This Piercing Pillow Helped My New Ear Piercing Heal Twice as Fast—For Less Than $20 | SELF

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“You’re all set! Just no sleeping on your side for the next six months. That’s cool, right?” my piercer told me after inserting a needle and a pricey piece of jewelry into my ear cartilage. Well, I guess it has to be cool, I thought. Cool cool cool cool cool. Though I identify as a “combination sleeper,” going from my back to my side to my belly throughout the night, I spend a large portion of my snooze on one side or the other. I asked my piercer if they had any piercing aftercare tips for sleeping, and they mentioned finding a piercing pillow. I’d never heard of the concept, but it’s basically just a pillow with a hole in it. Of course, the piercing shop sold one for $50, but I know better than that. Ideal Body Piercing

This Piercing Pillow Helped My New Ear Piercing Heal Twice as Fast—For Less Than $20 | SELF

A quick search on Amazon led me to my new donut-shaped sleep accessory, which I’ve spent the past few months telling all my friends about and now I’m here to share it with you.

A piercing is a controlled injury. What happens afterward is your body’s natural immune response to regenerate the skin around the piercing. That involves inflammation, some “crusties,” and soreness. Piercing complications and infections do happen sometimes, which is why proper aftercare is key. Beyond using a saline wash and keeping your fingers away from the piercing, you also don’t want to put pressure on it, hence why side sleeping is not ideal.

This little pillow, then, is actually quite an effective healing tool, since the hole in the middle keeps pressure, fabric, and hair off the new piercing. It showed up in two days, and I was surprised at its quality given the, er, randomness of the brand. 

The fabric cover is soft and washable (there’s a zipper to take out the stuffing), and though the pattern would not be my personal choice, it’s cute. It’s just plush enough to be comfortable without raising my head too far off my actual pillow, and the hole is large enough to leave about an inch of space around my ear. I keep it next to my bed so I can reach over and grab it in a sleepy daze. Whenever I sleep at my partner’s or parent’s house, I take it with me. And as a bonus, it makes a swell travel pillow in a pinch.

Using a piercing pillow was a bit of an adjustment, but after a few nights, I was back to sleeping like a baby. With this handy sleeping tool, I wake up without any residual ear pain or soreness. I have notoriously sensitive skin when it comes to piercings (all of mine have taken far longer to heal than the piercer originally says), so even though my new cartilage piercing is still a slow healer, it’s exponentially quicker than my past ear piercings. And the only thing that’s changed is the addition of this pillow into my sleep routine. For less than 20 bucks, I’d say it’s a no-brainer for any side sleeper who’s considering adding more jewels to their ears.

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This Piercing Pillow Helped My New Ear Piercing Heal Twice as Fast—For Less Than $20 | SELF

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