Ear piercings can look great, but there’s a problem with them, and that problem is that ear piercings can sometimes heal up. But how long does it take for ear piercings to close up?
Generally, the newer the piercing, the quicker it will heal and close up. Piercings less than a year old can close in days, whereas piercings that are several years old can close up in weeks.
However, it’s difficult to give a specific answer to that question because it depends on numerous factors, such as the maturity of the piercing, and your body itself.
How long does it take for new ear piercings to close?
When having your ears pierced, or any piercing for that matter, there is always the risk of the piercing closing up.
If you’ve recently had a new piercing, this is where it is at its most vulnerable and the newer it is, the quicker it can heal.
When you receive a new ear piercing, the piercer will emphasize the fact that keeping the earring in for a long time is very important, but why is that?
Basically, with new piercings, the holes can literally close up in a matter of hours.
When you get a piercing, you are literally making a hole in your body, and your body doesn’t like that.
Thinking that you’ve sustained an injury, your immune system will kick in and attempt to heal the “injury” as quickly as possible.
Of course, closing times can vary from person to person, but typically you will find that earlobe piercings that are less than a year old, can heal up in 6 – 12 weeks.
To help prevent this from happening, for the first six months of your piercing, make sure you do not go for longer than 24 hours without wearing your earring.
How long does it take for old ear piercings to close?
Older piercings, i.e. piercings older than a year old that have fully healed, can still potentially close up.
In theory, once an earlobe piercing is three to four years old, it may never fully close up by itself.
However, this can vary from person to person, and sometimes older piercings can close up in a matter of weeks.
Different Types of ear piercing and how long each one takes to close up
The great thing about getting your ears pierced is the fact that there are so many parts of the ear that you can pierce, with each piercing looking great in its own way.
But how many different types of ear piercing are there, and how long does each one take to close?
- Ear Lobe Piercing
- Tragus Ear Piercing
- Conch Ear Piercing
- Daith Ear Piercing
- Snug Ear Piercing
- Industrial Ear Piercing
How long does it take for lobe ear piercings to close?
An earlobe piercing is arguably the most common ear piercing, it can also heal the most rapidly.
Earlobe piercings that are less than six months old can heal up in as little as 24 hours without an earring being worn.
Once an earlobe piercing has fully healed however, it can go for prolonged durations of time with no earring being worn.
Ear lobe piercings that are three to four years old will never fully close.
How long does it take for tragus ear piercings to close?
Once completely healed, a tragus piercing hole will never fully close.
Instead, what tends to happen is that new skin will form over the piercing and will basically plug the heal and close the piercing that way.
Tragus piercings that have been in for three to four years will heal and close slowly and may never fully close, it will instead be covered by a thin layer of skin.
It sounds nasty, but if you do wish to re-pierce the hole, doing so should be much easier with an older tragus piercing.
How long does it take for conch ear piercings to close?
Conch piercings are cartilage piercings just like the tragus, and as a result, once fully healed, the hole will never fully close.
Again, what tends to happen is that skin simply forms over the hole, so it won’t be visible.
If you have a new conch piercing, make sure you keep the piercing in as this pesky blighter will want to close up very quickly, we’re talking hours.
The newer the piercing, the quicker the hole will close.
People’s bodies heal at different rates, so for conch piercings newer than six months, it can take 6 – 12 hours to heal.
For conch piercings up to a year old however, it can take anything from 24 hours to 1 to 4 weeks to close.
How long does it take for Daith ear piercings to close?
Daith piercings are yet another example of a cartilage piercing, so once again, the newer the piercing, the quicker the hole will close.
Daith piercings can close in 24 hours if they’re newer than six months old.
For daith piercings up to a year old however, it can take 1 – 14 days to close up.
If the piercing is several years old, it may take weeks, even months to close up, or if fully healed, it might never close up at all.
Again, what tends to happen here is that new skin will form and cover the hole, but re-piercing won’t be an issue at all.
How long does it take for snug ear piercings to close?
Snug piercings, despite looking fantastic, are not as common as some of the other piercings we’ve looked at so far.
Despite this, they still look amazing and there are plenty of snug piercing earrings out there that would look wonderful.
For the first six months, wear your snug earring as much as possible, and don’t leave it out for longer than 24 hours, as it could close within one day.
After one year it can take days, or even weeks to close. Once fully healed, which usually takes four to six months, the hole may remain fully open.
If this occurs, the skin may again grow over it to cover the hole, but never fully close it.
How long does it take for industrial ear piercings to close?
Because of where industrial piercings are located, they generally tend to close up completely within 1 – 2 weeks.
If the piercing is less than six months old, don’t remove it for longer than 24 hours as it could close fully within days.
How to prevent my ear piercings from closing?
One of the most common complications associated with new piercings is them closing up.
Which is why it’s so important to keep an eye on yours and do everything in your power to prevent that from happening.
Whereas new piercings can close up very quickly, there are plenty of preventative measures that you can take.
The most common and most important step you can take is to keep the earring in for as long as possible.
Try to keep the piercing in all day and never remove it for longer than 24 hours.
Do ear piercings close up overnight?
Once your ear piercing has fully healed, you almost certainly won’t need to worry about it closing up overnight, regardless of what kind of piercing it is.
If your ear piercing is new however, it’s a different story entirely.
With new piercings, because the body thinks it is injured, it will do everything in its power to repair the damage quickly.
Because the immune system is working overtime to repair the hole, fresh ear piercings can close up in a matter of hours.
This means that you should not remove them when you go to bed as they can close up overnight.
What to do if my ear piercing is closed?
Getting your ears pierced is exciting. What’s not exciting however, is finding that the piercing hole has closed.
If your piercing is closed partially, with clean hands, try to insert the earring into the hole, and gently twist slowly back and forth to try to open the hole back up.
Do this slowly, and stop immediately if it is causing pain or discomfort.
If you can’t get the piercing in at all, do NOT use any force as this could turn the piercing area into an open wound, which could cause infection and much worse besides.
Here, you should seek out professional help to see whether or not the piercing has closed completely, or just gotten smaller.
Professionals have access to the best tools and equipment, including ‘insertion tapers’ which are used to re-open piercings that have not fully been sealed closed.
Don’t worry, though. In the worst-case scenario, they’ll be able to re-pierce your ear at a later date, when safe to do so.
How long do ear piercings take to heal?
The healing process is one of the most frustrating parts of getting an ear pierced because until the piercing has fully healed, there’s always the risk of it closing up, and sometimes, closing up quicker than expected.
As far as how long ear piercings take to heal, it all depends on the piercing.
Earlobe piercings tend to heal quickly and can heal in as little as 4 – 8 weeks.
For cartilage piercings such as the tragus however, healing times are longer and can take between 6 and 12 months.
How to close ear piercing holes permanently
If the time has come for your ear piercing holes to close up permanently, the easiest way of achieving this is to simply remove the earrings from the piercing that you wish to close up.
Ear piercing holes can close up in hours, or months, depending on when the piercing was done, and what kind of piercing it is.
As well as removing the earring, make sure you clean the piercing twice per day to ensure it heals and closes safely, without the risk of infection.
How to close ear piercing holes faster
As wonderful as ear piercings can be, there may come a time in your life when you decide that you’ve had enough of your piercing, and would rather it closed fully.
If this applies to you and you’d like to close your ear piercing hole faster, there are things you can do.
Obviously, the first thing to do is remove the jewelry in the piercing. Again, make sure to keep the piercing clean and sterile.
If it is a large piercing you wish to close, you may wish to speak to a cosmetic surgeon and have the piercing stitched closed.
If you have this procedure, be sure to clean the stitches 3 times per day.
After 1 – 2 weeks, your doctor should be able to remove the stitches and you’ll be all set.
How to close ear piercings naturally
If you wish to close an ear piercing naturally without surgery, you need to remember that the piercing hole should not be fully healed.
If it is fully healed, the hole will likely never fully close. Sure, it may be covered by new skin, but the hole will still be underneath.
Oil massage with an oil such as coconut oil or almond oil helps to speed up the closing process as it helps to hydrate the skin and keep holes smaller.
Obviously, a smaller hole will heal quicker and easier than a larger hole.
You can also try any of the following:
- Clean with apple cider vinegar
- Wash with bicarb of soda
- Clean with witch hazel
- Moisturize the earlobes
- Make sure you remove the earrings as quickly as you can