How to Wear Flat Back Earrings for (Lobe and) Cartilage Piercings
Caroline over at Gee Thanks, Just Bought It said it best: "IT IS CRAZY THAT THIS IS NOT THE NORM FOR EARRINGS." Here's four reasons why you'll want flat back earrings instead of your standard butterfly back earrings:
😴 Designed to wear 24/7 so you don't have to take them off at night or when you're showering.
⚕️ Safe for sensitive skin since they're made of medical grade titanium (or solid 14k gold if you want to be fancy!)
👂 We now make flat backs for lobe piercings (we like calling them Nap Earrings).
👉 Poke free thanks to their signature flat backs - you won't stab yourself with your earrings ever again!
We’re psyched to share them with you so you can get the ear party you’ve always dreamed of.
Flat back earrings are exactly what they sound like: earrings featuring posts with flat backs. With traditional earrings, you slide them on front to back, and put a backing on to secure them. With flat back earrings, it’s the opposite. You put the flat back earring on from the back of your ear, sliding the post through your ear towards the front.
Then you push the front part of the earring into the ear post to secure it.
Flat back earrings create a cleaner look for your ear party. You won’t have any unsightly ear posts poking out from behind your ear, so your ear party is beautiful from every angle. Also, flat back earrings are super comfy to wear – there’s no long ear post to poke you. Pro tip: If you sleep on your side, these flat back earrings are totally nap-friendly!
👇 New to flat backs? Try our Nap Earrings👇
Our flat back earrings are made of medical grade titanium, and the all-titanium earrings in the silver (non plated) color are suitable for new piercings. Our solid 14k gold flat back earrings are also suitable for new piercings. Here's more information on the best earrings for new piercings.
You’ll just want your piercer to sterilize the earrings before you wear them. Just ask your piercer in advance if they’re OK piercing with jewelry not from their studio – some piercers don’t allow this.
👇 Our recommended earrings for new piercings 👇
Yes, you can wear flat back earrings in your lobe piercing! Flat back earrings are great to wear, especially if you like sleeping in your earrings (no more getting poked by your earring backs!). Standard lobe piercings typically take 20g sized earrings - shop our Nap Earrings collection and choose the 20g size.
Sizing for cartilage jewelry can be tricky – but here’s what you need to know. There are two sizes you’re going to want to get right: gauge and length.
The first dimension is gauge, which refers to the thickness of the post (the part that goes through your piercing). Typically, cartilage piercings are done with a 16g (or potentially an 18g needle), while standard lobe piercings are done with a 20g needle. 16g needles have a diameter of 1.2mm, 18g needles have a diameter of 1.0mm, and 20g needles have a diameter of 0.81mm – so the lower the number, the bigger the size of the piercing. When you get pierced, ask your piercer what size needle (s)he is using so that you know what gauge jewelry you need.
Note: sometimes piercings close up over time, especially if you wear jewelry that’s smaller than the size of the needle you were pierced with. So even if you were pierced with a 16g needle, if you’ve been wearing regular earrings in that piercing, it may have closed up – and you might need an 18g earring instead.
The second dimension you’re going to need is length. For flat back earrings, length is how long the ear post is. With standard earrings, the ear post is designed to be extra long since you secure it with a butterfly back – but with flat back earrings, you’re going to need a more exact length. Make sure the length you choose will fully go through your ear piercing. Your piercer can help advise what length jewelry you need for your piercing, but you can also use this handy reference sheet for jewelry sizes, by piercing type. I’ve listed the standard size range for each type of cartilage piercing.
To insert your flat back earrings, first unscrew the front of the earring from the ear post. The front of the earring can be tiny, so be careful with it so that it doesn’t get lost. Insert the post into your ear from behind, hold it with one hand, and gently screw the front piece of the earring into the ear post with your other hand. With the smaller styles (like the Tiny Trinity Studs), you may want to ask a friend (ideally with small, agile hands!) to help you out.
If you're wearing a push pin style flat back earring, you insert the pin into the backing from the front of your ear, bending the pin slightly to secure it.
If you're wearing a threaded screw flat back earring, be careful not to over tighten the screw, as this can damage the internal threading on the earring. If the front doesn’t screw in or it doesn’t tighten, please let us know so that we can send you a replacement earring.
To remove your flat back earrings, hold the post (the back of the earring) with one hand and then gently unscrew or pull the front piece from the post. Once the front piece is loose, gently pull it away from the post. Put the front back into the post when you’re not wearing it to prevent damage while they're not in your ears.
For more help and photos, read our guide to how to change out your piercing jewelry!
If you have different piercings on your right and left ears, we’ve got you covered. Our flat back earrings are all sold as singles so that you can choose exactly the earrings you need. Plus, you can mix and match styles to create your own unique ear party on each ear.
Our flat back earrings are meant to be left in – but as with all plated jewelry, the plating will eventually wear off. The underlying titanium is implant grade though, so it shouldn’t cause irritation.
That said, you’ll want to take them out to clean them (ideally once a week) so that you can remove the inevitable buildup that starts to form. Regular cleaning also helps to prevent potential infections – treat your ears and earrings nicely, and they’ll be nice to you too!
Titanium is a strong, durable metal. You can clean it by soaking it in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Clean off any buildup with a soft cloth, rinse with water, and then dry it with a clean towel (air drying can cause spots).
HELP! I THINK I’M HAVING AN ALLERGIC REACTION!
Our flat back earrings are made of a medical grade titanium – the same kind that goes into surgical implants. Titanium is known to be hypoallergenic, but it is possible to have a hypersensitivity to it and have an allergic reaction. First, try cleaning the earring and put it back in – after giving your ear a chance to rest. If you’re still having a reaction, you may have a titanium allergy.
If you’re seeing a delayed reaction, it’s more likely that your ear is reacting to something on the surface of the earring. Regular cleaning is important to keep the inevitable buildup from forming – which can irritate your skin and cause a reaction. Generally we recommend taking your earrings out and cleaning them once a week (this is true for solid 14k gold as well!) – but if you have super sensitive skin, you may want to clean your earrings even more often.
Typically, flat back earrings are made in three different metals: stainless steel, titanium, and solid 14k gold. I chose to make our earrings in medical grade titanium (the same titanium that is used for surgical implants) because it’s hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin. These titanium earrings are polished to a mirror finish so that there aren’t any spaces for bacteria to grow and cause infections, and they’re always nickel free.
Our titanium jewelry is made out of a medical (aka implant) grade titanium. For some styles, the tops cannot be made in titanium - and for those styles, we make the tops out of solid sterling silver 925, with the posts made of the implant grade titanium. These styles are coated in rhodium (a precious metal in the platinum family) for shine and durability and tarnish protection. The gold titanium jewelry is thick coated with 14k gold for shine and durability.
Our flatbacks are meant to be left in – but as with all plated jewelry, the plating will eventually wear off. The underlying titanium is medical grade though, so it shouldn’t cause irritation. We do recommend taking the earrings out regularly for cleaning – ideally once a week – to remove the inevitable buildup that naturally occurs. As with everything in life, the better you treat your jewelry and your piercings, the better they’ll treat you!
We are also making a limited number of our flat back earrings in solid 14k gold.
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