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Thread: Repiercing ears?

  1. #1
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    Repiercing ears?

    I let my ear piercings close up (at least they're mostly closed up--I can get an earring in most of the way, but not through the back) due to itching and rash-y stuff. I now wish I'd somehow stuck it out, as I have lots of nice earrings with sentimental value that I want to wear. This is actually the second time I've let them close--you'd think I'd learn, wouldn't you?

    Where/how would you go about repiercing? The first time I had them repierced, I went to one of the mall jewelry stores, and they didn't aim exactly through the first hole, which caused some of the later problems, I think. Would I be better off to go to a piercing parlor and just have the same hole repierced? How could I avoid the itchy, rashy stuff this time around? My former piercing studs were 14-Karat gold. All advice welcome!
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  2. #2
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    I developed extreme sensitivity in my ear piercings about 5-7 years ago. I used to be able to wear anything in them (got them pierced almost 20 years ago), but now I can only wear 24K gold. Anyway, before I realized this, one of my earring holes got extremely infected and closed up. After it healed, I got it repierced but they were not able to repierce it through the same hole because of the scarring. I went to a reputable tattoo/piercing shop and had it done, and I haven't had any problems since. I only wear 24K gold now, except on rare occasions when I might put something else in for just an evening or a day. That has helped tremendously.

  3. #3
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    I've had my ears repierced, um, six, maybe seven times? I am a very quick healer, and the holes close up really quickly if I don't keep earrings in them, even overnight. Each time I've had them pierced in the exact same hole, and although there is a bit of scar tissue inside, it seems to heal just fine. I went to a salon/spa and had them done. I asked the lady who pierced them if it was fine to repierce. She didn't seem to see a problem with it.

    The last repiercing I've put myself through was this past August. It actually hurt a lot less than previous piercings! I haven't had the studs taken out yet. Just chicken!

    Maybe it would be something to run by your family doctor, see if they have any input, or see any issues with having it repierced, seeing as you've had problems with it in the past?

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    You could have your earrings converted to clip on.

    One of my ears was pierced badly, and it was forever becoming grossly infected. I finally gave up and let them close up. Now I just wear clip ons or nothing.
    Grab the guns. I'll make pancakes. ~Sarah Conner

  5. #5
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    I would bet that the itching is due to a nickel allergy. I am a multiple re-piercer - I got them pierced when I was 12 and developed keloids; the doctor said I could try again at 16. Got it done at 17 and got keloids again. Think I would've learned? No. When I was 21, I decided to reward myself for significant weight loss and got them pierced again. Keloids developed six months later. And I am convinced (though no doctor has ever told me this) that the allergic reaction to the piercing was what triggered my rheumatoid arthritis. My nickel allergy has gotten worse and worse - I can only wear platinum rings (poor DH!) and I can only wear clip-on earrings for short periods of time before they start itching. I'm even allergic to the back of the button on my jeans!

    So my vote would be that you don't re-pierce if you know your body has a problem with it. There are lots of cute clip-ons now. And if they're really special earrings, you should take them to a jeweler and see about having them converted to clips.
    <)>>< Candace ><<)>

  6. #6
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    DD suggested I go to her favorite tattoo/piercing parlor for "professional" advice. She said, "They look scary, but they practice really good hygiene." Of course, as the veteran of five tattoos, none of which have become infected, she might be on the right track. Decisions, decisions. Please keep the advice coming...I'm considering all of it.
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookin4Love
    DD suggested I go to her favorite tattoo/piercing parlor for "professional" advice. She said, "They look scary, but they practice really good hygiene." Of course, as the veteran of five tattoos, none of which have become infected, she might be on the right track. Decisions, decisions. Please keep the advice coming...I'm considering all of it.
    I've had my fair share of piercings, in ears and other places - I would definetly go to a reputable piercing shop rather than someplace at the mall. They are much better trained and have the right tools (IE not a gun, I know many people who have had it done that way and be fine but it is much easier on your ears if you go the needle route). I had my first ear done with a gun and it did end up infected - the other times it was done at a parlor and healed up much better. Just my opinion!
    Joe

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  8. #8
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    I suffered for years from itchy earrings -- it is a nickel allergy -- it got so bad that I couldn't wear bracelets or watches unless they were gold or silver.

    It takes a long time for the holes to heal up and during that time wear 14 K studs and be really scrupulous about using the advised medication. My ears have been pierced for going on 40 years -- they were actually done by a doctor with a needle and I had surgical string through me ears - don't ask.

    What I have found to be really helpful is to coat whatever I am inserting into my ear with neosporin or equivalent anti-bac cream. It seems to prevent the interaction and I am itchless for a whole day.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by blazedog
    My ears have been pierced for going on 40 years -- they were actually done by a doctor with a needle and I had surgical string through me ears - don't ask.
    I had mine done w/needle and string too!! That was done MANY moons ago when I was around 6 yrs. old and I believe that's how it was done in the olden days When it was time for the strings to come out and earrings inserted, my mother couldn't get the earrings in through the back hole. She kept poking and poking and I kept screaming and screaming! The holes closed up and I had them repierced yrs. later as a teenager. Luckily, I've never had problems and can wear any kind of earring.
    Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lillith
    I had mine done w/needle and string too!! That was done MANY moons ago when I was around 6 yrs. old and I believe that's how it was done in the olden days When it was time for the strings to come out and earrings inserted, my mother couldn't get the earrings in through the back hole. She kept poking and poking and I kept screaming and screaming! The holes closed up and I had them repierced yrs. later as a teenager. Luckily, I've never had problems and can wear any kind of earring.
    Yup when my mother finally took pity on me and let me have my ears pierced, she insisted I go to a doctor when all my friends were having it done with the guns at a place in Greenwich Village.

  11. #11
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    I had my first pierce 40 years ago. after it healed I wore earrings without trouble. then probably 10 years ago I got a second set of holes and earrings have driven me crazy ever since. they itch, they burn, they get hot, red, swollen. Earrings with separate backs are the worst offenders and small ones with thin wires are the least bothersome. I think I have a nickel allergy
    Rings on my fingers don't to bother me but I wear stainless steel/plastic watchbands to minimize metal against my skin. I've tried coating the earring backs & posts with nail polish and another clear material I got from a jewelry store, but neither seems to help much. Every year or so ( usually around the holidays) I drag out some earrings & try again but usually only last a couple hours. If I were you, I'd go with clips and save yourself a lot of aggravation.
    "If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle." Rita Mae Brown

  12. #12
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    Believe it or not I actually had one of my holes split (i.e. tear clean through the bottom) so that I ended up with flaps. I never felt a thing just woke up one day with it like that. I ended up going to a doctor (a plastic surgeon I think) to get the silly thing re-sewn. I still had a hole so I never had to get it re-pierced. I've had the nickel allergy too, what an annoyance. I too can only wear gold earrings or I get the itchy/crusty business. I find clip ons tough to wear because after awhile the pressure on your ear lobe makes it sore. I'd be tempted to go to the piercing parlor your daughter recommended instead of having some bored, gum chewing teeny bopper at the mall do it, if for no other reason than it would be fun.
    Linda

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  13. #13
    This doesn't answer the original question about repiercing, but since allergy issues were mentioned, thought I'd post with this:
    I'm sensitive to the metals in earrings too- The pairs of earrings I have that don't bother me are from:
    http://www.conceptsjewelry.com.
    They specialize in earrings for people with this problem. Their website and catalog seem somewhat confusing (at least when I last looked-) but when I ordered from them they handled my order fine.
    I have to say, I still wear other earrings I have for occasional variety, but the earrings I wear every day are from Concepts. They're so comfortable I don't know they're on.

  14. #14
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    There's also a company called Simply Whispers that I used to buy from. Same concept--I just don't have any of their stuff any more.
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

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  15. #15
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    The problem with those places is limited selection.

    Per my earlier post, I am able to wear non 14K earrings by coating the posts with Neosporin and/or Cortaid (which is the anti-itch lotion). This stuff works so well that I think it eventually enabled the inside of my ear piercing to heal completely so that I can wear non 14K earrings without the Neosporin/Cortaid coating most of the time -- I still have problems with heavyish dangling earrings unless I use the Neosporin/Cortaid as those probably just place too much pressure on the inside.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazedog
    The problem with those places is limited selection.

    Per my earlier post, I am able to wear non 14K earrings by coating the posts with Neosporin and/or Cortaid (which is the anti-itch lotion). This stuff works so well that I think it eventually enabled the inside of my ear piercing to heal completely so that I can wear non 14K earrings without the Neosporin/Cortaid coating most of the time -- I still have problems with heavyish dangling earrings unless I use the Neosporin/Cortaid as those probably just place too much pressure on the inside.
    I tried the neosporin before, and it didn't seem to help. Of course, my problem (at least in part) is probably that I tend to wear heavy, dangly earrings. I didn't try Cort-Aid, though.

    At this point, I think I'm leaning toward the piercing parlor (perhaps a tattoo while I'm there? Or they could tattoo earrings on me?) with careful attention to earrings afterward. I agree about the limited selection at the specialty places--just throwing it out there for those who want to wear earrings and are willing to click through a bunch of pages to find something they might like.
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookin4Love
    I tried the neosporin before, and it didn't seem to help. Of course, my problem (at least in part) is probably that I tend to wear heavy, dangly earrings. I didn't try Cort-Aid, though.

    At this point, I think I'm leaning toward the piercing parlor (perhaps a tattoo while I'm there? Or they could tattoo earrings on me?) with careful attention to earrings afterward. I agree about the limited selection at the specialty places--just throwing it out there for those who want to wear earrings and are willing to click through a bunch of pages to find something they might like.

    Yeah heavy dangling earrings are very problematic -- I only can wear those for a few hours and for a few days after that, my ears are very sensitive even to the earrings I can generally wear without problems.

  18. #18
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    An update.

    I did it. I went to a piercing parlor today, had a good conversation with the "piercing artist," and let him have his way with my ears. I couldn't believe how much less painful and traumatic a needle piercing was than "the gun" they use at the malls. He did say that he sees lots of people who have had problems with piercings from the malls. He explained that the gun doesn't really pierce and separate the flesh so much as pound it and force the stud through, causing trauma that impedes healing. He also said the traditional stud with the earring back used in the mall shops tend to trap more bacteria and lead to more infection.

    So, right now, each ear has one small-ish surgical steel hoop secured with a screw-on bead under my earlobe. The process barely hurt, and several hours later, I have no itching or pain--something I couldn't say about just wearing earrings in the past. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping I can keep this piercing!
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

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  19. #19
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    Well if you start sprouting undulating hula girls on your bicep let us know.

  20. #20
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    Glad it worked out well. Sounds like you are on your way to having comfortably pierced ears. (Just in time for some holiday earring gifts----LOL)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazedog
    Well if you start sprouting undulating hula girls on your bicep let us know.
    Compared to the things I saw at the piercing/tattoo parlor, those would be totally benign. Let's just say I sat in my car for a few minutes before I could get up the courage to go inside after I saw what was standing around outside!
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookin4Love
    Compared to the things I saw at the piercing/tattoo parlor, those would be totally benign. Let's just say I sat in my car for a few minutes before I could get up the courage to go inside after I saw what was standing around outside!
    Man I know what you mean -- I live in Hollywood and there are a number of tattoo parlors -- some are really upscale and trendy and some have large numbers of overweight guys in black leather sitting outside on their motorcycles.

    And some people have a few benign tattoos and then there are others who resemble some form of lizard -- it's really bizarre to stand in line at the stupermarket behind some guy in shorts whose legs are COMPLETELY and solidly tattooed.

  23. #23
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    My earlobes are really thick. I had my ears pierced with a gun by my mom's jeweler when I was a teen. The gun wouldn't go all the way through in one try, so he had to do it twice. Fortunately I have a high pain tolerance. The guy was sweating bullets which didn't help. One ear is slightly off center. (the jeweler kept saying I should be glad my lobes were thick. His wife tore her lobe when their dog got caught on her earring...) I have trouble from time to time pushing the earring all the way through. I should get them repierced. My doctor's office has ear piercing. I should ask him about it sometime. I just don't like the studs he has.

    I only wear 14k or sterling silver earrings. Rob once gave me a silver bracelet that had some gold overlay on it. I broke out in a rash. I have stayed away from costume jewelry since then. I also don't sleep in earrings or wear them too long.
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