19 answers

How Long Does It Take for Earring Holes to Grow Up?

My 9 yr. old daughter got her ears pierced 6 weeks ago. We took the earrings out but she will not let me or anyone else replace them. She says it hurts and acts like we are killing her. Her ears are not red nor infected, they look fine but she insists that we are hurting her and will not let anyone near them. The last time I tried I put ice on them but it still didn't work. My question is how much longer do we have until the holes grow up? It's been 3 days.

What can I do next?

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My grandma always told me that the wholes don't grow back totally. and if you take a warm wash cloth and put it over the whole for a few minutes it makes the skin easier to get through. It does work. I personally hadn't worn earring for about 2 years and I used grandma's trick and it worked. With very little pain might I add. Hope this helps and good luck T.

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I had my ears pierced at 5 years old and still have problems (28 years later)at times with them hurting (although I don't wear earings all the time) My daughter on the other hand got them pierced at 7 months and has never had a problem - she's now 8. What I have found that works for both of us is to stick the earing post in some neosporin (or similar antibacterialointment) before inserting them. It not only helps them slide in, but it actually keeps it from being sore. What type of earings did she use for the piercing? (sorry I don't know if there is a specific one used for piercing since it has been so long for us) sometimes it's the type of metal. 14K gold vs gold overlay, or silver that kind of thing. I have found that my ears do better with the 14K gold over anything else. it may be that the irritation is what she is calling pain. sometimes the back side of my hold seems to close up. I gerneally have to feel around (kind of massage)the back of my earlobe to sort of open it up before putting an earing in. also if she will let you try the ointment and put new ones in, get a pair of kids earings (walmart actually sells 14K gold ones that are very reasonably priced) they will have a much smaller post. if she will let you put them in (or try herself) and can hold off for a few more weeks, it should get better and save her from future problems. Good luck with it all.

1 mom found this helpful

My grandma always told me that the wholes don't grow back totally. and if you take a warm wash cloth and put it over the whole for a few minutes it makes the skin easier to get through. It does work. I personally hadn't worn earring for about 2 years and I used grandma's trick and it worked. With very little pain might I add. Hope this helps and good luck T.

1 mom found this helpful

Lot of good input, the final decision on what to do is up to you.
Personally, since she is acting like they are still sore, and they shouldn't normally be sore after 6 weeks, have her ears checked by a doctor.
Was there a specific reason why the original "training" earrings were removed before 8 weeks?? Just asking because they usually recommend leaving them in for 8-10 weeks before changing to regular posts/wires.
Let us know what is decided; since she already has them pierced, try to see what the real issue is and make sure you tell her she might not be able to get them pierced later on because of scar tissue, and why go through it again?? If they're not infected in any way, but she still refuses to wear the earrings just let her do what she wants, and tell her if she is able to have them redone later on, she has to pay for it!!

It really just depends; it seems to differ from person to person. I haven't worn earrings in my second or third earring holes in years and years, yet they're still there. My friend had her daughter's ears pierced when she was an infant. They took out the earrings probably about a year ago, and they just realized that they still haven't grown up. Considering your daughter didn't wear them long, hers might grow up, but if she's not wearing earrings in them I can't imagine why they'd be hurting her.

We had my daughters ears pierced a couple of weeks ago and were advised to not remove them for 6 weeks. After that we need to make sure there is something in the ear for six months before leaving them open. Sounds like you are right on track. Try to be sneaky, put one in while she's sleeping!

Really 6 wks is not enough time for them to heal. It takes at least 12 wks and to make sure they dont grow over when they are left out for a while you should wait a year for no earings. Since they have been out for 3 days it will hurt when you put them back in. My suggestion would be to file the end of the pierced earings down and let her slowly put them back in after cleaning ears and earings with alcohol. This way it is not opening up sensitive areas with the point of the earings. I know I have 2 13 yr olds that had the bottom holes done and now we moved on to the cartlidge at the top of the ear. Scarey for me but they were excited. So this is just the beginning.

I've had my ears pierced for 15 years and they've never quite "taken". I am allergic to metal.

The only metal I can comfortably wear without any reaction is platinum and surgical steel. The expense of platinum is obviously prohibitive and they no longer sell earrings on surgical steel posts (at least locally....) I've tried "hypoallergenic" titanium, but it still contains enough impurities that it irritates my earlobes after a while. And I'm just too plain old to wear plastic earrings....lol!

Make sure she has been diligent and hasn't let the skin grow over/into the earrings. One's supposed to turn them and swab them twice daily for the first several (I think six) weeks to prevent growing over and infection.

Good luck! Hope you find something to help!

Hi, M.

In my experience you should leave the training earrings in for a couple of weeks, but she should let you clean around the earring with the stuff that you should have received from the place that pierced her ears, to avoid infection, and twirl the earring while in her ear.


P.S. If it is hurting her, it could just be dried blood (just a bit) built up around the earring making it hard to move and tugging at her skin a bit when you try to. The solution should help with all of it.

Hello M.
it depends on how long they have been pierced. I had my ears pierced at age 2 & went for about 5 years without wearing earrings & they hav neve closed [ I am now 51 ] but, that is just me. Maybe she will out grow the "hurt " thing. Try taking her to Wal-Mart or whatever her favorite store is & letting her pick out some earrings that she really likes. That mey tempt her to wear them more unless she just does not want to wear earrings. If it has been less than6-8 weeks of piercing they will likely close up in about a month or so.


Use the solution and a cottom ball to clean the piercings. As another mom suggested, it could be dried blood that's causing a bit of tugging, or an allergy to the metal. Most places use 14K gold or better for piercings because of the risk for allergies to cheaper metals. The piercings should be cleaned three times a day and with each cleaning, move the piercing back and forth (front to back) and also spin it to make sure the antiseptic is getting in the piercing itself and not just all over the earring.

Even though earrings can be changed after 6 weeks, earrings have to be worn continuously for at least the first six months for lobe piercings (longer for cartiledge). I have ten piercings and some of them took longer than average to heal. In fact, my ears were so tender with my 4th lobal piercing that I couldn't change the earrings for about 4 months. Keep cleaning the piercings until they arent tender anymore. If you run out of the cleaning solution, try Bandaid antiseptic rinse - it has lidocaine which will numb her piercings a bit. If they are very tender, numbing them may help you to clean them a bit more thoroughly.

I don't know how long it takes the holes to grow up; but it sounds like she is just scared if there is not any sign of infection. Just make her let you put them back in!

If there's no redness or oozing of the ears, they may be healed correctly and won't close over. You could try checking them for knots while your daughter is asleep. (don't mention this to her though)
They would have closed over within 3 days if they are going to. It sounds like your daughter is afraid they are going to be sore and is possibly just over reactin. (again, this is only if there is no sign of infection.)
You could take her shopping and allow her to pick her next pair of earrings and teach her to put them in herself. That way she is in control and will find out that it's not nearly as scary as she fears. Too, if they are sore, she could stop pressing on the earring right when it begins to hurt. This moves you out of the "bad guy" spot and into the cool mom possition by allowing her to express herself and be somewhat in control.
** Be careful to chose earrings that are for sensitive ears or have posts that are made of gold or silver only. Some people are allergic to cheap earrings and this can cause pain no matter how long the holes have been there.
Good Luck!
L. C.

I would say that if she hasn't had any in for about 3 days and they have only been pierced for 6 wks that they are well on their way. The reason she says it hurts is because the backing is not going in straight and it is sensitive. Did she want her ears pierced or was it your idea? If it was your idea, maybe she is not really interested and you should allow them to grow up and let her make the decision as to when she is ready to take care of them on her own. If it was her decision then maybe she realizes that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be and then she can decide when she wants to try again. I wouldn't fret over it too much. She is only 9.
Good luck.

Hi M.!
Try letting her put them back in herself. This is a very "grown-up" thing to have earrings, so maybe that's where the struggle comes in. Not only that, if you let her try and she doesn't get it-more likely than not-she will come to you for help. Have you let her pick out earrings she likes? Girls this age sometimes pick great big earrings-my girls did-I have bought a couple pairs of them and I let them wear them for dress up and such-not out of the house. If she is really determined that she doesn't want earrings, leave the holes alone. You have to keep cleaning them for a few days though, to prevent infection. The time it takes varies for every body. The issue to keep in mind is that it is gonna leave a scar and develop a "keloid"-that hard ball of tissue-and when she is 13 and decides that she wants earrings again having them re-pierced may be an issue. We had my oldest daughter's ears pierced when she was 9 mths old-she never messed with them, it was much easier taking care of them. Our baby daughter...we had her's pierced when she was 5 mths old-even though they were locking back earrings, one of them kept falling out. Eventually, we ended up letting them grow up, which left scars and "keloids". Which was okay, b/c the holes were uneven anyway. Well, when she turned 6 she wanted earrings again. So, we took her to have them done. The tech did have to reposition the gun a couple of times to be able to avoid the scar. So, long story short...I wished I would have been more diligent in keeping her earrings in.
Maybe, you should consider having your baby girl's done while she's a baby. You might get a lot less drama!

Hey M.!! At the Sweet and Sassy store in Memphis we typically recommend keeping the earrings in for 6-8 weeks, depending completely on how she has responded to them as well as how the earlobe looks. We pierce so many little girls ears that its hard to say how each will react as everyone's temperment as well as chemistry is different. I always tell the parents that IF after 6-8 weeks you find that the earrings are just not comfortable for her or the ear lobe looks to be red and/or swollen and infected then she could potentially be allergic to the earring post itself. There is just no way of knowing which will work with which child, basically its "trial and error". Depending on what type of earring post that you got (and of course if you want, or she wants to keep the earrings in...fyi here...remind her that she may want to tough it out. Personally, my daughter wouldnt help keep her's clean, you know touching with dirty hands and all, etc.. therefore she has had her's done for the THIRD and LAST TIME.) Keloids and / or scar tissue, etc.. is something a lot of folks do not know or think about prior to letting the holes grow up. THE HOLES CAN TAKE A WHILE TO GROW UP, if the piercing has JUST happened (meaning within the hour or so) the hole is typically not visible within a day or two however if she has diligently kept them in for the full 6 weeks you will be able to feel something which may feel like a "keloid" (the little ball of tissue) inside the earlobe for a while. NOTE: PRIOR TO PIERCING the individual who is performing the service will(should) feel around (by mashing lightly) on the earlobes in feeling for any keloids, scar tissue, prior piercings, etc.. YOU CAN NOT pierce on top of a prior piercing (can you technically, yes, but its a no no) NOR can you pierce on scar tissue or keloids. I told my daughter on that third time..."THATS IT you have NO EARLOBE LEFT TO PIERCE after these go in!" That must of stuck with her as she has done her fair share of due diligence to ensure her earlobes are healthy (even STILL using cleanser every night....girl, this was a year and 1/2 ago when she had them done!! LOL!!! She didnt want to spend the rest of her life having to wear clip on ear bobs I guess!! Hahahaaa! M., if your in the Memphis area I will be more than happy to take a look at them for you and talk to your daughter as well as give you a bottle of ear cleansing solution (since your my fellow "mamasource" member!! ;-) Just ask for A. the next time you are in if you'd like for me too, or give me a call (make sure the girls know im expecting your call so they will track me down, lol). Also sometimes being in an environment, such as S&S, girls are excited and want to engage in the full "girly" experience...she may just have a change of heart, esspecially after taking a look at the S&S "tween" exclusive earrings that we offer. I would be more than happy to explain to her why its so important to try to keep these in (obviously is this is what you would like). The only other thing I can think of is that with the piercing earrings (well, i can only speak for the one's we use)they have rounded safety backs (rounded for comfort and the safety so that they will not easily come off...in fact at times they are down right difficult to pull off), possibly the safety back is squeezed to tight to the earlobe itself. Again, everyone has different earlobes as well. One time (this was AN EXTREMELY RARE OCCURANCE) I had a little girl, about 7 years old whom was very overweight due to a medical condition that she had been born with. This little girls earlobes were so thick that I could not get the piercing instrument up to the ear, basically the ear would not fit in it. I graciously explained this discreetly to the mother however she insisted that we "make it fit", we did, but those earrings were tight. Obviously I dont tell you that in anyway suggesting "thick earlobes" however again, everyone's are so very different some kids have attached lobes, some lobes are very thick at the bottom but thinner at the top, etc.. Possibly all that needs to happen is to have the earring backing loosened? Just a thought. :-)
Wow, so, yeah, didnt mean to get off on history of earlobes here....I feel like the scene from Forrest where Bubba Gump talks about shrimp but in this case earlobes....sum lobes r thick, sum thin, sum danglin', sum attached, sum short, sum long.... Sorry, its getting late and Ive had no sleep, think I am delirious now!! LOL! Seriously though I am more than happy to help you in anyway just swing on by or call us at ###-###-#### if your in this area.
Take Care!!

Hi M.,

When I got my 9 month old ears pierced they seemed sensitive to the touch for several weeks. They weren't exhibiting any signs of infection either. She would resist any attempts to clean them. Since I couldnt take them out, I would try to clean around them front and back if possible. Then I'd put neosporin on them to prevent infection. Since your daughter is older, perhaps you could get her to assist in the cleaning process. Over time it seemed that my baby girl was more receptive when I'd let her pretend to wipe her ears.


Hi M.,

M., so sorry that I misread your question and didn't realize she didn't still have the original earrings in anymore. Maybe you could get her a new pair since the posts aren't as big as the training ones that were in there. If she actually sees that, maybe it will make a difference.

Do you know anyone who has keloids in their ears? If she felt their ear and knows what that might feel like, maybe she'd be more apt to wear new earrings so that she won't develop those lumps in her own ears.

Good luck!

M. -
I have holes in my ears that I haven't worn earrings in for years. Every once and a while I'll try and see if they are closed up, just out of curiosity, and they won't ever close up... Maybe it's just me....


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