Can You Wear Headphones after Ear Piercing?
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Can You Wear Headphones and Earbuds After Getting Your Ear Pierced?

If you’ve recently had your ears pierced or have had piercings for a while, you might be wondering if it’s safe to wear headphones after getting them. You might also want to know when it’s okay to start wearing headphones again and how they might affect your ears. In this article, we’ll talk about ear piercings and share tips on how to keep them comfy and safe while using headphones or earbuds.

Ear Piercings and Why People Get Them

Lots of folks like to get an ear piercing for various reasons. Some do it for personal style, cultural reasons, or just because they like how it looks. Ear piercings can be simple or more intricate, depending on how many you have and where they’re located.

Can You Wear Headphones or Earbuds After a New Ear Piercing?

Yes, you can wear headphones safely and earbuds like AirPods as well once your piercing has entirely healed. But you need to be careful because they can cause problems if your piercings are still fresh. Let’s look into this a bit more.

The Importance of Proper Caring for Fresh Piercings

infographics explaining the importance of proper aftercare after getting ear pierced

The Importance of Proper Caring for Fresh Piercings

When you have newly pierced your ears, it’s essential to follow a strict aftercare routine to prevent infections. According to the Association of Professional Piercers (APP), You should clean your piercings twice a day using a sterile saline solution. Avoid using things like alcohol or antibacterial soap, as they can make your skin dry or irritated.

It’s also a good idea not to twist or move your jewelry around, as this can slow down the healing process and introduce harmful bacteria into the piercing site.

Risks and Issues with New Piercings and Headphones

A drawing showing an example of a woman's ear with multiple piercings with infection and irritation

Using earbuds or headphones too early can lead to some problems:

  • Infections: Headphones can introduce bacteria to your fresh piercing and you can get infected.
  • Irritation: The pressure and rubbing from the headphones can cause your piercing to hurt, swell, and cause irritation.
  • Slower Healing: Wearing headphones too soon might delay the healing process, making it take longer.

How Long to Wait Before wearing Headphones After getting your ears Pierced?

If you’ve got a simple ear lobe piercing, you should wait at least 4-8 weeks before using headphones to ensure they’re fully healed. Different types of ear piercings take different times to heal, so let’s look at some examples.

Different piercings and their healing times

NameHealing Time
Earlobe4-8 weeks
Helix3-6 months
Forward helix4-6 months
Daith3-8 months
Tragus3-6 months
Rook6-12 months
Snug6-12 months
Conch3-9 months
Industrial3-9 months
Transverse lobe5-10 weeks
Anti-tragus4-9 months
Cartilage4-8 months
Orbital4-9 months
Auricle3-9 months
Spiral ear6-8 weeks
Trident4-8 months
Dermal6-12 weeks

Ear Piercing and Headphones Compatibility

When you’ve got freshly pierced ears, you’ll want to know which types of headphones work best with your piercings. Here’s a handy guide:

Ear lobes

  • Healing Time: 4-8 weeks
Close-up of a woman's ear with earlobe piercing

Lobe piercings are the most common and least painful. They’re pretty versatile when it comes to headphones. You can wear most types, except for very large, heavy, or tight-fitting ones. Lobes are less prone to infections from headphones due to better air exposure and easier cleaning. It can take 4-8 weeks for an earlobe piercing to heal.

Cartilage Piercings

  • Healing Time: 6-12 months
A woman's ear with multiple piercings on the earlobe, upper cartilage, industrial and helix

Cartilage piercings, including helix, tragus, daith, rook, conch, and industrial, are generally more painful and take longer to heal. These piercings are at a higher risk of infection or irritation from headphones because they have less air exposure and are trickier to clean. Over-the-ear headphones might be more comfortable with cartilage piercings.

Anti-Tragus Piercings

  • Healing Time: 4-9 months
Close-up of a woman's ear with tragus and anti-tragus piercings

Anti-tragus piercings are also like cartilage piercings in terms of pain and healing time. They are more susceptible to infections or irritations from headphones due to less air exposure and harder cleaning. Until your piercing is properly healed avoid wearing earbuds or headphones, if must wear them, then Consider an over-the-ear design.

Questions About Tragus and Conch Piercings

Tragus and conch piercings are two types of ear piercings that are located in the inner part of the ear. Tragus piercings are done on the small flap of cartilage that covers the ear canal, while conch piercings are done on the curved area of cartilage that surrounds the ear canal. These piercings are popular among music lovers, as they can enhance the sound quality and experience of listening to music. However, they come with their own headphone challenges.

Can You Use Earbuds with Tragus and Conch Piercings?

Yes, you can, but with some considerations. Earbuds can be worn with tragus and conch piercings if they’re small, lightweight, and don’t put pressure on the piercing. You might need to experiment with different ear tip sizes and angles to find a comfortable fit.

Avoid Earbuds During the Healing Phase

It’s not recommended to wear earbuds while your tragus or conch piercing is still healing, which can take six months to a year. Earbuds can hinder the healing process by introducing bacteria, causing friction, or blocking air circulation in the piercing hole. It’s safer to opt for over-ear or on-ear headphones and wait until the piercing is completely healed.

What can you not do after getting your ears pierced?

green over ear headphones
  1. Don’t Touch Your Piercing: Keep your hands and others away from your piercing to prevent introducing germs and causing infection.
  2. Avoid Harsh Cleaners: Don’t use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or strong chemicals to clean your piercing, as they can irritate and slow down healing. Instead, use mild soap and water or a saline solution.
  3. Choose the Right Earrings: Avoid tight or heavy earrings that can pull or create pressure on your piercing, leading to pain, swelling, and scarring. Opt for small, lightweight, hypoallergenic earrings like gold, silver, or titanium, as wearing heavy earrings can potentially cause ear infections.
  4. Stay Away from Water: Don’t expose your piercing to dirty or chlorinated water, as it can increase the risk of infection and delay healing. Avoid swimming, bathing, or soaking your piercing until it’s fully healed. If it gets wet, rinse it with clean water.
  5. Keep it Clean and Dry: Don’t apply makeup, lotion, perfume, or hair products near your piercing, as they can clog the hole and irritate your skin. Keep the area clean and dry.
  6. Sleep Carefully: Avoid sleeping on the side with the piercing or putting pressure on it, which can lead to inflammation, bleeding, and discomfort. Try sleeping on the opposite side or use a soft pillowcase or towel for cushioning.

Precautions when Wearing Headphones with Piercings

A cartoon illustration explaining how to avoid getting your piercing caught in your headphones

As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to wait until your piercing is entirely healed before using headphones, which can take from 6 weeks to 12 months, depending on your piercing type. Consult your piercer for guidance on when it’s safe to resume using headphones if you have multiple ear piercings.

  • Choose headphones that are comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. Avoid tight, heavy, hot, or moist headphones. Look for ones with soft padding, adjustable headbands, and open-back designs.
  • Regularly clean your headphones using a mild soap and water solution after each use. Make sure they are completely dry before storing them. Avoid sharing headphones with others, as it can increase the risk of infection or cross-contamination. Here’s a full guide to clean your headphones properly.
  • Clean your piercing site daily with saline solution or a mild antiseptic. Be gentle and clean it twice a day. Avoid touching your piercing or jewelry with dirty hands or objects. Follow your piercer’s aftercare instructions diligently.
  • Keep an eye on your piercing site for signs of infection or irritation, such as redness, swelling, pain, pus, bleeding, itching, or an unpleasant odor. If you notice any of these symptoms, stop using headphones immediately and get in touch with your piercer or doctor for treatment.

Dealing with Irritation and Discomfort

Example showing A woman Dealing with Irritation and Discomfort with her piercings

Even if you’ve chosen the right pair of headphones and followed aftercare, you might still experience some discomfort while wearing headphones with piercings. This is entirely normal since ears are sensitive. It’s crucial to distinguish between normal discomfort and potential issues.

Normal Discomfort

Normal discomfort is usually mild and brief, lasting for a few minutes or hours after removing your headphones. It can show as redness, swelling, itching, or soreness around your ears or piercings. You can ease this discomfort by applying a cold compress or taking an anti-inflammatory medicine. Give your ears a break from headphones until they recover.

Potential Problems

Potential problems are more severe and persistent, lasting for days or even weeks without improvement. They could indicate an infection or an allergic reaction to your headphones or jewelry. Signs of these issues might include fever, pus, bleeding, severe pain, or trouble hearing. If you notice these symptoms, stop using headphones immediately and consult a doctor.

You might need antibiotics or antihistamines and may have to temporarily or permanently remove your piercing jewelry. Ensure you regularly clean your headphones and avoid sharing them to prevent further complications.


How can I wear headphones with a new tragus piercing?

While it’s possible to wear headphones with a tragus piercing, it’s best to avoid using them until the piercing is completely healed. If you must wear headphones during the healing process, opt for over-ear headphones and adjust them so they don’t exert force on the piercing.

Is it harmful to pierced ears if I wear headphones frequently?

Using headphones frequently can be harmful or irritate the pierced ears, especially if the piercing is still healing. Bacteria can accumulate on the earbuds, which can cause infections and slow down the healing process. Here you can learn about How to prevent complications.

Wrapping up

Whether you can wear headphones or earbuds with piercings depends on the type of piercing, its healing stage, and the type of headphones. It’s crucial to exercise caution and provide your ears with adequate rest. If you experience any problems, discontinue headphone use and seek advice from a medical professional or your piercer.

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