When is it Safe to Swap Studs? When can you change earrings after piercing.

If you’ve recently pierced your ears, it’s tempting to change out your studs to match different outfits or to try out new trends as soon as possible. However, it’s important to know when it’s safe to swap your studs so that your piercings heal properly and don’t become infected. Here’s what you need to know:

What is the Healing Process for Earrings After Piercing?

After you pierce your ears, it takes time for the piercing to heal. During this process, your body creates a thin layer of skin around the earring, which protects it from bacteria and other contaminants that could cause an infection.

The healing process can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks for earlobes and 6-12 months for cartilage piercings. During this time, it’s important to follow proper aftercare instructions to prevent complications and infections.

What is the Aftercare Process for Earrings After Piercing?

Here are some essential aftercare steps for your freshly-pierced ears:

  • Clean your ears with saline solution twice a day
  • Avoid touching your ears with dirty hands
  • Don’t sleep on your ears
  • Avoid swimming, sauna or diving until your piercing has healed

When Can You Change Your Earrings?

You should wait until your ear piercing has fully healed before changing your earrings. This means that you should wait until:

  • Earlobe piercings have healed after 6 weeks before changing earrings.
  • Cartilage piercings can take up to 12 months to heal before changing your earrings.

What are the Risks of Changing Earrings Too Soon?

Changing earrings too soon can interfere with the healing process, causing complications such as:

  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Prolonged healing process

When Can You Wear Earrings for the First Time?

After your ear piercing, it’s recommended that you wear your starter earrings provided by your piercer for 4-6 weeks for lobe piercings and 6-12 months for cartilage piercings.

These starter earrings are typically made of surgical-grade stainless steel, which is less likely to cause an allergic reaction or infection. Wearing other types of earrings too soon can irritate the piercing and cause complications.

What Type of Earrings are Safe to Wear?

When you’re ready to switch out your starter earrings, make sure to choose hypoallergenic earrings made of high-quality materials such as:

  • Surgical-grade stainless steel
  • Titanium
  • 14K or 18K gold
  • Platinum

Avoid wearing earrings made of nickel, which is a common allergen and can cause irritation and allergies.

What Should You Do if You Experience Complications?

If you experience any of the following complications after changing earrings, seek medical attention:

  • Inflammation or excessive redness
  • Intense pain or discomfort
  • Yellow or green discharge from the piercing
  • A high fever

These can be signs of an infection or other complications that need to be treated by a medical professional.


Changing your earrings too soon after piercing can have serious consequences. It’s important to follow proper aftercare instructions and wait until your piercing has fully healed before switching out your earrings.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact your piercer or healthcare provider for advice.

Common Questions and Answers

  • Q: How long does it take for earlobe piercings to heal?
  • A: Earlobe piercings typically take 4-6 weeks to heal.
  • Q: Can I change my earrings before my piercing has fully healed?
  • A: No, you should wait until your piercing has fully healed before changing your earrings to avoid complications and infections.
  • Q: What type of earrings are safe to wear after piercing?
  • A: Hypoallergenic earrings made of high-quality materials such as surgical-grade stainless steel, titanium, 14K or 18K gold, or platinum are safe to wear after piercing.


  • American Academy of Dermatology Association. (n.d.). Piercing: How to prevent and treat complications. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/piercing-health
  • Association of Professional Piercers. (n.d.). Initial healing times for body piercings. Retrieved from https://www.safepiercing.org/healing-times-for-body-piercings/#It
  • Maui Whitening. (2021, October 12). When Can You Change Your Earrings After Piercing? Retrieved from https://mauiwhitening.com/back-to-basics-when-can-you-change-your-earrings-after-piercing/

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