PIERCING AFTERCARE GUIDE
There are two good options for cleaning solutions:
We recommend and sell at least one brand of pre-packaged, additive free, sterile saline solution. You can also purchase these products at most drug stores or pharmacies.
PLEASE BE AWARE: This is saline solution specifically designed for wound care, NOT contact lenses. Contact lense solution is NOT the same thing and can have a negative impact on your piercing!
Sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon (.75 to 1.42 grams) of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz / 250 ml) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better; a saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.
How to clean your new piercing:
1 - WASH YOUR HANDS! Under no circumstances should you clean or touch your piercing without thoroughly washing your hands first. Don’t touch it to show it off, to adjust it, to scratch it or for any other reason without washing your hands first.
2 - Soak your piercing in your saline solution once or twice a day. Invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area, forming a seal, for five or ten minutes. For certain piercings it may be easier to use a saturated paper towel or gauze.
3 - If you are in the shower just gently rinse the piercing site off when you are done showering normally.
4 - Dry your piercing thoroughly by patting it gently using a clean, disposable, paper towel. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag or otherwise irritate your piercing.
What is normal?
• Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising.
• During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals.
• Once healed: the jewelry may not move freely in the piercing; DO NOT force it. If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.
• A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.
• Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, leave the jewelry in place.
What to avoid:
• Avoid moving jewelry in an unhealed piercing, or picking away dried discharge with your fingers.
• Avoid cleaning with Betadine®, Hibiciens®, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Dial® or other soaps containing triclosan, as these can damage cells. Also avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation.
• Avoid Bactine®, pierced ear care solutions and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). These can be irritating and are not intended for long term wound care.
• Avoid over-cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
• 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 unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications.
• Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.
• Avoid stress and recreational drug use, including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
• Avoid submerging the piercing in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. Or, protect your piercing using a waterproof wound-sealant bandage (such as 3M™ Nexcare™ Clean Seals). These are available at most drugstores.
• Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc.
• Don’t hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.
Hints and tips:
• Unless there is a problem with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in the place for the entire healing period. Come see us for any jewelry change that becomes necessary during healing.
• Be aware that low quality “body jewelry” is inferior and can even be dangerous. Ask us, and we would be happy to explain the differences.
• Contact us if your jewelry must be removed (such as for a medical procedure). There are non-metallic jewelry alternatives available.
• Leave jewelry in at all times. Even old or well-healed piercing can shrink or close in minutes even after having been there for years. If removed, re-insertion can be difficult or impossible.
• With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regularly check threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness. (“Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.”)
• Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, we can remove it for you. You should continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small mark will remain.
• If you should have ANY questions or problems, please CALL US FIRST!