Piercing Aftercare Advice
Piercing aftercare differs between different placements. Please scroll to the bottom for oral specific information.
If your piercing is dressed, remove dressing after 2 hours as long as you are in a clean environment. If for example you are going to work in dirty environment after you have had your piercing, keep it dressed until you get home. It’s normal to find a small amount of blood.
CLEANING YOUR PIERCING
1) Wash your hands really well before you clean or touch your piercing for any reason. Try to avoid touching it at any time other than cleaning.
2) Make a saline solution:
Dissolve 1/8 teaspoon of salt into one cup (8 oz.) of warm boiled tap or bottled water. A stronger solution can irritate your piercing, so don’t put in too much salt!
Saline soak your piercing for for five minutes at least once per day. For some piercings it will be easier to use clean gauze, clean paper towels or clean cotton buds soaked in saline solution. Rinse with clean water after your salt soak to prevent salt crystals forming, which can cause irritation and slow the healing process.
3) It is normal for dried blood or serous fluid (yellow crust) to form around the edges of your piercing. DO NOT pick it away while it is dry. While showering or bathing clean the jewellery and the piercing. Leave the soap on the piercing no more than thirty seconds. This is the best time to remove any crusty build up as it should soften. Removing it when dry could cause the wound to be re-opened. Dry your piercing gently with clean, disposable paper products. Cloths and towels could snag on jewellery, and they might have bacteria on them.
4) You do not have to rotate your jewellery through the piercing. This will simply irritate the area and stop it from healing.
5) It’s ok for your piercing to get wet, but avoid submerging in dirty water or unclean swimming pools.
6) DO NOT attempt to change your jewellery until the piercing is completely healed.
Different piercings have different healing times. Healing time can also be affected by your general health, medical conditions and whether or not you are a smoker. Here’s a very rough guide of what to expect:
- Earlobe: 6 to 8 weeks
- Ear cartilage: 4 months to 1 year
- Eyebrow: 6 to 8 weeks
- Nostril: 2 to 4 months
- Nasal septum: 6 to 8 months
- Tongue: 4 weeks
- Lip: 2 to 3 months
- Belly button: 4 months to 1 year
You may also notice that your piercing goes through different phases, where it will appear to be healed but then flare up. This can be due to catching your piercing on a piece of clothing for example, or it could be if your body is run down.
7) Sometimes your body makes too much scar tissue, leading to keloids. This extra tissue starts to spread out from the original wound, causing a bump or small mass that’s larger than the original piercing. Keloids typically begin as small round bumps around the piercing site.
8) It is normal for piercings to be swollen for the first week or so after piercing. For this reason your piercer should perform the initial piercing with jewellery that is slightly longer than necessary. If you are finding that your piercing is inflamed and sore for longer, tea tree oil can often alleviate this discomfort. Tea tree oil is also often useful for reducing the size of a piercing keloid.
FOR ORAL PIERCINGS
- Rinse your tongue or lip piercing after every meal or snack and before bed. Use an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouthwash.
- Not kiss anyone while you heal. (Avoid contact with someone else’s saliva.)
- Not share cups, plates, forks, knives, or spoons
- Eat small bites of soft food
- Not eat spicy, salty, or acidic foods and drinks
- Not have hot drinks, like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate
- Be gentle. Talk and chew carefully, and try not to click your jewellery against your teeth.
- Check every once in a while to make sure your jewellery is still tight to prevent swallowing or choking.
If you have any questions please message us on Facebook or if you are worried about your piercing contact a pharmacist or medical professional immediately.
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