How Long Does a Helix Piercing Take To Heal?
Helix piercings typically take 6 to 9 months to heal. For some people, they may heal faster than 6 months. For others, they may take longer than 9 months for complete healing.
Ultimately, it can vary depending on you and your body. Keep in mind: Helix piercings do take longer to heal than a traditional ear lobe piercing, which often only takes around one month.
When Can I Change My Helix Piercing?
You should wait until your helix piercing is fully healed to change it. This typically takes between 6 months to 9 months. However, this timeframe could be longer if you don’t take proper care of the piercing or if you have complications.
It can also just depend on the person. For example, some people require a full year before their piercings are completely healed.
Helix Piercing Pain
On a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being the least and 10 being the worst, people often rate a helix piercing at between a 4 and a 7. However, you may experience more or less pain depending on your tolerance.
Be sure to go to an experienced piercer, as they can lessen the potential pain by piercing quickly and efficiently.
Helix Piercing Healing Signs
When your helix piercing is fully healed, you’ll likely experience the following:
- No swelling
- No bleeding
- No redness
- No discharge
- No soreness or pain
- Jewelry moves comfortably and freely
- No crusting
- No bumps
Compared to a lobe piercing, you’ll likely see it take longer for the swelling and redness to go down. The cartilage doesn’t have as many blood vessels, making it take a little bit more time for the body to heal the new piercing.
Helix Piercing Healing Process
To better determine whether or not your helix piercing is fully healed, learn more about the healing process, which entails:
- Immediately after your piercing, you’re likely to experience pain, redness, and swelling. You may experience a small amount of blood or crusting as well.
- Within the first couple of weeks after getting your piercing, the swelling and redness should go down. The discomfort should ease and you should not see any bleeding or oozing.
- By the third week, your piercing should feel much more comfortable and may start to peel or flake as the skin around it heals.
- A month after your piercing, all symptoms should be minimal or gone.
- As you approach the three-month mark, your piercing should look and feel healthy. The earring should move freely within the hole and without pain. It should be comfortable and not hot to the touch or swollen. It should also start to look like the same color as the rest of your skin.
If your symptoms don’t go away or flare back up, this means the piercing is not healed.
Be conscious of symptoms like extreme swelling, redness, pain, or abnormal discharge, as these could be signs of an infection. Infections must be addressed immediately, so talk with your piercer and a doctor if this happens.
Helix Piercing Healing Complications
If there are issues during the healing process, some complications you may encounter are:
At or right next to the piercing site, you may see a small bump like a pimple. You should contact your piercer for treatment direction. In serious cases, it may turn into a keloid and you may need to take the jewelry out and let the hole seal back up.
By puncturing your skin, germs and bacteria can enter the piercing and lead to an infection. Signs of an infection include swelling, redness, skin irritation, foul odor, discharge, pain, and even a fever. This should be treated immediately with help from your piercer and a medical professional.
3. A Sore and Swollen Helix Piercing
You may notice your earring feeling tight or your ear feeling swollen, hot, and sore. Your piercer may recommend applying a cold compress or ice and warm salt water rinses. Try not to sleep on that side, as added pressure can add to the discomfort during the healing process.
In some cases, your body may reject the piercing. If this happens, your ear will become irritated and will not heal properly. You’ll likely have to let the piercing close back up and get it re-pierced. Depending on how it heals, you may need to move to a different location.
Helix Piercing Healing Tips
To support your helix piercing during the healing process, you should:
1. Choose Quality Helix Piercing Jewelry
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Nickel and other low-end metals are more likely to irritate your skin, making an infection more likely. Go to a reputable piercer and choose high-quality metals like implant-grade titanium or solid 14K gold for your helix piercings, which won’t cause skin issues.
2. Clean the Piercing Daily
The best way to prevent helix piercing complications is to perform the right aftercare. This involves cleaning your piercing at least twice a day. Your piercer may give you a saline solution, or, you can make your own at home by dissolving ¼ teaspoon of sea salt into 1 cup of warm water.
To clean the piercing, you’ll soak something like a cotton ball in the salt water solution. Then, you’ll apply it to the front and the back of the piercing to saturate the area. If needed, you can use a dampened cotton swab to gently brush away any crust.
3. Protect Your Piercing
Take measures to properly protect your helix piercing. Best practices include:
- Wash it twice daily with the recommended salt water rinse.
- Avoid touching or playing with the jewelry as it can introduce new bacteria.
- Avoid sleeping on that side as the piercing heals.
- Avoid changing the jewelry until it’s fully healed.
- Follow your piercer’s instructions and reach out to them with any questions.
Don’t ignore signs that your piercing is infected. When in doubt, contact your piercer for further direction. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications and you may have to remove your jewelry and allow the piercing to close.
If you’re considering a helix piercing, there are many different advantages to consider. However, you should also weight the risks. If you’re dedicated to performing the appropriate aftercare, you could have a healthy piercing that you can enjoy for years to come.