Body Piercing: Aftercare

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Don’t wear tight or filthy clothing on your new piercing.
Your hands should be disinfected before touching the piercing, after all, hands carry a lot of bacteria.

Don’ts

    * Don’t take the jewelry out in the healing period. The wound will heal better and won’t close as fast when you remove the jewelry for a short while.
    * Don’t apply any ointments on the piercing. It’s best to keep the piercing as dry as possible. Ointments keep the oxygen out and will slow down the healing.
    * Avoid make-up, shaving cream, strong soap or perfumed stuff around your piercing.
    * Don’t hang charms from your jewelry until the wound is fully healed.
    * Avoid sleeping on the piercing while healing.
    * Don’t over clean. Cleaning the piercing wound more than twice a day is not advisable, it will slow down the healing.
    * Don’t use band-aids on your piercing. There will not be enough air circulation and the adhesive can cause irritation.
    * Avoid swimming pools, jacuzzis (the warm air above the water surface harbors a lot of bacteria), lakes,… If there is sea life, motor oil or children in the water, then it is not clean enough! If you are going in water, and you doubt if the water is clean enough, then you can put a non water-permeable wound sealant on the piercing before going in. It will prevent the dirty water from getting inside the wound. Cleaning the wound afterwards will not be effective in preventing any infection!
    * Avoid oral contact or body fluids that are not your own! Your own body fluids like sweat are not harmful for your piercing, but you do have to clean it.

Do’s

    * Wash your hands prior to any contact near the healing piercing!
    * Wear clean and breathable fabrics around the area of your new piercing. Don’t wear tight clothing around the piercing.
    * Your bedding should be clean at all time.
    * Leave the starter jewelry in for at least the minimum healing time.
    * A healthy lifestyle will help your piercing heal faster. Staying away from drugs and alcohol, eating nutritious foods and avoiding stress will show their benefits.
    * Take a shower instead of a bath. A bath tub tends to contain lots of bacteria. If you insist on bathing, clean the tub with a bleaching product each time before bathing, and rinse it with water. When you get out of the bath, rinse your piercing with water.

Cleaning solution

Mild seawater soaks are recommended (daily), they give the best results for accelerating your healing and increasing your comfort.
dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt in a cup (8 oz.) of warm water. Make sure the cup is clean. Don’t make the solution any stronger because too much salt can get the piercing to burn. Invert the cup over the area and soak directly for a few minutes. You can also use a cotton ball soaked in the salt water in stead of the direct soaking when the piercing is on a difficult place.

Cleaning instructions

Clean your piercing twice a day during the initial healing period. Don’t clean it too much, it will cause irritation. Stay away from your piercing the rest of the day.
Before the cleaning, wash your hands with antibacterial soap and hot water.
First you have to rinse the area of the piercing with warm water to make sure the crusts that have formed are removed. Otherwise they can get into the piercing and the piercing can get infected.
Cleanse the area and the jewelry with the cleaning solution. Carefully move the piercing jewelry up and down to get the cleaning solution into the piercing. Let the solution do it’s work for a minute.
You may bathe normally, just don’t get any other products then the cleaning solution into your piercing on purpose.
Rinse the piercing with running water. All of the cleaning solution must be removed. Pull the piercing jewelry back and forth real gently while rinsing so that the solution from inside the piercing is also removed.
Pat the area dry with tissues or gauze. Avoid cloth towels, they can harbor bacteria.

What’s normal

Bleeding, bruising and swelling are normal, they don’t point to an infection.
Tenderness, discomfort are not abnormal in the first several weeks. You can feel burning, stinging or aching on the first days on and off. Itching is also very common.

The secretion of a fairly liquid, whitish-yellow fluid forms crusts at the openings of the piercing. This is not pus. It contains blood plasma, lymph and dead cells. It’s completely normal and indicates the healing process.

Keep cleaning.

If you notice anything abnormal, or the piercing gets badly infected, contact the piercer or a doctor.
If your piercing secretes pus, you should go see a doctor for an antibiotic treatment. The piercing should be left in at all times to ensure the drainage of pus. If the jewelry is removed, the piercing can close and you can get an abscess… Leave your jewelry in!!!

Healing Time

Ear lobe: 6-8 weeks
Ear cartilage: 4 months – 1 year
Eyebrow: 6-8 weeks
Nostril: 2-4 months
Nasal septum: 6-8 months
Lip: 2-3 months
Tongue: 4 weeks
Nipple: 3-6 months
Belly Button: 4 months – 1 year
Male genitalia: 4 weeks – 6 months
Female genitalia: 4-10 weeks

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