Piercing Aftercare

BASIC PIERCING CARE

The purpose of cleaning a healing piercing is to remove any dead cells and discharge excreted by your body, as well as any external dirt and bacteria picked up during the day. You are not treating the wound with medicine or making it heal,  but rather keeping the area clean while the body is healing itself. Basic hygiene and common sense, with particular attention to the specific area, are all that are required. Pay attention to your body. It will tell you if you are doing something wrong.

New piercings should be cleaned 2-3 times daily, depending on your skin sensitivity, activities, and environment. Continue cleaning every day for the entire healing period. Bear in mind that over cleaning or using too many products can also irritate your piercing. You wouldn’t wash your hands three times in a row with different kinds of soap, so why do it to your piercing?

USE THESE PRODUCTS

LIQUID ANTIMICROBIAL/GERMICIDAL SOAP

These products not only kill germs but also remove residue build-up from smoking, cosmetics, and natural healing discharge. Medicated products such as Provon and Satin soap are most effective and least irritating and are available from most pharmacies. Liquid tea tree oil soap (from a health food store) is a natural alternative. Other possibilities include Almay Clearly Natural, Hypocare, Nutribiotic, and other mild fragrance and color free antibacterial soaps. Keep in mind commercial antibacterial soaps may be less effective and more irritating over time.

TO CLEAN THE PIERCING

First wash your hands with the above soap. Never touch your piercing with dirty hands! That is the easiest way to get an infection. Next let warm water run over your piercing for a minute, or do a pre-soak with warm sea salt solution to loosen dried discharge. The crusty discharge is secreted lymph, blood plasma, and dead cells, and is a normal part of the healing process. You can use a cotton swab to help remove it, but don’t pick at it with dirty fingernails. Next, lather the piercing and surrounding area, making sure to remove any discharge on the jewelry. Once the jewelry is clean, soap it up and move it through the piercing several times so that the lather is pulled all the way through the skin. Leave the cleanser to work for a minute or two, then rinse well, again moving the jewelry through the piercing while rinsing.

ANTISEPTIC MOUTHWASH

For mouth related piercings use a 50/50 solution of antiseptic mouthwash and water for at least 15 seconds after putting anything in your mouth other than water (this includes cigarettes). Avoid giving oral sex (recieving is fine) and wet kissing during the initial healing period. Try to avoid alcohol and spicy foods and try to do everything slowly (eat small bites slowly and speak slowly at first). Do not use straws for at least two weeks.

WARM SEA SALT WATER

Warm sea salt water soaks can work wonders in healing piercings. They help draw out discharge, soothe irritations and may prevent infection. They also stimulate circulation which encourages speedy healing. You can use soaks for general healing to remove dried discharge before cleaning or activity, and to treat minor infections and irritations. We strongly recomment soaking your piercing twice a day in a solution of 1 tablespoon non-iodized sea salt to 4 ounces warm water, for five minutes. A Dixie like, small disposable cup works best for most external piercings like nipples and navels. For other piercings such as lips and eyebrows a cotton ball or paper towel repeatedly soaked in a salt water solution is adequate. Salt water soaks may also be used as a mouth rinse for tongue and lip piercings.

THINGS TO AVOID

There are many ways to harm a piercing during the healing period. Washing a piercing excessively will not make your piercing any cleaner it will only serve to dry out your skin, damage healthy and newly forming skin, and diminish your body’s natural ability to fight bacteria and heal itslef properly. Rubbing alcohol, peroxide, and Neosporin like ointments are too harsh and should never be used on piercings. As with over washing these products were not intended to treat puncture wounds. The worse mistake made by most is listening to the advice of their friends over their piercer. We have many years of experience in this field and knowledge not attained by your buddy who once had a piercing. If you have any questions, concerns, or if a problem arises please don’t hesitate to contact your piercer, we are here to help you through this process and to amke it as simple and hassle free as possible.