When Can I Change My Helix Piercing?

A helix piercing is a piercing of your upper ear cartilage. There are many different versions of the helix piercing, including a double or triple helix piercing, which involves two or three piercing holes. There is also a mid helix, which is a helix piercing at the mid-section of your ear.

Regardless of the type and placement, it’s crucial to wait the right amount of time before changing your helix-piercing jewelry. If you’re asking, “When can I change my helix piercing?” keep reading to learn more about how long it takes for it to heal and how you can safely go about switching your jewelry.

When Can I Change My Helix Piercing?

You should wait until your helix piercing is fully healed to change it. This typically takes between 6 months to 9 months. However, this timeframe could be longer if you don’t take proper care of the piercing or if you have complications. It can also just depend on the person. For example, some people require a full year before their piercings are completely healed.

Can I Change My Helix Piercing After 1 Month?

Even if you take really good care of your helix piercing and tend to heal quickly, one month is likely too soon to change it. Three months is usually the minimum amount of time you can wait before taking the jewelry out without increased risk of complications.

When Can I Change My Helix Piercing to a Hoop?

A common question people with a new helix piercing have is, “When can I change my helix piercing to a hoop?” The answer is you must wait the suggested 6 to 9 months for your piercing to fully heal before you can switch to a hoop. Some people may require even more time, such as a year.

Hoops are more susceptible to infection than studs because they move more and put more pressure on your cartilage with the curved design, so you need to be particularly careful when switching to this time of earring.

What Happens If You Change a Helix Piercing Too Soon?

If you change a helix piercing too soon, you infection, inflammation with swelling and redness, and the piercing closing up. If it does, you’ll need to start all over with getting pierced again.

In some cases, you could also face keloid formation. This is when trauma causes an area of hard, raised scar tissue. It can take a while to appear and often builds up over time. You then won’t be able to get this area pierced again.

Helix Piercing Healing Time

To reiterate, the full healing time for a helix piercing can vary from 6 months to 9 months. It can take six months to a year if your skin naturally takes longer to heal, if you don’t take proper care of the piercing and clean it properly, or if you mess with your jewelry too soon.

When Can I Change My Helix Piercing?

Image: Ryan Dreyfuss.

Tips to Help Helix Piercings Heal

Tips to help your helix piercing heal include:

  • Use a homemade saline solution or an antibacterial cleanser approved by your piercer each day.
  • Use safe metals like K gold and implant-grade titanium that you aren’t allergic to.
  • Avoid touching and playing with your helix jewelry.
  • Allow it to fully heal before changing the jewelry.
  • Avoid sleeping on the ear you had pierced.
  • Avoid contact with scented soaps, perfumes, chemicals, and other chemicals.
  • Wash your hands with antibacterial soap when you do clean or touch the piercing and jewelry.

You should ensure you get pierced by someone experienced and reliable who utilizes the right cleaning and sterilization procedures. You’ll also need to choose high-quality jewelry that you aren’t allergic to. After you get your piercing, be sure to follow all instructions from your piercer.

How to Take Out a Helix Piercing?

To take out your helix piercing, complete the following steps:

  1. Thoroughly wash your hands with an antibacterial soap to remove any dirt and germs before touching your piercing.
  2. Gently wash the area around your piercing with warm water and antibacterial soap.
  3. Hold the front portion of your stud firmly with one hand and gently remove the back of the earring. If you have a screw-type earring, simply unscrew the jewelry.
  4. Pull the earring out gently through the front of your ear.
  5. Immediately replace the piercing with new, clean jewelry as it can reseal quickly.
  6. Clean your old jewelry and store it securely, such as in a sealed plastic bag.

If you want your piercing to reseal, follow the above steps and avoid putting in new jewelry. You will still want to clean the piercing area each day until it’s fully healed.

How to Take Out a Helix Piercing With Flat Back

Helix piercings with flat backs must be taken out differently. You still follow the proper hand-washing and cleaning instructions listed above. However, you must firmly grip the back of the earring. Then, gently unscrew the front portion of the earring. You’ll then pull the earring out through the back of your year instead of the front.

So How Do You Know When It’s Safe to Change the Piercing?

It’s typically safe to change your piercing when it’s fully healed. Signs that you’re in the clear include:

  • No swelling or redness
  • The earring feels comfortable, loose, and free to move around as appropriate
  • No soreness, numbness, or pain
  • No discharge or bleeding
  • You’ve waited the amount of time suggested by your piercer

You should not change the jewelry if there is any sign of discomfort or irritation, as this likely means it hasn’t healed yet. You should also contact your piercer or a medical professional as soon as possible if you identify any signs of infection such as bad odor, excessive redness and swelling, pus-like discharge, or abnormal levels of pain and soreness.


When can I change my helix piercing? It’s often exciting to change up your piercing with new jewelry. However, it’s important to ensure your skin is completely healed before taking your current earring out. Messing with your piercing too soon can result in infection or hole closure. Your best bet is to wait 6 to 9 months, though you should be cautious in case you’re someone who requires longer.

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