AFTERCARE GUIDE

 

The suggestions that follow are intended as guidelines to help you care for your new piercing. They are based on our decades of experience as professional piercers, the experience of others who are respected in the industry, and the advice of medical professionals familiar with piercing care. Keep in mind that everyone is unique in body and lifestyle, and many factors contribute to how a piercing heals.

We offer free consultations at any time during the healing process, so we hope you will check in during this time.


estimated Initial Healing Times

The following is usually the minimum amount of time needed to heal before it is safe to change your jewelry. Because many factors influence how quickly a piercing will heal, some people will heal faster while others will take longer. Please be aware that these are only initial healing times. Most piercings will take years before they can be left out for any extended length of time without shrinking or closing. Multiple piercings healing simultaneously may result in longer healing times.

Ear Cartilage: 3-4 months, Ear Construction, Industrial: 3-6 month, Earlobe (up to 12g): 6-8 weeks, Earlobe (over 12g): 2-3 months, Erl (nose bridge): 2-3 months, Eyebrow: 2-3 months, High Nostril: 4-6 months, Inverse Lip: 2-3 months, Lip/Labret/Monroe: 6-8 weeks, Navel: 4-6 months, Nostril: 3-4 months, Philtrum: 6-8 weeks, Septum: 6-8 weeks, Single Point Piercing: 3-4 months, Surface Piercing (Surface Bar): 6-9 months, Surface Piercing (Tygon): 8-12 months, Tongue: 4-6 weeks, Vertical Lip: 6-8 weeks

. . . . . . . . . . .

Ampallang: 6-9 months, Apadravya: 6-9 months, Christina: 6-9 months, Clitoral Hood: 4-6 weeks, Dydoe: 6-9 months, Female Nipple: 6-9 months, Fourchette: 6-8 weeks, Frenum: 6-8 weeks, Guiche: 2-3 months, Inner Labia: 4-6 weeks, Male Nipple: 3-4 months, Prince Albert: 6-8 weeks, Princess Albertina: 4-6 weeks, Reverse PA: 6-9 months, Scrotum/Hafada: 6-8 weeks.


Caring for your new piercing

Let’s start with two very important things to remember:

DO NOT TOUCH YOUR PIERCING. The only time you will touch your piercing is when you are cleaning it, and you will first wash your hands.

DO NOT REMOVE YOUR JEWELRY. New piercings can shrink the moment jewelry is removed, making it painful or impossible to get it back in.

What is normal during the healing process:

  • Bleeding, bruising, and/or swelling are fairly common with a new piercing.

  • Some tenderness or discomfort in the area of a new piercing can be expected for several days or longer. Discoloration (redness) and itching during healing process are also fairly common.

  • Secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) is part of the healing process and is to be expected. It is liquid when it leaves the body but dries into “crusties.”

  • Piercings will go through “ups and downs” while healing. They may seem healed for a while, and then regress. The key is to continue your cleaning routine throughout initial healing time.

  • Piercings (including healed piercings) that are not cleaned daily may smell unpleasant. This does not necessarily indicate a problem.

  • Jewelry should not be expected to rotate or move freely in most piercings, even after healing. • Most piercings will shrink or close very quickly if the jewelry is removed, so if you like your piercing it is vital to LEAVE YOUR JEWELRY IN AT ALL TIMES!


how your jewelry works

Photo courtesy of Joelton Bament

Photo courtesy of Joelton Bament

 

Body Piercing Aftercare

USE WARM SEA SALT WATER (SALINE) SOAKS – MORNING AND EVENING
Soaking your piercing with a warm, mild sea salt water solution will not only feel good,
it will also help prevent infection, reduce the risk of scarring, and speed the healing of your piercing. Do not touch your piercing without first washing your hands; and leave your jewelry in at all times!

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.

  2. Use the ratios below to create your own saline mixture:

    • 1⁄4 teaspoon to 8 ounces of water

    • 1/2 teaspoon to 16 ounces of water

    • 1 teaspoon to 1 quart of water

    • 4 teaspoons to 1 gallon of water

  3. Warm the solution in the microwave, then attempt to completely submerge the piercing in the solution for 10 minutes. If the piercing is in an area that can’t be submerged, you can soak a non-woven gauze and apply that to the piercing, keeping it saturated for 10 minutes.

  4. Rinse the area with clean, running water, then pat it dry with a clean paper towel.

  5. If your jewelry is threaded (barbells, etc.) check it to make sure it’s still tight! Remember “righty tighty, lefty loosey.

YOU MAY USE STERILE WOUND-CARE SALINE MORNING AND EVENING AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO SEA SALT WATER SOAKS
Sterile wound-care saline spray does not have all the benefits of a warm soak, but it is a more convenient alternative when a warm soak isn’t a viable option. Do not touch your pierc- ing without first washing your hands; and leave your jewelry in at all times!

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.

  2. Either spray the saline directly on the piercing to liberally flush the piercing, or soak a

    non-woven gauze in saline and apply that to the piercing, keeping it saturated for 10

    minutes, 2 times daily.

  3. You may need to use a q-tip or non-woven gauze to clean away any debris or “crusties”

    that may have collected on the jewelry around the piercing.

  4. It is not necessary to rinse this product away, however if you do rinse make sure it’s with

    clean, running water.

  5. If your jewelry is threaded (barbells, etc.) check it to make sure it’s still tight! Remember

    “righty tighty, lefty loosey.”

USE A MILD SOAP AT THE END OF YOUR BATHING ROUTINE – NO MORE THAN ONCE DAILY
A mild (non-antibacterial) liquid soap should be used at the end of your bathing routine to rinse away any skin or hair care products that could irritate your piercing. It is important to leave your jewelry in throughout your cleaning routine. Do not touch your piercing without first washing your hands; and leave your jewelry in at all times!

  1. First wash your hands thoroughly with the same mild soap you will use to clean your piercing.

  2. At the very end of your bathing routine, lather your hands with a mild, liquid soap, then lather the jewelry and the area around the piercing for 30-60 seconds.

  3. You may need to use a q-tip or non-woven gauze to clean away any debris or “crusties” that may have collected on the jewelry around the piercing.

  4. Rinse all soap and suds away under clean, running water. If the jewelry moves easily, you may rotate it, but if it does not move easily don’t force it! After rinsing, pat the area dry with a clean paper towel.

  5. If your jewelry is threaded (barbells, etc.) check it to make sure it’s still tight! Remember “righty tighty, lefty loosey.”


what to avoid while healing a body piercing

  • Avoid touching your piercing, except when you are cleaning it.

  • Avoid oral contact or contact with other people’s body fluids.

  • Avoid using any aftercare products or ointments that were not suggested by your piercer. • Avoid getting lotions and/or makeup in or around your piercing.

  • Avoid pools, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, etc. Using a waterproof, breathable bandage (such as Tegaderm) is a viable option for some piercings.


additional suggestions for healing a body piercing

  • Do not clean your piercing more often than is suggested, as over-cleaning can slow the healing process and cause more harm than good.

  • Taking a multivitamin containing zinc and vitamin C can boost your body’s healing abilities. • Keep in mind that stress, poor diet, drug abuse, or illness can cause extended healing times or other difficulties.

  • Make sure your bedding is clean. This is especially important if you have pets that sleep in your bed.

  • If you feel your piercing is infected, contact us or a physician right away! Although we are not doctors, we are happy to give suggestions based on our experience. Keep in mind that some redness, tenderness, swelling, and discharge is normal, but we advise clients to consult a health care professional for unexpected redness, tenderness, or swelling at the site, any rash, unexpected drainage from the piercing, or a fever within 24 hours of the body art procedure.


tips for specific body piercings

NAVEL

  • Avoid having tight clothing (waistbands, etc.) rubbing on your piercing.

EAR AND FACIAL PIERCINGS

  • Shield piercings from hair spray and styling products.

  • Clean your telephone frequently and avoid contact with unclean phones.

  • Avoid sleeping with wet hair if you have a new ear piercing. The moisture can lead to complications.

NIPPLE PIERCINGS

  • You may want to sleep in a clean, tight fitting shirt or sports bra, especially if you have pets that get on or in your bed.

  • Women often find that wearing a bra is far more comfortable than going without during the initial healing time.

GENITAL PIERCINGS

  • While sexual contact is not prohibited, it should be gentle and piercings must be protected from other people’s body fluids (saliva or other) while they are still healing (even if you are in a monogamous relationship). A good quality condom or other barrier is vital to prevent infections. Avoid any lubricants that are not water based.

  • Soap may not be necessary for some mucous membranes.


ORAL PIERCING AFTERCARE

USE A DILUTED, ALCHOL-FREE MOUTHWASH – MORNING AND EVENING
Oral hygiene must be maintained while any piercing inside the mouth is healing, however using a mouthwash that is too strong can damage cells and slow the healing process. Be sure to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash such as Biotene, Crest Pro-Health, or Colgate Advanced Care, and dilute it 50/50 with distilled or bottled water. Do not touch your piercing without first washing your hands; and leave your jewelry in at all times!

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.

  2. Swish gently with an alcohol-free mouthwash, diluted 50/50 with distilled or bottled water, for 30-60 seconds.

  3. If you wish, you may rinse your mouth with clean, bottled water.

  4. If your jewelry is threaded (barbells, etc.) check it to make sure it’s still tight!

  5. Remember “righty tighty, lefty loosey.”

USE SEA SALT WATER RINSES 4 TIMES A DAY (AFTER MEALS)
Rinsing with a warm, mild sea salt water solution will not only feel good, it will also help pre- vent infection, reduce the risk of scarring, and speed the healing of your piercing. Do not touch your piercing without first washing your hands; and leave your jewelry in at all times!

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.

  2. Use the ratios below to create your own saline mixture:

    • 1⁄4 teaspoon to 8 ounces of water

    • 1/2 teaspoon to 16 ounces of water

    • 1 teaspoon to 1 quart of water

    • 4 teaspoons to 1 gallon of water

  3. Warm the solution in the microwave, then rinse gently for 30-60 seconds, spit, and repeat until the entire 8 ounce cup is gone.

  4. Rinsing will ideally be done after meals, snacks, or smoking. If you eat, snack, or smoke more than 4 times a day, use plain bottled water for any additional rinses.

  5. If your jewelry is threaded (barbells, etc.) check it to make sure it’s still tight! Remember “righty tighty, lefty loosey.”


what to avoid while healing an oral piercing

  • Touching your piercing, except when you are cleaning it.

  • Oral contact or contact with other people’s body fluids.

  • Sucking thick beverages (such as milkshakes) though straws.

  • Hot, spicy foods and excessive consumption of alcohol, aspirin, and caffeine. • Smoking. If you do smoke, rinse with cold bottled water afterwords.

  • Chewing on gum, tobacco, fingernails, and other things that are not food.

  • Playing with your jewelry; it can cause irreversible damage to teeth and gums.


additional tips for healing an oral piercing

  • Gently suck on ice for the first few days to reduce swelling.

  • The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products such as Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil etc.) can reduce swelling.

  • This is a good time to replace your toothbrush with a new one!

  • Be sure to brush your tongue and jewelry (gently at first) to ward away plaque build-up.

  • Come back in for JEWELRY DOWNSIZING at the end of your initial healing time. Oral piercings have a tendency to swell and need extra room for cleaning during the initial healing time. For your safety and comfort, we provide you with jewelry that has some extra length on the post. Once swelling subsides, it is advisable to replace the initial jewelry with a shorter post. Failure to do this will result in greatly increased chances of tooth damage (chipping, cracking, etc.), gum recession, and bone loss.

  • Do not clean your piercing more often than is suggested, as over-cleaning can slow the healing process and cause more harm than good.

  • Taking a multivitamin containing zinc and vitamin C can boost your body’s healing abilities. • Keep in mind that stress, poor diet, drug abuse, or illness can cause extended healing times or other difficulties.

  • If you feel your piercing is infected, contact us or a physician right away! Although we are not doctors, we are happy to give suggestions based on our experience. Keep in mind that some redness, tenderness, swelling, and discharge is normal for a healing piercing, but we advise clients to consult a health care professional for unexpected redness, tenderness, or swelling at the site, any rash, unexpected drainage from the piercing, or a fever within 24 hours of the body art procedure.


questions? Concerns?

Give us a call at 505-255-4567, or stop by and see us. Consultations are always free- we love to see how your piercings are doing!