As for after care the best thing to do is use sea salt packs on the ear for cleaning at least once a day... Not table salt, but sea salt. You can buy sea salt in the spices aisle at any department/grocery store or you can buy it at a pharmacy. Use one cup of sea salt in really warm water and mix 1 tea spoon of salt or a little more if you can tollerate it. Also clean the ear with Dial (unscented) anti-bacterial soap and rince very well 2-3 times a day. Scented soaps will irritate the skin, Dial is recommended for all cartilage piercings. It is the best! After you clean the area apply the anticeptic with a clean cotton ball or gauze and pat dry with a paper towel. Never use wash cloths, etc because this can hold bacteria. Always wash hands with the anti-bacteria soap before touching or cleaning the ears! Contrary to what people say and a lot of places like Claires etc. It is not neccessary to rotate earings, especially during the few days of the piercing. This will aggravate the piercing and will most likely delay healing time.. Where I work we do not recommend rotating the earrings.. Do NOT remove the earings because this can cause an infection and the earring needs to stay in the ear for at least 3 months if not longer, I recommend longer for Cartilage piercings. Studs heal a little quicker than loops, allthough loops are much easier to clean. After care is easier with a needle and a little safer but the needle pain will hurt a little, a gun you won't feel it but will take a little longer to heal.. Pain is minimal or should be minimal after the procedure. Excessive pain, puss, bleeding, swelling, or redness could be a sign of an infection.. You can get a medication from the doctor for an infection and keep cleaning the ear like I mentioned above. Do not use Peroxide, alcohol, Antibiotic ointment because this can delay healing. Just use the anticeptic, salt packs and clean with anti-bact soap. Hope this helps!