Care for Pierced Ears with Isopropyl Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide

Piercings are a quick way to change your look, and they're fun and easy to get. But they also require diligent care to prevent complications such as infection. You might think powerful cleansers such as isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide would be best to keep the germs away from your new earrings, but they actually can do more harm than good. When caring for your new piercings, it's best to use warm water, saline solution or a gentle medicated cleanser.

Getting Your Piercing

You should have a professional pierce your ears. Boutiques and piercing studios do this every day, so they know how to minimize the chance of infection. Getting pierced at a professional studio costs more, but it's far less risky than having a friend do your piercings or doing the job yourself.

What To Use

Avoid harsh cleansers. Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide will kill germs, but they will dry the skin and can damage cells that are trying to heal the wound. This can make the healing process longer. Instead, clean the piercing twice a day with medicated cleanser or a saline solution. Rinse the piercing with warm water, use a cotton swab to remove any crusty substance (this is a normal byproduct of healing), and use a clean cotton swab to apply the cleanser thoroughly to the wound and the earring. Rotate the piercing a few times to prevent the healing from attaching to the earring.

Making the Saline Solution

Use saline solution for an ideal cleaning; piercing experts say it's the best thing you can do. To make the solution, pour a cup of bottled water into a sterilized container (you can do this with a weak bleach solution) and add a quarter teaspoon of sea salt. Change the solution every week, keep a lid on it, and use a new cotton swab every time.