Have you ever wondered, "How long does it take for earring holes to close?"

The closure process of earring holes is a common concern among individuals who have stopped wearing earrings or are considering taking a break. The timeframe for earring holes to close varies depending on factors like how long the earrings have been worn, the size of the piercing, and individual healing rates.

Understanding this process is crucial for those looking to maintain their piercings or let them close naturally. Let's delve deeper into this fascinating topic to shed light on the dynamics of earring hole closure.

Understand the Healing Process

Before discussing how long it takes for earring holes to close, it's essential to understand how piercings heal in the first place. When a piercing is made, the body forms scar tissue around the hole to keep it open. This process can take up to six months, depending on individual healing rates and aftercare practices. After the initial healing period, the body produces scar tissue in response to any foreign object (i.e., earrings) inserted into the hole.

Moreover, the type of piercing plays a crucial role in the healing process. For instance, earlobe piercings heal faster than cartilage piercings due to better blood circulation and less pressure from daily activities. When completely healed, the earring hole will contain a layer of skin inside the piercing, making it challenging for the hole to close.

Types of Ear Piercings

As mentioned above, different types of ear piercings heal at varying rates. Below are the three most common types of ear piercings and their corresponding healing timelines:

  1. Earlobe piercing: This is the most popular type of ear piercing, and it heals in 6-8 weeks. Piercing holes may close faster for those who have had their ears pierced multiple times. A few weeks after piercing, you can change your earrings without worrying about the hole closing.
  2. Cartilage piercing: Piercing the cartilage of the ear (e.g., helix, tragus, industrial) can take 3-12 months to heal.
  3. Transverse lobe piercing: This type goes horizontally through the earlobe and typically takes 4-6 months to heal.
  4. Tragus piercing: Tragus piercings are located on the small flap of cartilage in front of the ear canal. They can take 3-9 months to fully heal.

Lobe piercings, nipple piercings, and naval piercings may also take longer to heal than other types of body piercings.

Factors that Affect Earring Hole Closure

As mentioned, the duration it takes for earring holes to close varies depending on multiple factors. These include:

Healing Time:

Healing time is a significant determinant of how long it will take for your earring holes to close. If you recently pierced your ears, they are likely still in the healing process. As such, the holes may close faster compared to someone who has had their piercings for several years.

Piercing Type:

The type of piercing also affects the closure process. As mentioned earlier, earlobe piercings tend to heal faster than cartilage piercings due to better blood circulation and less pressure from daily activities. A piercing site, like the helix piercing, may take longer to close compared to other types due to its location on the ear.

Earring Size:

The bigger the earring, the larger the hole and thus, the longer it takes for them to close. This is especially true for cartilage piercings where the piercer must make a larger hole to accommodate the jewelry.

Aftercare Practices:

Proper aftercare is vital for maintaining healthy piercings and preventing infection. If you have not been diligent with your aftercare routine, it may take longer for your earring holes to close.

Individual Healing Rate:

Everyone's body heals at a different pace. Some individuals may have faster healing rates than others, which can affect how long it takes for their earring holes to close.

Professional piercer Elayne Angel advises that the closure process is unpredictable and can happen quickly or take months, depending on individual factors.

How Long Does It Take for Earring Holes to Close?

Now, the big question - how long does it take for earring holes to close? As mentioned earlier, this varies depending on multiple factors. Some individuals have reported their piercings closing in as little as a few days, while others may take months or even years.

In general, earlobe piercings can take 1-2 months to close without any jewelry, while cartilage piercings can take several months to a year. Remember, cartilage piercings are more prone to scarring and thus may not close entirely even after a long time without jewelry. If ear piercings close, they may leave small scars or indentations.

It's important to note that attempting to close your piercings on your own can have adverse effects, such as infection and scarring. It's best to consult with a healthcare provider or professional piercer for guidance on how to safely close your earring holes.

How to Keep Earring Holes from Closing

If you want to keep your earring holes from closing, there are a few things you can do to ensure they stay open:

  1. Wear Earrings Regularly: The best way to maintain your earring holes is by wearing earrings consistently. This prevents the hole from closing up and promotes healthy blood flow.
  2. Clean Your Piercings Properly: As mentioned earlier, proper aftercare practices are crucial for maintaining healthy piercings. Make sure to clean your piercings regularly with a saline solution or mild soap and water.
  3. Avoid Touching Your Piercings: Touching your piercings with dirty hands can introduce bacteria and cause infections, leading to longer healing times and potential closure.
  4. Rotate Earrings Gently: Rotating your earrings can help prevent them from getting stuck and seal the hole shut. However, make sure to do so gently to avoid causing irritation or injury.
  5. Consider Downsizing Your Earrings: If you are taking a break from wearing earrings, consider wearing smaller studs or hoops instead of completely removing them. This will keep the hole open without putting too much pressure on it.

Not all piercings will close on their own, and in some cases, surgical closure may be necessary. If you want to get your ears repaired after they have closed, make sure to wait at least six months before doing so to allow for proper healing.

Are there Differences in Closure Times Between Lobe and Cartilage Piercings?

While there is no definitive answer, it is generally believed that cartilage piercings take longer to close compared to earlobe piercings. This is due to the thicker tissue in the cartilage area and less blood flow, making it harder for the hole to close completely. Additionally, cartilage piercings are more prone to scarring, which can prevent complete closure even after long periods without jewelry.

Additionally, the placement of the piercing can also affect closure times. For example, a helix (top of the ear) piercing may take longer to close compared to a tragus (small flap on the front of the ear) piercing due to its position in a high-movement area.

What to Do If You Want Your Earrings Holes to Close Quickly

If you have decided to let your earring holes close, there are some things you can do to speed up the process. These include:

  • Stop Wearing Earrings: This may seem obvious, but removing earrings and not wearing them again will allow the hole to close faster. When hole close, pressure is taken off the tissue and forces the body to absorb any excess scar tissue.
  • Keep the Area Clean: Proper aftercare remains essential even if you want your earring holes to close. Keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection.
  • Apply Pressure: Applying pressure to the sides of the piercing can help stimulate the closure process.
  • Use Hot Compresses: Using warm compresses on the piercing site can also encourage healing and promote faster closure.

The Association of Professional Piercers recommends consulting with a healthcare provider before attempting to close earring holes on your own.


What should I do if I notice my piercing closing faster than expected?

If you observe your piercing closing faster than expected, make sure to follow proper aftercare measures such as cleaning and avoiding touching the piercing. You can also consider seeking professional help.

How long does a piercing take to close after removing the earrings?

The duration for a piercing to close varies based on factors like the age of the piercing hole and individual healing processes. In some cases, a piercing may start closing within a few hours of earring removal

Can earrings close in 2 hours?

It is highly unlikely for earrings to close in just 2 hours, especially if the piercing is well-established. However, it's always best to keep an eye on your piercings and follow proper aftercare measures to prevent any complications or faster closure times

Is it normal for a piercing to start closing shortly after removing the earrings?

Yes, it's not uncommon for a piercing to begin closing soon after the earrings are removed, especially if the piercing is relatively new or hasn't been worn for an extended period.


In conclusion, the closure timeline of earring holes is a dynamic process influenced by various factors such as piercing age, individual healing abilities, and earring removal practices. Whether a piercing starts closing within a few hours or takes an extended period to close permanently, understanding these nuances is crucial for those navigating changes in their ear piercings.

Monitoring the signs of closure and seeking guidance from professionals can help manage the closure process effectively. Remember, each ear and piercing is unique, so patience and proper care are key when considering the fate of earring holes and their potential for closure.

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