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How to Prevent Your Stretched Ears From Stinking
Ear stretching has been practiced by indigenous peoples for hundreds of years for various rituals in countries such as Africa, Europe, and more recently has exploded in North America and Europe. Ear stretching is essentially widening the healed hole in the ear lobe and placing a plug or tunnel into the pierced hole. Choosing to stretch your ears gives you a personal responsibility to take proper care of your piercing. Smelly ear plugs, commonly known as ear cheese, are dead skin cells that build up in the stretched earlobe and collect on the plug. Ear cheese is a combination of dead skin cells and shampoo/soap products that create a disgusting and foul-smelling discharge. Once this happens, you have to take the following steps to rid your ears of this horrible smell.
Step 1- Cleaning your plugs
Take your plugs out and wash them carefully in the sink with warm water. Use a mild liquid soap to wash all sides and thoroughly clean the jewelry. When done, use a paper towel to dry and cover. Make sure you don’t leave in the shower or sink as reinfection can occur. For organic plugs like wood, special oils like jojoba can help clean special materials properly.
Step 2- Cleaning the earlobe
First, wash both hands with warm water and an anti-bacterial soap. Then, in a circular motion, use a finger to rub the inside of your stretched lobe. Clean off all dead skin cells from the ear by scrubbing with plenty of antibacterial soap and water. If your lobes aren’t big enough for your finger, try using a Q-tip to clean the inside. Be sure to thoroughly dry the lobe inside and out with a new, clean paper towel to prevent bacteria from becoming trapped.
Step 3- Reinserting your plugs
Once the inside of the lobe is cleaned and dried, immediately reinsert the plug into your stretched lobe. Recently cleaned plugs and ear jewelry can easily pick up bacteria while air drying in the sink or shower, so it’s important to do this right away. Wipe away any remaining water around your piercing with a clean cloth or paper towel. If your lobe needs lubrication while reinserting the plug, try massaging it with vitamin E oil.
Many cleaning agents such as alcohol and hydrogen peroxide can be too harsh to pierce and stretch the ear. We recommend soaking the piercing and plug 1-2 times daily in a mild saline solution with warm water and non-iodized sea salt. Following these simple steps every day can stop smelly ears and ear wax.
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