before sleeping the full night without earrings. You should allow at least 6 months to 1 year for optimal results when piercing the side of your ear or your cartilage, especially if you have sensitive skin that is prone to irritation.

Can you sleep without earrings after a year? ›

How long can you go without earrings? It's best if you leave your jewelry in as often as you can for about a year. After that, you can go extended periods without them. Without an earring in place, the diameter of the hole will begin to shrink and can completely close up.


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