Body Piercing Aftercare
For healing your piercing, we recommend using Dr. Bronners Baby Mild castille soap. It is mild (because your piercing is made of brand new skin), fragrance free (fragrances contain alcohol and can dry out the piercing, causing irritation), and liquid (bar soap is a petri dish of bacteria) which are all detrimental to the healing process. In addition to this castille soap, we recommend using NeilMed Piercing Wound Wash throughout the course of your day to keep your piercing free of germs and bacteria.
How To Clean Your Piercing
- Wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning your piercing to ensure that your hands are clean.
- Saline rinse your piercing about 4-5 times a day minimum plus any time something touches the piercing. Spray saline on a qtip and gently clean around the piercing.
- Avoid moving the jewelry while cleaning, as it is not necessary to the healing process and can cause added irritation.
- Dry your piercing using a clean, disposable paper towel. Cloth towels harbor bacteria and also contain lint and bits of thread that may snag your jewelry, causing issues.
What Is Normal
- Initially after your piercing, it is normal to experience some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, and/or bruising.
- During healing, you may experience some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue around the piercing may also tighten as healing progresses.
- Once healed, the jewelry in your piercing may not freely move around. Do not force it. If you do not regularly clean your piercing, normal but smelly secretions can build up on the jewelry.
- Sometimes, the piercing seems healed before it actually is. This is because tissue heals from the outside in. Even if the outer parts of the piercing look healed, the inner parts are still delicate so be mindful of this during healing. Keep up with aftercare throughout the healing process to ensure a happy, healthy piercing.
- Even healed piercings that you’ve had for a long time can shrink or close in just minutes. In order to ensure that your piercing stays open, always keep jewelry in it.
What To Do
- Be sure to always wash your hands before cleaning your piercing. Other than cleaning, leave your piercing alone. It is not necessary to rotate your jewelry while healing.
- Exercise during healing is fine but be sure to listen to your body. Do not over-stress the piercing.
- Keep your bed linens nice and clean while healing and change them frequently. Wear comfortable and breathable clothing that also protects your piercing while sleeping.
- Avoid taking baths, as they can harbor a great deal of bacteria. Showers are the best choice while healing a fresh piercing.
To Stay Healthy
The healthier your lifestyle, the easier of a time that your piercing will have healing. Adding extra fruits and veggies, staying hydrated, and extra rest are all great ways to boost your immune system. Even adding a multivitamin to your daily regimen can have a positive impact on a healing piercing.
What To Avoid
- Avoid using chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, Dial soap, and any other harsh products. It’s important to steer clear of ointments as well, as they do not allow the piercing to breathe and can also trap bacteria.
- Avoid using Bactine, pierced ear solutions, or other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). These products can cause irritation and are not made for long term wound care.
- Avoid trauma to the area, like friction from clothing, excessive motion in the area, vigorous cleaning, or playing with the jewelry. These activities can have negative effects on the piercing and can prolong healing as well as cause scar tissue to form, migration, and other complications.
- Avoid all oral contact, rough play, or contact with other people’s bodily fluids while your piercing is healing.
- Avoid stress as well as recreational drug use, including excessive amounts of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
- Avoid submerging the piercing in unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, and hot tubs. If you do go in to a large body of water, be sure to protect your piercing with a waterproof bandage such a Teagaderm, which can be found at most drugstores.
- Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays.
- Avoid hanging charms or any other objects from your jewelry until the healing process is completely finished.
Hints And Tips
- Unless you have an issue with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in place until the piercing has fully healed. Be sure to see a professional piercer to change your jewelry if it is necessary during healing, as they can use tools and be very gentle as to not irritate the piercing further.
- Contact your piercer to obtain non-metallic jewelry, such as retainers, which are used when a client goes for a medical procedure. Your piercer will be able to assist you with the change out.
- Leave jewelry in at all times. Even healed piercings can shrink and close in just minutes, leaving reinsertion more painful or even impossible.
- With clean hands or a clean paper towel, be sure to occasionally check any threaded ends of your piercing to ensure that they are still on tight.
- If you decide that you no longer want your piercing and wish to retire it, you can stop in to see a piercer and we will be able to assist you. Continue to clean the piercing site as if the piercing was still there to ensure that it heals cleanly. Usually, a small circular scar is left where the piercing was.
- If you suspect infection in your piercing, you should not remove the jewelry. If the jewelry is removed, the surface cells can heal over the wound and seal the infection inside, resulting in an abscess. Until the infection has cleared, it’s important to leave in quality jewelry or an equivalent. If you suspect that your piercing is infected, please see a professional piercer or your doctor immediately.
Recommendations For Particular Areas
Pharmacies tend to sell hard, vented eye patches that can be useful under tight clothing to prevent snags. You can also use this while sleeping, or if you are doing activities such as the gym or playing sports.
Ear, Ear Cartilage, & Facial
- Get a clean surface while sleeping by putting a t-shirt over your pillow. Use the first side for one night, flip it over and use the second side for a night, take the t-shirt off, turn it inside out, and you get two more nights out the same piece of clothing.
- Be sure to clean your phones, headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats, or anything that comes in to contact with the area.
- Be mindful of hair products as well, as they can cause problems and alert your stylist to any new piercings you get when you go to see them.
- Blend makeup away from the piercing and remember to clean your piercing with sterile saline and a qtip after your apply any makeup.
If, at any time throughout healing, you have questions about the process or your piercing, please do not hesitate to stop in to the shop or give us a call. We have piercers on staff seven days a week from 12pm-8pm and would be happy to help you out with anything you need in regards to your piercings.