Congratulations on your new piercing! The success of your piercing depends heavily on the aftercare. While we do our part to ensure that your piercing is performed with the utmost care and precision, the client must also carefully follow all suggested aftercare tips to help the piercing heal and adapt.
Here are the suggested aftercare guidelines for body piercings:
CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS FOR BODY PIERCINGS
ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS before cleaning or touching your piercing! Never touch or play with your piercing with dirty hands as that can risk bacteria transfer which can lead to irritation or infection.
1. Degrease the piercing site with a cleanser. Clean the piercing with a soap cleanser once or twice a day (depending on piercing). While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing.
2. RINSE the area with clean water to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing. You do not need to rotate the jewelry through the piercing.
3. SPRAY the entire piercing site with NeilMed Piercing Aftercare Spray. Make sure you are blasting the piercing site with the saline mist. Use a clean tissue to dry the area, or use a hair dryer on cool setting to dry the area. Make sure to dry the piercing after spraying because moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria!
3. SOAK the piercing site for 3-5 minutes MORNING + NIGHT using this cupping method.
4. DRY by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can trap bacteria and snag on jewelry causing injury.
1. Sterile Saline Solution with no additives:
NeilMed Piercing Aftercare spray is the only sterile saline spray that is designed to assist in healing fresh piercings. This spray is used by the piercers at Maria Tash and also highly recommended by many APP piercers.
This is very cheap! Be sure to purchase extra bottles because the Saline Soak Method using this solution will help solve a lot of irritations!
2. A mild, alcohol-free and fragrance-free liquid soap—preferably a cleanser that is antibacterial.
WHAT IS NORMAL?
• Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
• During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
• Once healed: the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it. If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
• A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
• Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewelry in—do not leave it empty.
For most piercings, I often use a longer post jewelry to accommodate swelling. It is recommended that the client comes back for a check up to determine if a downsize is needed.
WHAT TO DO
• Wash your hands prior to touching the piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. During healing, it is not necessary to rotate your jewelry.
• Stay healthy; the healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. Exercise during healing is fine; listen to your body.
• Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you are sleeping.
• Showers tend to be safer than taking baths, as bathtubs can harbor bacteria. If you bathe in a tub, clean it well before each use and rinse off your piercing when you get out.
WHAT TO AVOID
Do not sleep on your piercings!!
• Avoid cleaning with Betadine®, Hibiciens®, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Dial® or other harsh soaps, as these can damage cells. Also avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation. Avoid soaps with the ingredient “triclosan”.
• Avoid Bactine®, pierced ear care solutions and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). These can be irritating and are not intended for long term wound care.
• Avoid over-cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
• Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewelry, and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications.
• Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.
• Avoid stress and recreational drug use, including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
• Avoid submerging the piercing in unhygenic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. Or, protect your piercing using a waterproof wound-sealant bandage (such as 3M™ Nexcare™ Clean Seals). These are available at most pharmacies.
• Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc.
• Don’t hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.
HINTS AND TIPS
You can change the jewelry after the piercing is fully healed. Use good judgement!! While cleaning the piercing, check if the piercing is sore, does it still feel sensitive? If the piercing is sore, or sensitive do not remove the jewelry!!
• Unless there is a problem with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in the place for the entire healing period.
• Contact me if your jewelry must be removed (such as for a medical procedure). There are non-metallic jewelry alternatives available.
• Leave jewelry in at all times. Even old or well-healed piercing can shrink or close in minutes even after having been there for years. If removed, re-insertion can be difficult or impossible.
• With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness. (“Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.”)
• Carry a clean spare ball in case of loss or breakage.
• Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, simply remove the jewelry (or I can remove it for you) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small mark will remain.
• In the event an infection is suspected, quality jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage or the infection. If the jewelry is removed, the surface cells can close up, which can seal the infection inside the piercing channel and result in an abscess. Do not remove jewelry unless instructed to by a medical professional.
FOR PARTICULAR AREAS
• A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using a length of 3M® bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from adhesive). This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.
EAR/EAR CARTILAGE AND FACIAL:
• Use the t-shirt trick: Dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt and turn it nightly; one clean t-shirt provides four clean surfaces for sleeping.
• Maintain cleanliness of telephones, headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats, and anything that contacts the pierced area.
• Use caution when styling your hair and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.
• The support of a tight cotton shirt or sports bra may provide protection and feel comfortable, especially for sleeping.