Now you have been pierced and the aftercare of your new piercing is the next most important step. If you are careless with the cleansing you are leaving yourself open to infections. Infections can develop easily on a new piercing since it is a open skin wound.
Also, mild non iodized (no iodine) sea salt.
Body piercings need to be cleaned once or twice daily, every day, for the entire initial healing time. Most people clean morning and/or night. Do not clean more often as this can irritate your piercing, and possibly delay your healing. For once-a-day cleanings, do it at the end of your day. Optimal frequency will depend on your skin sensitivity, activity level, and enviromental factors.
Before cleanings, wash your hands thoroughly with liquid anti- bacterial soap and warm water. Never touch healing piercings with dirty hands. This is vital for avoiding infections. Hair also tend to be a problem as it holds dirt and oil.
Prepare the area for cleansing by rinsing or soaking with warm water and be sure to remove any stubborn crust using cotton swab and warm water. Never pick with fingernails. Vaporize a bit of Saline solution onto a swab, and then apply onto the piercing. Cleanse the area and the jewellry, and gently rotate the jewellry back and forth a few times to work the solution to the inside. You do not need to rotate your jewellry during the first several cleanings. Allow the solution to cleanse there for a minute. Gently pat dry with disposable paper, as cloth towels can harbor bacteria. Please, try to be patient. Each body is unique, and healing times can vary considerably. If your piercing is tender or secreting you should continue the care regiment, even if it is past the stated avarege healing time range.
Salt water Soaks
Mild sea salt water soaks are strongly suggested at least once a day to accelerate healing and increase your comfort. This may also help to reduce irritation in the area. Dissolve a pinch (1/4 teaspoon) of sea salt into one cup (8oz.) of warm or hot water in a clean cup. Distilled water is optimal. A stronger solution is not better as you can burn your piercing with too much salt. Invert it over the area to form a vacuum and soak directly for a few minutes. For certain placements it is easier to use a clean cotton swab. Follow with a clear water rinse or splash then pat dry with paper towel. Salt water soaks help to stimulate air and blood circulation, which facilitates healing. You can do a brief salt water soak before your daily cleaning(s) as well as several additional times a day. It is particularly advisable to soak before you do anything active, as it will prevent crust from being pulled inside the piercing as you move around. Salt water is the only additional product (other than the cleaner and water) we suggest you use to care for your piercing. One soak per day should be for at least a few minutes. Additional soaks can be brief (1 min. or so) and still be effective for soothing the area and removing matter.
What is normal
Bleeding, bruising, discoloration and/or swelling is not uncommon. Any break in the skin, including a new piercing can bleed or bruise. These are not indications of any complication. Reduce intake of aspirin, alcohol, and caffeine. For above the neck piercings try sleeping with your head elevated above your heart. Non- steroidal, anti- inflammatory products such as Ibuprofen can help minimize swelling.
Some tenderness or discomfort in the area of your new piercing is not unusual. You may feel stinging, burning, aching other unpleasent sensations off and on for several days or longer. During healing there may be some iching. Secretion of fluid, which contains blood plasma, lymph and dead cells is perfectly normal. It is fairly liquid, whitish yellow in colour and forms a crust on the jewellry at the openings of the piercing. This is not pus, but indicates healed piercing. Once healed your piercing may secrete a semi- solid white malodorous substance from the oil glands called sebum. This is not pus, but indicates healed piercing.
Also, piercing may have a tendancy to have series of "ups and downs" during healing by seeming healed and then regressing. Try to be patient, and do keep cleaning during the entire initial healing time, even if the piercing seems healed sooner. Tightness is normal. Do not expect jewellry to swing freely in most body piercings, even after they are thoroughly healed.
What to do
Wash your hands prior to contact on or near the area of your healing piercing. Leave the piercing alone except for when you are cleaning it. It is not necessary or advisable to rotate the jewellry while healing, except during cleanings.
Leave the starter jewellry in during the entire minimum initial healing time. (Assuming your initial jewellry is appropriate in terms of metal content, style and size. Inappropriate jewellry should be changed out by professional). Those with captive- style rings or barbels (straight, bent or circular) can change the bead/ball portion of the jewellry at any time.
Check twice daily with clean hands to make sure the balls are screwed on tight on threaded jewellry such as barbells. Both balls tighten to the right.
If you are happy with your piercing, leave jewellry in at all times. Even old, well- healed piercings can shrink or lose in minutes after having been there for years. This varies from person to person, and even if your ear lobe piercings stay open without jewellry, your body piercing may not. Make sure your bedding is clean and changed frequently, while you are healing, especially if pets get into your bed. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable fabric clothing in the area of the body piercing.
A multi- vitamin mineral supplement containing Zink and Vitamin C may help boost your body's healing abilities. Take it according to package instructions. Get enough sleep, eat nutritios diet, avoid undue stress, recreational drugs and alcohol consumption. The healtier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal.
Showering is saver than taking bath, as bath tubs tend to harbor bacteria. Be sure to do rinse on your piercing when you are done.
If you have an infection, the jewellry should be left in, the piercing to allow to drainage of pus. If the jewellry is removed, the holes can close up, resulting in an abscess. LEAVE YOUR JEWELLRY IN!
What to avoid
Don’t use alcohol.
Don’t over clean. Cleaning more often than once or twice a day is not better.This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
Don’t use many different products.
Avoid oral contact, rough play and contact with other’s bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.
Don’t use bandaids on a healing piercing. They limit air circulation and the adhesive can irritate the surrounding area.
Avoid sleeping on a piercing during healing is advisable.
Don’t hang charms or any object until the piercing is healed.
Avoid submerging your piercings in water such as pools, lakes, jacuzzis unless you feel confident that the water is clean enough for you and an open wound, which is what your piercing is while it is healing. Cleaning afterwards is not likely to be effective in preventing infection.
Try to avoid activities that put undue stress on the area.
Hints for particular areas
Avoid tight, cinching belts and waistbands, inflexible clothing on the area during healing. A hard, vented pad/dressing can be applied under tight clothing. This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities. Do not do baths.
Ear / Cartilage / Facial
Shield piercing from hair spray/gel and avoid getting lotion, make up and other foreign substances in piercings.
Make sure pillow cases are clean and changed frequently.
Clean your phone with a disinfectant.
It is advisable to sleep in cotton tank top or tee t-shirt, especially if you have any pets that get on or in your bed. Many women find sleeping in a bra or sports bra to be comfortable with a healing nipple piercing.
Sexual activity is not prohibited, it must be hygienic!
Listen to your body, if something feels sore, it means you need to ease up or stop for the time being. Use condoms( without Nonoxynol 9) for all sexual contact to prevent sharing body fluids. This is required even if you are in monogamous relationship. It is mandatory for your health and safety during the entire minimum initial healing time.
Use water base lubricants such as KY Jelly.
These guidelines are based on a combination of vast professional experience, common sense and extensive research. This is not considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor. Be aware, however, that many doctors have no specific training or experience regarding piercings and may not be educated on how to best assist you.