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How Long To Wait To Swim After Ear Piercing

How Long To Wait To Swim After Ear Piercing

Swimming is one of the top sports in the UK and a way to keep fit for many people. People love swimming as it's calming, whilst also being a great all-over body workout. It's one of the few sports which moves every muscle without putting strain on the joints, so it's ideal for everyone. It's also a popular summer activity, whether swimming whilst on holiday or taking wild dips in some of the UK's most picturesque outdoor swimming locations. For swimmers with new piercings, particularly ear piercings, the question of when it's safe to take a dip can be a cause for concern. Balancing the desire to enjoy the water with the need for proper healing is crucial to preventing infections and complications. So we've pulled together some useful tips about how long to wait to swim after ear piercing, including what you need to consider when swimming after getting a new ear piercing.

How Long To Wait To Swim After Ear Piercing

Understanding the Healing Process

Before diving into the topic of swimming post-piercing, it's essential to understand the basics of the healing process. When you get a new piercing, whether it's in your earlobe, cartilage, or another part of your body, it creates an open wound. During the initial healing period, which typically lasts between six to eight weeks, the pierced area is vulnerable to infections and irritations.

Risks Associated with Swimming

One of the primary concerns with swimming after getting a new piercing is the risk of infection. Water, whether it's from a pool, hot tub, or natural body of water, contains bacteria and other microorganisms that can enter the piercing site and cause harm. Chlorinated pool water, for example, may help kill some bacteria, but it can still harbour harmful pathogens, this can be especially problematic in poorly maintained pools. We've written a great post on how to identify how clean your swimming pool is, so head over and take a read. This is a particularly useful post for anyone who is considering taking a dip in a pool after having a piercing.

Additionally, stagnant water, such as that found in hot tubs or natural bodies of water, poses an increased risk of infection due to higher concentrations of bacteria. Even ocean water, while naturally saline, can introduce foreign particles and bacteria to the pierced area.

When Is It Safe to Swim?

As a general rule of thumb, it's best to wait until your piercing has fully healed before swimming. For most earlobe piercings, this typically takes around six to eight weeks. However, cartilage piercings may require a longer healing time, often up to several months.

During the initial healing period, it's crucial to avoid submerging the piercing in water to reduce the risk of infection. This includes swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, oceans, and even baths. Waiting until the piercing has fully healed ensures that the skin has closed around the jewellery, creating a protective barrier against harmful bacteria.

Precautions for Swimming with a New Piercing

If you absolutely must swim before your piercing has fully healed, there are some precautions you can take to minimise the risk of complications from infection.

Waterproof Bandage or Dressing

Covering the piercing with a waterproof bandage or dressing can help create a barrier between the wound and the water. Make sure the bandage is securely in place to prevent water from seeping in.

Swimming Cap or Ear Cover

Wearing a swimming cap or a neoprene ear band can help keep the piercing dry while swimming. These accessories provide an additional layer of protection against water infiltration.

Avoid Submerging the Piercing

If possible, refrain from fully submerging your head or the piercing in water. Instead, opt for activities where your head remains above the waterline, such as snorkelling or water aerobics.

Rinse with Clean Water

After swimming, rinse the piercing site with clean, fresh water to remove any chlorine, salt, or bacteria that may have come into contact with the wound.

Proper Aftercare

Continue to follow your piercer's aftercare instructions diligently, including cleaning the piercing twice daily with saline solution or antibacterial soap. Avoid using harsh products or applying pressure to the pierced area.

Monitor for Signs of Infection

Keep an eye out for any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, pain, or discharge. If you notice any of these symptoms, speak to a doctor or pharmacist promptly. They will be able to advise if your fresh piercing is infected and then give you the best course of action to ensure that this doesn't become a serious issue.

Aftercare Tips for Swimmers

Even after your piercing has fully healed, it's essential to take necessary precautions when swimming to prevent irritation or infection:

Choose Clean Water Sources

Opt for swimming in clean, well-maintained pools or natural bodies of water whenever possible. Avoid swimming in stagnant or heavily polluted water, as it increases the risk of bacterial infections.

Shower After Swimming

Rinse off with warm water and mild soap after swimming to remove any chlorine, salt, or bacteria from your skin. Pat dry with a clean towel to prevent irritation.

Use Saline Spray or Solution

After swimming, you can use saline spray or solution to cleanse the piercing site and promote healing. This helps to flush out any potential contaminants and keep the area clean.

Avoid Rough Play or Contact Sports

While swimming, be mindful of activities that may pose a risk of trauma to your piercing, such as rough play or contact sports. Protect your ears with a swim cap or avoid activities that could result in accidental bumps or pulls.

Swimming after getting a new ear piercing requires careful consideration and proper precautions to ensure a smooth healing process. While it's best to wait until the piercing has fully healed before swimming if you choose to swim during the initial healing period, take necessary measures to protect the pierced area from water and bacteria. By following these guidelines and practising good aftercare, you can enjoy your time in the water while minimising the risk of infections or complications. Remember, when in doubt, err on the side of caution and consult with your piercer or a doctor for guidance.

We also have some other great posts if you found this post useful. Why not take a read of 'Is salt water pool bad for your hair?', 'Does spray tan come off in the pool?' or 'Can you wear contacts in the pool?' All are really useful posts for swimmers.

Whilst you are here, why not check out our collection of swim caps and take a look at our swimwear? We have longer length swimwear, tummy control swimsuits, swimwear with bust support and loads more great styles to suit all tastes, shapes and sizes. You'll find we stock one of the most inclusive swimwear ranges in the UK and delivery is free for all orders over £40. We're proud to be a family-run, UK-based company that offers excellent advice, great customer service and free UK returns. That way, if you haven't bought with us before, you can be assured that shopping with us is hassle-free. We hope you love our swimwear and shop with us time and time again.