PIERCING AFTERCARE GUIDE

Cleaning Steps

  1. Wash your hands before touching or cleaning your piercing

  2. Use a packaged sterile saline to safely and gently clean your piercing. We recommend Neilmed wound wash or a generic alternative which can be found at most drugstores. Contact lens saline, eye drops, and other saline products should NOT be used on piercings. The ingredients list should list .09% sodium chloride as the only ingredient. The spray is often a bit too powerful to use directly on the piercing, we recommend spraying your saline solution onto a clean q-tip and using that to remove any debris and clean your new piercing.

  3. If necessary baby soap can be used as a gentle alternative to saline solution in a pinch. When using baby soap, remember to rinse thouroughly after washing, making sure to remove all traces of soap from the piercing and surrounding skin.

  4.  It is not recommended to rotate jewelry through the piercing.

  5.  Dry the area using clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and risk snagging on jewelry which can cause injury and deter the healing process. Always be sure to tighten the ends of your piercing after cleaning.

  6. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day, and any time after being in an unclean environment.

What to expect with a fresh piercing

  • Directly after your new piercing you can expect some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising. Every body is different and healing can look different from person to person.

  • During the healing period some discoloration, itching, and secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid is normal. The secretion may form crust on the jewelry, this can be removed during cleaning using a q-tip soaked in wound wash. The tissue surrounding the jewelry may tighten as it heals.

  • Bodily secretions may accumulate if you fail to include properly cleaning your piercing into your daily routine. This can result in normal, but smelly residue.

  • It is possible for a piercing to appear healed before the entire healing process is complete. Tissue heals from the outside in, so although it may feel fine, the interior may still be fragile. This is why it's important to continue a daily routine of cleaning your piercing for the recommended period of healing time. This is also why we recommend waiting the appropriate period of time before switching out jewelry.

  • It is possible for healed piercings to shrink or close completely, even if the piercing has been there for years and the jewelry is out for a short period of time. This does vary from person to person, but in order to assure your piercing remains open, keep the jewelry in.

Helpful tips

  • Always wash your hands before touching your piercing. It does NOT need to be rotated, leave it alone except when cleaning.

  • Keep your sheets and bedding clean and changed regularly. For ear and facial piercings, you can dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt, turning it nightly. Wear clean, comfortable clothing to protect your piercing while you sleep. For nipple piercings, a tight cotton shirt or sports bra may provide protection and comfortability especially while sleeping.

  • Showers are a safer option than baths. Bathtubs can harbor bacteria, so if you do elect to take a bath, be sure to clean it well before use and rinse off your piercing when you get out.

Things to avoid

  • DO NOT use anything containing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial soaps, iodine, or other harsh ingredients. Products containing these ingredients can damage cells and dry the skin which can hinder the healing process. Avoid ointments as well, these can prevent necessary air circulation.

  • Products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK) such as Bactine and pierced ear solutions can be irritating and are not intended for long-term wound care. Avoid using these products as aftercare.

  • Though it is important to maintain a daily cleaning routine, you do not want to over-clean your piercing as it can be irritating and delay the healing process. Avoid excessively tight clothing over the area, unnecessary motion of the area, and vigorous cleaning. These things can lead to the formation of scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications.

  • AVOID oral contact, rough play, and contact with others' bodily fluids on or near your piercing while healing.

  • It is recommended you AVOID submerging the piercing in unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. If you do choose to go swimming with a fresh piercing, you can use a waterproof wound sealant bandage which are available at most drugstores. If you elect not to use a wound sealant bandage, at the very least, be sure to thoroughly clean your piercing after any swimming or submerging.

  • AVOID using harsh beauty and personal care products on or around your piercing. This includes shampoos, facial cleansers, and soaps with harsh chemicals or microbeads. Avoid using makeup on or around a new piercing.

  • DO NOT hang charms or any other sort of object from your jewelry until it is fully healed. Sleeping directly on a healed cartilage piercing can cause shifts in the angle of the piercing and can be irritating. You can avoid this by placing a travel pillow on top of your pillow and sleeping with your ear in the opening.