woman wears a helix piercing

Helix piercing care and maintenance: how to keep your piercing clean and healthy

The Helix piercing is a piercing located in the upper cartilage of the ear that has become very popular in recent years. The attractive and unique appearance of this type of piercing has captivated many, including celebrities and fashion lovers. However, like any other type of piercing, it is essential to maintain proper care and regular maintenance to avoid health issues and ensure proper healing. In this article, we will guide you step by step through the care and maintenance process of the Helix piercing.

Immediately after the piercing

Follow the professional piercer's instructions

After getting a Helix piercing, it is crucial to follow the instructions provided by the professional who did the piercing. These guidelines will help you keep the piercing clean and free from infections during the initial healing stage.

Avoid touching the piercing with dirty hands

One of the most common mistakes people make after getting a piercing is touching the area with dirty hands. Always make sure to wash your hands before touching the piercing to avoid transferring bacteria and dirt.

Clean with saline solution

The saline solution is a mixture of water and salt that helps keep the piercing clean and facilitates healing. Make sure to clean the piercing with a saline solution at least twice a day during the first few weeks after the piercing.

Woman cleans her helix piercing with saline solution.

Daily care during the healing phase:

Piercing cleaning:

1. How to prepare the saline solution

To prepare the saline solution, mix 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt with 240 ml of distilled water. Ensure the salt completely dissolves before using it.

2. Cleaning frequency and method

Clean the piercing with the saline solution at least twice a day during the healing phase. Apply the saline solution onto a cotton swab and gently clean around the piercing, removing any residue or crusts that may form.

Sleep care:

1. Avoid sleeping on the piercing

It's important to avoid sleeping on the pierced ear for the first few weeks after the piercing. This will help reduce pressure on the piercing and prevent complications.

2. Change and clean the pillowcase regularly

Pillowcases can accumulate dirt and bacteria, so it's important to change and wash them regularly. This will help maintain a clean and germ-free environment for your piercing.

Avoid using chemicals and cosmetics in the area

During the healing phase, avoid using chemicals and cosmetics on the piercing area. This includes perfumes, lotions, makeup, and other products that might irritate the piercing or delay the healing process.

Additional Helix piercing care tips

Maintain good personal hygiene

Personal hygiene is crucial to prevent infections and complications in any piercing. Ensure you maintain good personal hygiene, including regular hand washing, showering, and hair care, to keep the piercing area clean and healthy.

How to deal with irritation and minor infections

If you experience irritation or a minor infection in the piercing, increase the cleaning frequency with saline solution and avoid touching the area. If symptoms don't improve or worsen, consult a healthcare professional or your piercer for appropriate advice and treatment.

When to change or remove the jewelry

Do not change or remove the Helix piercing jewelry until the piercing is fully healed. This can vary between 3 and 6 months, depending on the individual and the care provided. Changing or removing the jewelry prematurely can cause complications and delay the healing process.

Chain for a Helix piercing.

Choosing the Right Jewelry for Your Helix Piercing

Recommended Materials

When it comes to selecting jewelry for your Helix piercing, it's important to consider the quality and the material of the piece. Recommended materials include titanium, surgical steel, niobium, and solid 14k gold or higher. These materials are hypoallergenic and less likely to cause allergic reactions or irritation.

Styles and Designs

There are several styles and jewelry designs available for the Helix piercing. You can choose from hoops, bars, earrings with unique shapes and designs, and customized jewelry. Make sure to choose a piece that fits your personal style and is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

How to Sleep with a Helix Piercing

Avoid Sleeping on the Pierced Side

Sleeping on the side of the pierced ear can cause pressure and friction on the piercing, which can lead to irritation and even delay the healing process. Try sleeping on the opposite side or use a special pillow to protect the ear.

Keep Bedding Clean

Bedding can harbor bacteria and other germs that can cause infections. Ensure you change sheets and pillowcases regularly and wash them with hot water and detergent to keep your resting area clean and germ-free.

How to Know if Your Helix Piercing is Fully Healed

Signs of Healing

It's important to know when your Helix piercing is fully healed to avoid complications. Some signs that the piercing is healed include:

  • Absence of pain, swelling, or redness around the piercing.
  • The piercing looks and feels healthy, with no signs of irritation or infection.
  • Jewelry moves easily within the piercing without causing discomfort.

When to Consult a Professional

If you're uncertain whether your Helix piercing is fully healed or if you experience concerning symptoms, consult a healthcare professional or your piercer for appropriate advice and guidance.

Woman with a hoop Helix piercing.

Piercing Combinations to Complement Your Helix

Lobe Piercings

A popular combination is pairing the Helix piercing with multiple lobe piercings. You can opt for a minimalist design with small studs or add a touch of personality with more statement jewelry.

Upper Cartilage Piercings

Upper cartilage piercings, such as the industrial or auricular piercing, can complement and highlight the Helix piercing. This combination can give your ear a bolder and more modern look.

Tragus and Antitragus Piercings

Tragus and antitragus piercings can create a visual balance and add more interest to the composition of your piercings. These piercings, combined with the Helix, can create a unique and appealing style.

Myths and Truths about the Helix Piercing

Myth: Helix piercing is extremely painful.

While everyone has a different pain threshold, generally, the Helix piercing is no more painful than other cartilage piercings. The key is to find an experienced piercer and to follow care and maintenance guidelines to avoid complications.

Truth: It can take 3 to 9 months for the Helix piercing to fully heal.

The healing time for a Helix piercing can vary based on the individual and the care given to the piercing. Always follow the care instructions provided by your piercer and consult with a professional if you have any concerns about the healing process.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Helix Piercing:

Can I exercise after getting a Helix piercing?

Yes, you can exercise after getting a Helix piercing, but it's important to avoid activities that might cause friction or bumps to the piercing. Also, ensure you clean the piercing after exercising to avoid infections.

Can I change the jewelry of my Helix piercing on my own?

Once the piercing is fully healed, you can change the jewelry on your own. However, if you don't feel comfortable or sure doing it, seek assistance from your piercer. Don't attempt to change the jewelry if the piercing is still healing.

How do I know if my Helix piercing is infected?

Signs of an infection in a Helix piercing might include redness, swelling, pain, warmth around the piercing, pus discharge, and fever. If you suspect your piercing is infected, consult a healthcare professional or your piercer for appropriate advice and treatment.


Proper care and maintenance of the Helix piercing are essential to ensure complication-free healing and to keep the piercing clean and healthy. By following the piercer's instructions, maintaining good personal hygiene, and regularly cleaning the piercing with saline solution, you can enjoy your Helix piercing for many years without issues. Always remember to consult a professional if in doubt or if experiencing concerning symptoms.

Back to blog