CLEANING YOUR PIERCING
Before you do anything WASH YOUR HANDS!!
- Soap: no more than 2 times a day after your Initial healing period. Ensure there is no soap or residue left behind
- Soaks: salt/saline soaks or chamomile soaks 2- 3 times a week maximum. Soak for 20-30 minutes at a time. Use gauze or the tea bag and immerse in salt/saline water.
Use any one, or a combination of the following solutions for body piercings:
- Packaged sterile saline solution with no additives (check labels)
- Non-iodized (iodine free) sea salt mixture; 1/8tsp – 1/4tsp salt into 1cup (8oz) of warm distilled or bottled water. Do not add more salt than suggested! Water should be warm, not hot.
- 1 oz of warm water with 8-10 grains of sea salt
- Liquid anti-microbial or germicidal soap
WHAT TO EXPECT
- Initially; some bleeding, swelling, tenderness and bruising.
- During healing; some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid that will form a very sharp crust on the jewelry.
- Once healed; the jewelry may not appear to move freely in the piercing, give it time, DO NOT force it. If you are not cleaning your piercing regularly you may notice a normal, but pungent, secretion.
- Piercings can appear to be healed before they are. Follow the healing guideline provided to you by your piercer. Piercings heal from the outside in, and although it feels like the tissue around the piercing is healed, the inside remains quite fragile. BE PATIENT, and continue with your cleaning for your ENTIRE healing period.
WHAT TO DO
- Wash your hands before handling your piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. It is NOT necessary to rotate the jewelry while healing, even during cleaning.
- Stay healthy. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. The healthier you are, the healthier your piercing will be. Exercise during the healing period is okay, just listen to your body.
- Make sure your bedding is kept clean and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while at rest and at play.
- Shower often, and keep your whole body clean.
THINGS TO AVOID
- 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 an unsightly and uncomfortable scar (tissue keloid or hypertrophic scarring), migration, rejection, prolonged healing times as well as other complications.
- Avoid rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, betadine, neosporin, bactroban, or other ointments and all petroleum-based products.
- Avoid over-cleaning. Over-cleaning can be more hazardous and dangerous for your piercing than under-cleaning in some situations.
- Avoid stress and recreational drug use Including excessive amounts of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.
- Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with other body fluids on or near your piercing during the healing period.
- Avoid submerging the piercing in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. If needed you may use a waterproof bandage such as Tegaderm for short periods of time in bodies of water.
- Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, perfumes, sprays, etc.
- Do not hang any sort of charms or ‘accessories from your piercing until it is fully healed.
HINTS AND TIPS
- Unless there is a problem with the size, style of material of the initial jewelry, leave it in place for the ENTIRE healing period. Only a qualified piercer should perform any necessary jewelry changes that occur during healing times.
- Contact your piercer if your jewelry must be temporarily removed (such as in case of a medical/dental procedure) there are non- metallic jewelry alternatives.
- Leave jewelry in at all times. Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! If you like your piercing, leave the jewelry in place.
- With clean hands regularly check the tightness of your beads (lefty-loosely, righty-tightly). Always tighten your beads before bed
- Carry a spare bead in case of loss or breakage.
- Should you want to remove your jewelry continue to clean it until both holes have closed.