How to Care for Your New Piercing

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You have received a brand new body piercing by a skilled, trained and knowledgeable professional.

We cleaned and disinfected the area pierced, used sterile single use instruments and sterile jewelry.

Now it's up to you to take appropriate care of your new piercing!

How to Clean Your Piercing

 

 

  •  ALWAYS wash your hands prior to touching your piercing for ANY reason. Leave it alone except when cleaning. During the healing period, it is NOT necessary to rotate your jewelry. Your body will provide a natural seal and reopen the wound.

 

  • Apply sterile saline spray NeilMed or Steri-Wash (recommended) to the front and back of the piercing 3-4 times daily during the healing process. Pat dry with a clean, disposable paper towel or by using a blow dryer on cool setting.

 

  • Saline Soak for at least 5 minutes once or twice a day. For some piercings, saturate a paper towel to apply soaking to the area. Rinse well afterwards. Dry piercing by softly patting with clean, disposable paper towel. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria or snag  on jewelry.

What to Avoid

 

  • Avoid sleeping on your piercing. If unavoidable, please use a travel pillow. (See Tips and Tricks.)

 

  • Avoid touching or adjusting your piercing with unwashed hands.

 

  • Avoid cleaning with products like alcohol, peroxide, iodine, bactine, pierced ear care or harsh soaps as these can damage new skin cells and prevent proper healing. Avoid using ointments.

 

  • Avoid over-cleaning. This can delay the healing process and irritate the piercing.

 

  • Avoid friction from clothing or excessive motion of the area from playing with the jewelry or over cleaning.

 

  • DO NOT submerge your healing piercing in bodies of water such as: lakes, oceans, rivers, pools, hot tubs, baths, spas, etc. You could protect your piercing with a waterproof bandage (like 3M Nexcare Clean Seal) if necessary. Remove it immediately when done.

 

  • Avoid oral contact, rough play or contact with others’ bodily fluids on your piercing while healing.

 

  • Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing. This includes cosmetics, lotions, powders and sprays.

 

  • Avoid excessive UV/sun exposure, including tanning and sunbathing

 

  • Do NOT hang charms or any other objects from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.

Tips and Tricks

 

  • Do not play with new healing piercings as physical irritation is the cause of many problems.

  • Stay healthy! Eat a nutritious diet, get plenty of sleep, and drink plenty of water. A healthy body is better equipped to successfully heal your piercing.

  • Clean your bedding regularly. If you have pets, they should not be in or on the bed for the duration of the healing time.

  • Showers tend to be better than baths, as bathtubs can harbor bacteria. Allow water to gently run over the piercing for a few minutes for a complete rinse right before exiting the shower.

  • Use caution when styling your hair or getting a haircut. Warn your stylist or barber of your new piercing.

  • Contact your piercer if your jewelry must be removed for any reason. There are non-metallic jewelry alternatives.

  • Leave your jewelry in at all times. Even a well healed piercing may close up quickly. If removed, reinsertion may be difficult.

  • With clean hands, make sure to tighten and regularly check threaded ends on your jewelry. Have a spare ball in case of loss.

  • If you decide you no longer want your piercing, simply remove your jewelry or have a professional piercer remove it for you. Continue to use daily cleaning routine until the hole closes. In most cases, a small mark may remain.

  • For side-sleepers with healing ear piercings, a travel pillow can help immensely. You can put your ear in the hole and sleep on that side without the pressure of your head causing migration or irritation.

  • For clients with healing navel piercing who must wear uniforms or clothing that would sit over or irritate the piercing, a hard vented eyepatch can be worn to prevent irritation from clothing.

What is Normal?

 

  • Piercing may bleed on and off for the first few days and up to a week. Bruising, redness, tenderness and localized swelling are all normal for a new piercing.

  • Itching is also normal with a healing piercing and a sign of healing occurring. Despite the itch, do not scratch!

 

  • Your piercing will have some secretion of a white-ish or yellowish fluid. This may dry and form a scab like “crust” around the piercing. These secretions are a normal part of the healing process and will diminish as it continues to heal. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.

 

  • The piercing will shrink or fully close if jewelry is removed for any length of time during the healing process. For this reason, unless there is an issue with the size or the material of initial jewelry, leave it in place for the entirety of the healing period. A qualified piercer should perform any necessary jewelry change that occurs during healing.

 

  • A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because the piercing heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior tissue remains fragile. Be patient and keep cleaning it throughout the whole healing period. Leave it alone. 

 

  • Once healed, the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing. DO NOT force it. If you fail to include regular cleanings daily, normal but smelly bodily excretions may accumulate.

Downsizing

 

Most piercings are started with jewelry that has a small amount of extra length to allow for swelling and cleaning during the initial weeks of healing.  Once the swelling has gone down, that jewelry can sometimes feel long and annoying. Additionally, if slept on, snagged or bumped, this excess length can cause the piercing to migrate. It is very important to come back to have your jewelry downsized to avoid that migration. Jewelry fees will apply and downsize times will be written on the back of your booklet, but coming in around one month for an initial check up is always a good idea.

Warm Compresses

 

You can dampen a wash cloth with hot water and place it in a zip lock bag so the washcloth does not touch the piercing (ear). You can hold this up to the piercing, and the heat will soothe any swelling and tenderness. Alternatively, you can spray saline on gauze and warm that in the microwave on a clean plate. You can hold the gauze directly on and around hard to reach piercings. Leave the saline against the piercing until it cools, the rinse the piercing. Always dry the piercing after soaking or any cleaning. Do this at least once a day. Never move the jewelry back and forth through the piercing. Likewise, do not twist or rotate jewelry in the piercing. Excessive movement can cause irritation and issues while the piercing is healing.

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Oral Piercings

 

Oral piercings are prone to swelling initially. Cold food and drinks, such as ice water, can be beneficial to reduce swelling. Maintain good oral hygiene for the duration of healing. Do not use any products that contain whitening chemicals. You can rinse with bottled water after eating or drinking. Avoid any activities that would put you in contact with someone else’s bodily fluids, including sharing food and drinks. Be aware that smoking can be harmful to a healing oral piercing.

Make sure to size down the jewelry to a shorter size once the swelling has gone down to reduce the risk of damage to teeth or gums. Follow up with check ups so we can decide when down sizing is appropriate for you.

Having Issues?

 

More often than not, people who think they have an infection, actually have an irritation. Irritation is much more common than infection and is usually caused by friction or constriction (jewelry being too tight.) Adjusting your care or changing your jewelry will usually help that irritation improve. If you are having any issues, please do not hesitate to contact us or come in for a check up. These check ups are always free. We will not know if something is wrong if you do not contact us, so please use us as a resource while your piercing heals.

In the event an infection is suspected, quality jewelry should be left in place to allow drainage of the infection while being treated by a healthcare professional. Please contact your piercer BEFORE removing your jewelry. If the jewelry is removed, the surface cells can close over, which can seal the infection inside the piercing channel and result in abscess.

 

Always contact your piercer with questions and concerns, most issues can be resolved!

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