Wearing earrings is a fun way to add accessories to your outfit or change your look. However, if you don't wear earrings often, the holes can heal and begin to close up. In some cases it is best to have the holes reopened by a professional, but it is also possible to do this yourself at home if you sterilize your environment, work slowly and take precautions to avoid pain and infection. With good preparation and patience, you can safely open a partially closed hole in your ear and start wearing earrings again.
Method 1 of 3: Sterilize the environment
Step 1. Soften the skin around your earlobe
Before attempting to reopen the pierced ear, soften the skin by holding a warm washcloth against your earlobe or taking a warm shower. This will make it easier to open the hole again.
Step 2. Wash your hands and wear latex gloves
Wash your hands thoroughly for 30 seconds with warm water and an antibacterial soap to remove dirt, dust and bacteria. After you have rinsed and dried your hands completely, put on latex or rubber gloves. This way you will not be able to transfer bacteria to the hole in your ear.
Step 3. Sanitize your earrings with rubbing alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, is available at supermarkets and drugstores. Rubbing alcohol is a strong disinfectant that kills most bacteria, fungi and viruses that live on a given surface. Moisten a cotton ball or swab with the rubbing alcohol and clean a pair of thin-tipped earrings. You will be using these earrings to reopen the hole in your ear. Make sure to clean the surface thoroughly. Place the earrings on a clean surface to dry.
If you have an allergy, make sure to use sterling silver earrings or hypoallergenic earrings to avoid an allergic reaction
Step 4. Clean your earlobe
Use a new cotton ball or swab to clean your earlobe with rubbing alcohol. Make sure to clean the front and back of your earlobe, focusing on the partially closed hole in your ear.
Method 2 of 3: Opening the hole manually
Step 1. Feel the back of your earlobe
You may feel a small lump where the hole should be. This nodule is made up of dead skin cells that seal the hole while it heals.
If the hole appears to have healed completely, you may need to seek the help of a professional to have new pierced ears pierced. Keep in mind that pierced ears don't close at the same rate for everyone. You may not be able to wear earrings for several years and still open the hole yourself at home, but it is also possible that the hole has completely closed up after several months
Step 2. Lubricate your earlobe
Apply a generous amount of petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment to your earlobe to lubricate the area and reduce friction. Using your fingers, gently rub the lubricant onto your earlobes. The warmth of your hands will also soften your skin.
Step 3. Stretch the hole in your ear
Using your fingers, gently squeeze the sides of your earlobes and pull them lightly in different directions. This will open the holes in your ears a little wider. This can help push some of the lubricant into the holes. Don't rub your earlobes too vigorously or pull too hard.
Step 4. Cover the sanitized earrings with a lubricant
Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment to the disinfected tips of the earrings. Make sure that no lubricant gets on the front of the earrings so that they will not easily slip out of your hands.
Be sure to use thin-tipped earrings. Earrings with thick tips may not fit through a partially closed hole in the ear. Pushing a thick-tipped earring into the hole can cause scarring, cause the spot to bleed or cause pain
Step 5. Insert the earring into the hole
Look in the mirror and slowly insert the earring with one hand in front of your earlobe. Use your free hand to grab your earlobe. Lightly press your thumb against the back of the hole, where the knot with dead skin cells is located.
Step 6. Wiggle the earring in the hole
Gently move the earring back and forth in the hole. You may have to wiggle the earring back and forth for several minutes to find a suitable angle to push the earring through the hole. Hold your thumb against the back of your earlobe so you can feel where the end of the earring is.
If you experience discomfort or pain, try anesthetic on the earlobe for a few minutes before trying again with ice. If you continue to feel pain or discomfort during this process, you should seek the help of a professional
Step 7. Twist the earring to open the hole again
When you have found the hole and the right angle, slowly twist the earring through the hole. Do not apply too much pressure. Because the hole is partially open and your ear and the tip of the earring are well lubricated, it should feel like you can easily slide the tip through the hole.
If you cannot twist the earring through the hole, stop and insert the earring into the hole at a different angle
Step 8. Push the earring through your earlobe
After you have turned the earring around in the hole to open it again, gently push the tip of the earring through your entire earlobe. Fasten the earring in your ear.
Do not force or push the earring into the hole. This can cause a scar or an infection
Step 9. Prevent infection after putting your earring back in your ear
After inserting the earring through the hole, it is important to wash your earlobe again with warm water and an antibacterial soap to avoid irritation or infection. It is also important not to touch your earlobe with your hands while it is healing so that no bacteria gets into the hole. Avoid using hair styling products and powder makeup for several days to keep the area clean.
Step 10. Get the help of a professional
Opening a closed hole in your ear without sterilizing everything and taking the proper precautions can cause the site to bleed, get an infection, and cause nerve damage. Do not proceed if it hurts or you are unable to reopen the hole. Talk to your doctor or a professional at a piercing studio or jewelry store about safely opening your cavities in a suitable and sterile environment.
Method 3 of 3: Taking care of the cavities
Step 1. Keep your earrings in for several weeks
After you have opened the holes, it is best to keep your small earrings in your ears for at least 6 weeks. If you remove the earrings from your ears earlier, the holes can start to close up again.
Step 2. Clean your ears with soap and water
Clean your ears every morning or evening. Use antibacterial soap to wash your hands, then wash your earlobes once a day with warm, soapy water. That way the place will stay clean and not get infected.
You can help prevent scabs by cleaning the area twice a day with rubbing alcohol. Use a cotton ball or cotton swab and apply the rubbing alcohol around the holes
Step 3. Rotate the earrings daily
Gently grab the earrings around with clean hands and swirl them around. Do this every day to prevent the holes from closing again.