- Suggested cleansers. The most ideal for all piercings is saline solution (salt water) this can be made up by using a sterilized container (rinsing the container with a weak bleach solution can achieve this) then use ¼ teaspoon of sea salts in 1 cup of bottled water. Solution should be changed weekly, and no double dipping!
- Facial or cartilage- saline, bactine or ear piercing antiseptic (active ingredient for the last two cleansers is benzalkonium chloride).
- All other Body piercings (except genitals)- saline solution, or anti-bacterial soaps such as "Dial antibacterial" or" Soft Soap antibacterial".
the optimal way to care for your piercing is to clean it twice daily (If you are physically active, try to schedule your cleanings after you exercise). The easiest and most comfortable way to clean your piercing is either during or immediately following a hot shower. The hot water and steam will help soften your skin and loosen the crusty layer that forms at the base of your jewelry (making it easier to remove). This crusty matter is part of your body’s natural way of healing. It produces white blood cells that push bacteria out of the piercing. Always ensure that your hands are clean, by washing them with antibacterial soap before you touch your piercing. Saturate the piercing with the recommended cleaning solution to remove the crusty layer that forms on the top and bottom of the piercing. Saturate the area again and spread the cleanser over the entire ring and piercing area. Slowly rotate the ring 5-6 times to ensure proper penetration of the cleanser (this will ensure a total bacteria kill), then rinse the piercing, moving the ring back and forth to ensure that the solution has been fully rinsed out. Dry the area with a disposable paper product such as a Q-tip or paper towel (not your dirty bath towel!) If saline or bactine is used, the procedure is the same but with a saturated Q-tip used on both sides of the piercing instead
EAR, CARTILAGE, & LOBE PIERCINGS
Clean twice daily with saline or Bactine, using the procedures outlined in the “getting started” section above. Always cover piercing when using hair spray or other hair products. Change pillowcase often.
- Clean twice daily with saline or Bactine, using the procedures outlined in the “getting started” section above.
- Leave the piercing alone, DON’T PLAY WITH IT! This will only irritate and hinder the healing process.
- For nose piercings- watch when you are blowing your nose, washing your face with a face cloth, drying your face with a towel or pulling shirts or sweaters over and above your face. Don’t forget about it !!!
- Avoid the use of make-up around the pierced area for 6 months (this is really important), hair spray or other hair products around the piercing area.
- For labrette, lip and cheek piercings, rinse with saline solution or diluted Listerine 4oz (1 part water, 1 part Listerine)
- Advil will help reduce swelling (for lips, labrette and cheek only)
- Check the tightness on the ball of the labrette, and cheek daily
(eyebrow, nose, septum, lip, labrette, cheek)
- Rinse with saline solution or diluted Listerine 4oz (1 part water, 1 part Listerine) 5 to 10 times daily for 1 minute.
- Avoid solid foods for 3 days (I can’t stress this enough!)
- Soft food such as over-cooked pasta, mashed potatoes, porridge, soup (lukewarm and blended), cottage cheese or yogurt are recommended. (these are the only recommended dairy because of the friendly bacteria and high protein content) Do remember to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Anything that requires chewing should be avoided. Anything that can be mashed with a fork and just swallowed is recommended.
- Avoid spicy food (think of dragging spices through a fresh cut!)
- Avoid dairy and excessively drinking caffeine products, or high sugar content drinks.
- Ice often for the first few days, 20 mins on – 20 mins off (crushed ice is best).
- Avoid hot liquids such as coffee, tea, or soup (if eating or drinking any of these, drink them lukewarm or cold).
- Remember- cold decreases swelling, hot increases swelling.
- Advil (ASA based), Ibuprofen or Motrin will help to reduce swelling and ease the pain, as it contains an anti-inflammatory agent.
- Don’t forget to lightly brush your tongue.
- Brush your barbell balls with your toothbrush. Plaque collects on the balls daily, just like it does on your teeth. If it is not removed daily it will harden and turn into tarter, once this forms it will need to be scraped off and also can become odorous.
- Check tightness of barbell beads daily especially before eating or sleeping by twisting both balls in opposite directions at the same time. Following the initial healing period (about 3-4 weeks), changing your post to a shorter length will make the jewelry more comfortable in your mouth. This will also reduce the chances of biting down on the jewelry and breaking or chipping any teeth, having the jewelry irritate the roof of your mouth or your bottom front teeth. The reason the initial post must be so long is to compensate for the swelling.
NECK, NIPPLE, & NAVEL PIERCINGS
- Clean 2-3 times daily using the procedure outlined in the “getting started” section using saline solution or anti-bacterial soap.
- After cleaning, apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment such as "Polysporin" to top and bottom of piercing. Wipe off any excess ointment (use only for the first week).
- Check tightness of top ball daily on barbell navel piercings. This can be done by holding the bottom bigger ball and when you look down at it, it is righty tighty, lefty loosey.
- Women should wear a gauze pad inside their bra after a nipple piercing for a few days.
- Wear a clean cotton shirt to bed and change sheets as often as possible for first 2 weeks. Put ¼ teaspoon of sea salts in a sterile cup of warm water and soak the piercing for 5 mins. Epsom salts can also be added to the bathtub. Epsom salts will help to soothe, but will not clean the piercing.
- Clean 2-3 times daily, using the procedures outlined in the “getting started” section, using the soap you presently use or Tea Tree Shampoo.
- Keep area shaved as hair can act as a bacteria trap.
- Wear only cotton underwear to ensure that the piercing can breathe properly.
- A burning sensation is normal during urination and there is no need to clean afterwards (urine is sterile to your own body).
- No sexual contact at all…until the piercing is completely healed! Just kidding!! Use your own judgement and use your body as a guide or 3 weeks should be sufficient ensuring that a condom is used for the following three weeks. No bodily fluids should come into contact with the piercing for the first couple of weeks, including semen and saliva.
- Wear a gauze pad for the first couple of days until the bleeding stops.
THINGS TO AVOID/OR WATCH FOR
- Avoid cleaning with Hydrogen peroxide, Isopropyl alcohol, or Bedadine Iodine. These products destroy newly formed skin cells that are forming around the piercing and inhibit the healing process.
- Avoid going swimming for at least 3-4 weeks. If this can’t be avoided, cover piercing with Vaseline prior to entry into the water and clean normally afterwards. Salt water is the preferred choice as it is quite clean and should not inhibit the healing process of your piercing.
- You MUST avoid hot tubs and hot springs. The heated water is the perfect breeding ground for bacterial growth, therefore, infection will most likely result.
- Avoid irritations around piercings during the healing process such as tight clothing, sexual contact, or excessive tugging/pulling- this can trigger migration of jewelry, a process in which the body “pushes” out the jewelry.
- Never touch your piercing unless you have just freshly washed your hands.
- Do not expose your piercing to cosmetics such as make-up, hair styling products, lotion, etc. Cosmetics contain many different ingredients and can cause irritation, infection, and scar tissue.
- Do not leave jewelry out of a piercing for too long! If you must remove your jewelry, either put in a retainer or replace it ASAP. For example, a tongue, or nose piercing can close-up in a matter of hours.
- Jewelry sinking into your body to the point that it is no longer visible or skin has grown over it. Contact me immediately if this happens!! Do not wait. A longer post is needed.
TO ACCELERATE HEALING TIME
- 1000 IEU of vitamen E orally or topically will help to break down scar tissue in your body and around your piercing (especially on noses).
- Take 2000-3000mg of chelated vitamen C combined with 60mg of Zinc daily for women, 120mg for men (this increases your immune system). If you are very active (e.g., work hard, partake in regular exercise, etc.) extra nutrient-dense meals and an additional multi-vitamin supplement may help keep your immune system working efficiently.
- Keep your piercing clean and well ventilated.
- Drink plenty of fluids 8-10 glasses per day of purified water.
- Get plenty of rest. Try to get at least 8 hrs. Your body does most of its healing while you are sleeping.