Why Are Earrings So Hard To Put In? 

If you have pierced ears, you’ll know that inserting earrings isn’t always easy. You might have to poke around the hole in your earlobe a few times before finding it, or it could feel like the earring doesn’t go smoothly into the pierced hole. So, why are earrings so hard to put in? 

Earrings can be hard to put in because you haven’t worn earrings in a long time, and the holes are starting to close. It could be you have an earlobe cyst, or you have a keratin plug. Other reasons are not using a mirror when putting earrings in or having long nails.

In this article, I’ll explore these and other reasons why your earrings are so hard to put in. I’ll also explain how you can care for your piercings to make it easier to wear your earrings. Let’s dive right in! 

10 Reasons Your Earrings Are Hard To Put In

There are various reasons your earrings can be difficult to put in. Below are some of the most common ones: 

1. There’s Friction Between the Earring and Your Ear

One of the most common reasons your earring is difficult to put in is because there’s too much friction between the ear and earring. This is usually because your piercing has become crusty, which occasionally happens shortly after getting your ears pierced. This isn’t a reason for concern, as it means your body is healing. 

You can remedy this situation by applying petroleum jelly to the earring before inserting it into your ear piercing. This will ensure that the skin remains lubricated and soft, reducing friction. Any lubricating product will work well if you don’t have petroleum jelly. 

2. You’re Not Using a Mirror

If you’re in a rush, you might try to find the ear piercing without using a mirror. This can be frustrating and time-consuming, especially if you’re wearing earrings for the first time or using a new style of earring. 

Stand in front of a mirror to see where the piercing is located, as this will prevent you from moving the earring post around your earlobe or forcing it into the hole, which can be painful.

3. You Have Ear Cysts

If you regularly feel like you have to use force to insert your earring, you could have an epidermoid cyst. This is caused by a piece of skin penetrating the skin’s surface and causing a blockage. Keeping your earlobes moisturized, such as with petroleum jelly or moisturizer, will prevent these cysts in the future.

Symptoms of ear cysts include the following: 

  • A round, small bump under the skin
  • A blackhead on the cyst opening
  • A yellow and thick liquid that gets released by the cyst
  • Redness and swelling around the area

4. You Have a Keratin Plug 

A keratin plug is a bump that appears on the skin and is a type of clogged pore. It can also refer to skin debris that accumulates inside the earlobe piercing. Over time, this can harden and make it difficult for your earring to be inserted. You can remove a keratin plug by inserting the earring back into the front to push the debris out of the hole. You should do this regularly to keep the hole clear. 

It’s also beneficial to exfoliate the skin on your earlobe, especially if you have dry skin. This will eliminate dry, dead skin cells. You don’t need to use any special products to exfoliate the skin around your ears. Simply use a washcloth and wet it with warm water before gently scrubbing your earlobes. 

You could also get a spoonful of sugar and use this as a DIY scrub for your skin. It will gently scrub away dead skin cells and prevent keratin plugs from occurring. 

5. You Haven’t Worn Earrings in a Long Time

If you haven’t worn earrings for a while, the skin around your piercing can harden, making it difficult for you to insert earrings when you want to wear them. A great tip for softening the skin is to shower with hot water. Do this before inserting your earrings because it can help to re-open a piercing that has almost closed completely

Try to get into the habit of wearing earrings regularly so that your piercings won’t start to close. 

Although there’s no definitive period after which a piercing will close, newer piercings are generally more likely to close. If you have an ear piercing younger than a year, it can easily close up within just a few days.  

6. You Don’t Stretch Your Earlobe When Inserting Earrings

If your earrings feel difficult to insert, the problem could be that you’re not stretching your earlobes when inserting them. Stretching your earlobe increases the piercing size and is an easy way to make earrings less difficult to insert. 

All you have to do is gently pull the area around the earlobe piercing with your fingers in one hand. While doing this, insert the earring with your other hand. 

By pulling your earlobe whenever you insert an earring, you’ll make the piercing temporarily larger so that your earring can enter it easily. Wearing the earrings more regularly and for longer periods will also help the piercing to widen a little. 

7. You Wear Hoop Earrings

Some earrings are more difficult to insert than others; an example is hoop earrings. These come in a variety of styles. 

Here’s how to insert some of the trickier hoop earrings: 

  • Huggies. Huggies are tiny hoop earrings that can be difficult to hold as you insert them. Even though huggies are usually thicker than regular hoop earrings, they have a lever back, so they click into place. After you’ve opened the earring and pushed it through the piercing, you must push both ends of the earring so that they close. 
  • Infinite hoops. These earrings have a tube wire that you need to open vertically, so you don’t break them. Once you have them in your piercing, it can be useful to place a mirror behind your ear so you can find both ends and fasten them. If you want to add charms to the hoops, it’s good to first put the hoops through the piercing before adding the charms so they won’t fall out. 
  • Tiny hoops. If your hoops are small, they can be difficult to handle and insert. They usually have pins that you have to twist to pull out. One end of the earring must be pulled back while the pin is pulled forward to open the earring. When they’re in different directions, it makes it easier to find the piercing hole. Twist them closed. 

Since hoop earrings require you to dig around the piercing to find it, this can risk damaging the skin or introducing infections. Hence, it’s always a good idea to sanitize your ears before putting in earrings that are difficult to insert. You can do this by wiping your ear with rubbing alcohol on a cottonwool pad.

8. You Wear Curved Earrings 

Some earrings have long curved metal posts to ensure they stay in place when you wear them. However, the curve can make them feel more difficult to put into the piercing than earrings with straight posts. 

While some ear wires can easily glide through the hole, others can be tricky. An example is a French hook ear wire that you’ll find on some dangly earrings. Sometimes the hook can be quite small, which makes it difficult to insert into the ear.

To insert these into your piercings, you’ll need to hold the end of the wire so that the dangly part of the earring is on the side and away from your piercing. It might also help to use pliers to open the hook wider so that you can insert it easier into your piercing, and then bend it back into shape. 

9. You Have Long Nails 

If you have long nails, you might find it difficult to handle and insert your earrings, especially tiny ones. Instead of using your nails, which will make it nearly impossible to insert certain earrings, you should use the sides of your thumbs and fingers to help you steady the earring posts. 

An alternative method is to wear gloves when inserting your earrings, as this could make it easier for you to hold the small earring components. 

If you have very long nails, you might not be able to wear tiny earrings that are fiddly and difficult to grasp, so consider sticking to larger earrings that are easier to hold when inserting them into your piercings. Alternatively, ask someone to help you insert your tiny earrings. 

10. You’re Putting Flat-Back Earrings in From the Front 

If you have a pair of flat-back earrings, which have a hollow post with a flat disk that sits on the back of the ear, you shouldn’t try to put them in from the front of the ear

Instead, insert them from behind the ear to make it easier to slide the earring post through the piercing all the way to the front. The front of the earring has to be pushed into the ear post as this will keep it in place. 

Why Your Earrings Won’t Fit Your Piercings 

There are various earring gauge sizes, and they might not all be compatible with the size of your piercing. Generally, earrings are about 16 gauge (1.2 mm) in size. However, if they’re thicker than that, you’ll need to have a larger piercing to accommodate the earring gauge, or the earring will hurt when you wear it or not move through the hole smoothly. 

Never force the earring through the piercing, as this can damage your skin. Rather switch your earrings for a thinner gauge. 

You can try to widen your piercings a bit by wearing heavy earrings regularly. This will enlarge the piercings, but stop wearing heavy or chunky earrings if they’re painful. 

If your piercing isn’t too small but has closed a bit, you can open it up so that you can wear your favorite earrings by following these steps: 

  1. Apply petroleum jelly to the earlobe so that you cover the piercing. This will soften and moisturize the skin on your earlobe. 
  2. Gently tug your earlobes so that you pull them down. By doing this, you’ll also be putting more petroleum jelly into the piercing hole. 
  3. Apply petroleum jelly to the earring post. Be careful not to get the jelly on the front of the earring, as this will make it slippery and difficult to hold. 
  4. Locate your piercing’s hole. Insert the earring post through it with one hand. With the other hand, hold the earlobe. You should do this in front of a mirror to make it easier. 
  5. Wiggle the earring post around. This will help you find the right angle through which to insert your earring. If your earring piercing isn’t completely straight, then wiggling it around will help you get it through the skin. 

If this process hurts, you should stop and avoid forcing the earring post through your piercing. Apply some ice to your earlobe to numb the skin, and try inserting the earring again. This will reduce the pain and help you wiggle the earring post around in the hole more easily. 

How To Keep Your Ear Piercings From Closing 

To ensure that your earrings are easy to insert all the way through, you should care for your earring piercings, so they don’t partially or completely close. 

Here are some tips to follow: 

  • Wear earrings daily for six months after getting your ears pierced. This will ensure that the skin stays clear and the piercing remains open. 
  • Consult a professional piercer. They will have insertion tapers and tools that easily reopen ear piercings. 
  • Invest in sleepers. These will help to keep your piercings open and can be worn at night while you sleep because they’re lightweight and comfortable. 
  • Don’t twist your earrings. You might’ve heard that you should rotate your earrings once daily, so they don’t become stuck, but this is a myth. Rotating your earrings can injure the delicate skin around the piercing or cause infections.  

Final Thoughts

If you’re struggling to insert your earrings, there are various reasons for this. Some of the most common ones include: 

  • Debris and skin that’s accumulated inside the piercing.
  • Ear cysts that have clogged the piercing.
  • Not wearing earrings regularly causes them to close.
  • Choosing earrings that have thick gauges.

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