If you got a new ear piercing and you plan on going for a swim, youíll need to cover it up to avoid developing an infection. Experts say you should wait at least 24 hours after getting a piercing before you go swimming. If you swim before your new piercing heals, keeping it dry will protect it from the germs and harmful bacteria found in both swimming pools and natural bodies of water. You can purchase a water-resistant bandage to cover your piercing during swimming activities. If youíre worried about a bandage falling off, opt for a swimming cap or waterproof band that covers the ears. Whatever you choose, make sure your ear piercing is completely covered so that water does not get inside.

EditUsing a Water Resistant Bandage

  1. Purchase waterproof bandages. Bandages can be found at most drug stores or online. This is the best option for covering your piercing. Of course, youíll need to ensure that it is completely waterproof so that the water does not touch your piercing. Look for information on the packaging that clearly indicates the bandages are water resistant. Purchase one that is the right size and will cover your entire ear piercing.[1]
  2. Clean your piercing and pat it dry. Bandages are best applied when the skin is clean and completely dry. To clean your piercing use mild soap and water. Apply a small amount of soap to each side of the piercing and rinse it off within 30 seconds. Gently pat it dry with a clean paper towel.[2]

    • Always wait at least 24 hours after getting an ear piercing before you go swimming.
    • Do not remove your earring while cleaning. New piercings should not be removed at all until the area is fully healed.
    • Never use harsh soaps or antibacterial products to clean an ear piercing.

  3. Apply the water-resistant bandage over your piercing. Now that your piercing is cleaned and dry, itís time to apply the bandage. Follow the directions on the packaging to secure it to your skin. Most bandages are individually wrapped, so youíll need to take it out of the wrapping and place the absorbent pad over your earring and piercing. Then, remove the adhesive covering and apply it to the skin around your piercing.[3]

    • Do not put the bandage on too tight. You donít want to squeeze your piercing, which can cause pain and bleeding.

  4. Press the adhesive firmly to ensure an airtight fit. Once your bandage is on your ear, press the adhesive sides firmly. You want to make sure it fully adheres to your skin so that no water gets through. Make sure both the front and the back of the piercing are covered with the bandage.[4]

    • If you need two bandages to completely cover the piercing, feel free to do so. Just make sure you press firmly to seal the piercing.

  5. Test the bandage under tap water. To ensure that the bandage is completely waterproof and secure on your ear, youíll need to test it before going in the water. You can test it out in the shower or in the sink. Splash a significant amount of water over your bandage and see if your piercing gets wet. If it does, that either means the bandage isnít completely sealed, or itís not waterproof like the packaging indicates.

    • If your piercing got wet during your test, double check that the tape around the bandage is secure. It may be tricky to create a seal on your earlobe or cartilage, so do your best to push down the tape so that it covers everything.

  6. Check the bandage frequently while youíre swimming. Waterproof bandages will not stay on for hours at a time. They will begin to peel off as time goes by. Itís important to check the bandage regularly to make sure water is not leaking through. If itís beginning to come off, or you suspect that your piercing is getting wet, get out of the water, clean your ear, and apply a new bandage.[5]

    • Try not to touch the bandage too much if you donít have to. If youíre close to a mirror, you can look at your ear it to see if the bandage is starting to come off.

  7. Remove the bandage immediately after swimming. Itís important that new piercings get plenty of air; so make sure to remove your bandage as soon as you get out of the water. After removal, check to make sure the area remained dry. If not, rewash the piercing immediately with mild soap and water.[6]

    • Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water after you get out of the pool and before you touch the bandage. This will prevent any harmful germs or bacteria from transferring from your hands to your ear piercing.

EditCovering Your Ear Piercings with a Swimming Cap

  1. Purchase a swimming cap that covers the ears. Swimming caps are easy to find, but not all of them are designed to cover the ears. Also, some may only cover parts of the ear. So do your research when shopping for swimming caps that cover the ear. You want to make sure to find one with solid ear protection. Swimming caps can be found at most sporting good stores, or online.[7]

    • When shopping for a swimming cap, make sure to check the material it is made from. Always avoid swimming caps that are made of spandex. Spandex is a fabric, which means water will easily seep through, and your piercing will most likely get wet. Look for materials with maximum water protection, such as silicone, latex, and rubber.[8]

  2. Pull your hair back in a bun or ponytail if it is long. Secure it with a hairband so it doesnít slip down when you put on the cap. If you leave your hair out or donít secure it completely, water might seep through the cap and get on your piercing.[9]

    • If you have a significant amount of hair, long braids, or dreadlocks, consider purchasing a swimming cap that accommodates your hair. It will be tight on the sides but loose on the top to keep the water out and fit your hair at the same time.[10]

  3. Pull the swimming cap over your head and ears. Once your hair is out of the way, itís time to put the cap on. The easiest way to do this is to tilt your head down and hold the front of the cap on your forehead. Then stretch the cap over your hair until the back of the cap reaches the nape of your neck. Make sure to tuck your ears into the cap so that your piercing is completely covered.[11]

    • Adjust the cap accordingly until it feels comfortable. Make sure all of your hair is tucked into the cap as much as possible.

EditWearing a Neoprene Ear Band

  1. Purchase a neoprene ear band. If you canít find a swimming cap to cover the ears, or youíre looking for extra protection, purchase a neoprene ear band. It is similar to a headband, but itís waterproof, and it will completely cover your ears and piercing while you swim. You can find a variety of headbands in different sizes for both children and adults. They can be purchased at a sporting goods store or online.[12]Advertisement

    • If youíre worried about the band slipping while youíre swimming, you can place a swimming cap over it; although this is not necessary.

  2. Put your hair up in a ponytail if it is long. Itís best to put your hair up and away from your face before putting on the headband. If your hair is long enough, smooth it back and bring it up into a high ponytail. If your hair is down, it may pull at the band while youíre swimming and allow water to seep in.[13]
  3. Put the center of the ear band across your forehead. If your neoprene ear band attaches with a fastener, open it up and place the center on your forehead right below your hairline. Donít put it too far up, or it will not completely cover your ears.[14]
  4. Secure the ends of the ear band at the back of your neck. Adjust the fastener so it fits snugly around your head without slipping. While youíre putting it on, make sure your piercing is completely covered with the band.[15]

    • If youíre covering ear lobe piercings, you may need to slide your ear band down a little bit so that it covers your lobes completely.


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