One of the scary things that could happen when you always have earrings on is that the earring back might refuse to come off.
It is definitely one of the unprecedented things that might happen to you, and unfortunately, you may find yourself in such a frenzy.
But this happens sometimes, and you shouldn’t panic, or rather, you shouldn’t be panicking that much. You can still get the earring back off, as long as you are a little patient and not frantic.
In this article, we’ll be sharing tips on how to remedy the problem in case your earring back is stuck.
We’ll also look at the reasons why the earring back is stuck in the first place. So, let’s get started on it.
The earring back won’t come off – Is it normal?
While it’s something anyone hopes for or even anticipates, it is something that would happen, although not normally.
Essentially, the earring back would refuse to come off when you keep it on for too long, and also if you don’t clean the ear-piercing site often.
Remember that cleaning it often would mean that all the gunk that comes from the healing piercing site is stuck in there, with nowhere to go.
So, as the gunk and debris made of body fluids and dead cells accumulate, they harden against the earlobe on the underside and around the earring backing, making it difficult for you to remove it.
So, it might be safe to note that the earring back failing to come off after some time is a normal thing to expect if you keep the earring and the back untouched for a considerable amount of time.
Why your earring back won’t come off?
Well, there are many things that may have happened, which would be why the earring back won’t budge. The reasons are as follows:
1. Poor hygiene and an unhealed piercing hole
We don’t wish to make you feel any worse than you already do, but the truth is that the earring back will be stuck if you don’t clean the pierced area as often as you need to.
When the piercing site is left unattended, there is an accumulation of debris and gunk that will harden around the earring back, making it hard for you to remove the earring.
Keep in mind that when your ear piercing is still fresh, there will be body fluids and cells, among other bodily components released from the piercing site, which really is a wound.
Care for the new piercing calls for the careful, frequent, and gentle cleaning of the piercing site to ensure that all that gunk and debris is removed. But even as this happens, especially if there is a little gunk around, your new earring(s) could get stuck.
Essentially, skin tightens as healing takes place. So, couple this with mucus and dried blood and plasma, and you have a problem because there is a high risk of the earring being stuck.
2. The earring back was tightened too much.
If your earring back is the screw-on type, friction, or butterfly type, there is a chance that you may have overtightened it.
Like any other screw that is overtightened, it will not budge when you want it to, and you may be panicking because of your thoughts on what may happen if you leave it overtightened, especially when it’s not budging.
3. It’s an old design screw-type earring back and rusting
Modern earring and earring back designs have been well-thought-out, and some of the issues surrounding the past designs of the screw back earrings may not be a problem for you to worry about anymore.
One of the problems common with the old styles of earring backs, especially the screw-type earrings, is that they are not made of rust-proof materials, which means that there is a possibility of the earring backs rusting, and they’d be clogged with rust, eventually.
When this happens, even if you’d been cleaning the earlobe and the piercing site, the back could be clogged. The sad bit is that this might happen that one time that you decide to put off cleaning the pierced site for, say, a week or more because you thought it was healed.
There also are cases where both the tip of your earring post and its screw-on back are too rusted. You’d argue that such earrings and backs should go near the skin in the first place.
But it happens, and when it happens, you’re left to deal with the consequences. If you’re lucky, you may not have to deal with an infection after.
Tips for taking the earring backs off safely.
So, how do you remedy the problem? How do you safely unstuck your earring back?
- Vaseline/ Lubrication to remove the earring
If you notice that the ear piercing is stuck, the first thing you’d want to do is to be cautious. You wouldn’t want to hurt yourself. So take it easy and breathe. Once relaxed,
- Apply some petroleum jelly or Vaseline around the piercing site.
- Be careful when applying the Vaseline to the ear lobe or the ear hole, then gently massage it in. While at it, you should also check if the earring is still stuck. If the earring post is also stuck, you’d have to lubricate the piercing hole.
- Let it sit for some minutes, then try to move the earring back/ post back and forth. You could also move it sideways. When your earring is able to finally move freely, that means that it would come off easily.
- How to remove the earring back if it’s stuck
There are different ways of removing the earring back, especially for the screw back earring. Follow the steps below to get it off.
- First, you’d have to wear some rubber gloves. Nothing scary – you need the rubber gloves because they would make it much easier to hold the earring back and to unscrew it.
- You also need to make sure that you’ve cleaned and disinfected your hands before proceeding, even with the gloves on.
- Now, hold on to the earring securely using the fingers.
- With your free hand, hold the back, then start rotating the back to the left gently.
- If this proves difficult, you could try using tweezers or small pair of pliers. But be careful when you do this because you don’t want to hurt yourself. You should get someone to help you out if you find that this is difficult or if you don’t feel like using any tool on your ears by yourself.
- Now, rotate the back all the way (to the left) until it comes off free.
- Warm water and a cotton swab
As mentioned above, new and healing piercings can cause the earring backing to be stuck in the ear because of the body fluids that are released, dead cells, and the fact the pierced site tightens. If the gunk from the unhealed piercing accumulates, the back will get stuck. But you can loosen and remove it. Just be patient.
- First, you need to wash your hands using antibacterial soap and clean water, then dry your hands thoroughly. Doing this prevents infection on the new piercing site.
- Next, wet a cotton swab warm water, then wipe the cotton swab around the post, and also inform and at the back of the post. Next, you want to take a fresh cotton swab soaked in piercing disinfectant and use this to rub the front and the back of the piercing, making sure to reach underneath the front of the clasp and post, if possible. Don’t be aggressive.
- Now, grab on the backing as you pinch the earring post’s front and also your earlobe in the other hand. Then, gently try to run the back in a circular manner around the post to loosen it. You may also want to tug gently on it to be able to release it. If you feel any resistance, get another cotton swab soaked in warm water to clean/ loosen the area that seems sticky. Keep twirling it around gently until it comes loose, and when done, remove the earring/post the clean the pierced site using the piercing disinfectant and a soft washcloth.
But if you notice that the skin seems to have healed over the clasp, it might be time for you to get some help from the doctor.
Earring backs don’t come off when you need them off, sometimes. Follow the recommendations above to loosen and remove the back.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.