Getting your ears pierced is a rite of passage for a lot of children. Some parents choose to get their children's ears pierced when they are still a baby, others wait until their child decides they want their ears pierced. My mom made me wait until I was 10. I'm not sure why she chose that age, maybe because she thought I would be able to care for my piercings better at that point. Regardless, that's when I got my first piercings. I got my second and third piercings much later.
About eight years after my first piercing is when I first noticed my earrings were bothering my ears. It came on gradually, and not every pair of earrings caused a reaction. After a few years though, it got to the point where even hypoallergenic earrings and nickel free earrings caused a reaction within minutes. I remember being out one day and touching my ear lobe to find that it was hot, swollen and bleeding. I threw out the earrings I was wearing immediately.
I obviously know now why those earrings were causing me such irritation, and I know why it didn't happen immediately when I first got my ears pierced.
Over time, from wearing earrings made with reactive metals, my body had developed an allergy to those metals. This is called contact dermatitis. A contact allergy is one that you develop over time (you're not necessarily born with it) where the body only reacts when it is in contact with the offending substance. So the proximity of earrings to your body can easily cause a reaction to occur, but when you take them out the symptoms go away.
Since I have switched from wearing "hypoallergenic earrings" to wearing earrings that are actually safe for sensitive ears, I have not had any instances of contact dermatitis and it feels amazing.
If you are thinking about letting your teenager get their ears pierced you should consider the metal of the earrings they are wearing. It is better to choose high quality, non-allergenic earrings to begin with, than wait until a painful metal allergy develops.
If your child has started to develop sensitive ears and you can't figure out what the issue is, it is likely the metal in the earrings they are wearing. We carry earrings made with pure titanium, one of the only metals that does not react with the human body. Titanium earrings are the best choice of earrings for your teen if you are concerned with metal allergies or irritated piercings.
Here are some styles that we recommend for teens: