Piercing After Care
Suggested Piercing Aftercare for skin Piercing
Piercing aftercare should be a simple process. Infection can be a possibility with any type of procedure where the skin is broken enabling germs to enter the body. The main cause of infection and/or irritation during the healing process of a piercing is from the piercee touching their jewelry and pierced area around the jewelry with their fingers.
Fingers and hands are covered in germs from touching objects such as doorknobs, counter tops, food, money, etc. The number one rule for any piercing is “do not” touch the pierced area or your jewelry with dirty fingers. If you must touch the jewelry or area around your healing piercing, “Please”, WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY with an antibacterial soap and dry with a clean paper product (your towel is dirty).
What is normal during the healing process:
After a piercing, you may experience some minor bruising, redness, and swelling which can last for three to seven days. During the healing period, you will notice a slight yellowish white fluid secretion (lymph) that will dry and form a crust on and around your jewelry (this is not pus).
A licensed physician is the only person who can diagnose an infection, however, it is good to know what may, and what may not be an infection to avoid mistaking a common irritation for an infection.
Most irritations can be avoided by following aftercare instructions or letting your piercer assess whether to change your aftercare regiment or jewelry.
Be very careful not to over clean your piercing, excessive cleaning can lead to an irritation, which can mimic an infection. If you feel that the piercing is infected it is very important that you leave the jewelry in place. Removing the jewelry during an infection could create an abscess. If you feel you are having a problem, please visit your piercer at the first sign of the problem. Any piercing, which is not taken care of properly, or is in an area of excessive movement can be prone to rejection.
Signs and symptoms of rejection include:
Redness to excess, skin recession or thinning near the piercing entry and exit point. If you feel your piercing is rejecting visit your piercer. The jewelry may need to be changed to stop the rejection process.
What to use to and how to clean your Piercing:
The suggested way to care for your piercing(s) is to clean once a day with a non-iodized sea salt and water solution before bed time. If you prefer to mix your own. Buy a 1 gallon container of distilled water and add 4 tea spoons of non-iodized sea salt and keep this mixture refrigerated. I prefer H2ocean products sea salt spray and the Foam soap specifically for piercings.
Remove gallon container of sea salt solution and pour into clean glass or bowl depending on area being cleaned. Warm in microwave until liquid is warm not hot (10-15 seconds). For piercings that may be slightly swollen do not heat solution. Instead, use mixture cold. With a clean paper towel clean pierced area with the solution as many times as it takes to remove the “crusties” (never double dip your paper towel) then rinse thoroughly in the shower or under running water.
It is important to rinse thoroughly after your sea salt cleansing to remove any salt residue.
Mild antimicrobial soaps such as Dial had been recommended IN THE PAST HOWEVER, your body is literally covered in germs (normal Flora) 98% of these germs are “good” germs, which colonize to inhibit “bad” germ growth.
Anti- bacterial soaps do not discriminate between the good and the bad germs and kill all germs leaving your body defenseless against the bad germs, which can lead to an opportunistic infection.
Ice your piercing, and take anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen). Tylenol is not an anti-inflammatory.
Avoid foreign body fluids to pierced areas such as sweat, blood, saliva, etc. until piercing is fully healed.
Do not rotate your jewelry EXCEPT WHEN CLEANING, it will cause trauma to the piercing and prolong healing.
During healing time, do not bandage your piercing. The bandage will create an optimal environment for bacteria to grow (warm, moist, and dark).
While your piercing is healing, avoid baths, hot tubs, lakes, and pools.
Do not remove or change your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed. Consult your piercer if you wish to remove or change your jewelry before it is healed.
Never use; Peroxide, Alcohol, Bactine, Hibicleanse, Iodine, or Betadine they will dry out, irritate, and kill the normal flora around your new piercing, and the new cells you're body is trying to grow.
If you read the labels on these products you will learn that they are not for puncture wounds, not for prolonged use and contain chemicals that tend to dry out and irritate your piercing if used inappropriately.
Do Not use petroleum products such as Neosporin, Bacitracin, A&D, etc.) These products will seal the piercing and not allow it to get air or drain. Petroleum products have the potential to trap bacteria in the piercing.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Your body heals a piercing, Not products or FINGERS!! Eat a nutritious diet and get enough sleep.
Please make sure your bedding is clean and changed frequently. Wear clean clothing to bed such as a tee shirt, which can protect your piercing while you are sleeping.
For above the neck piercings (your pillowcase is dirty) Pull a clean tee shirt over your pillow – flip it over the next night – turn it inside out and do the same thing for two more nights.
Take showers, not baths, as bathtubs can be full of bacteria. If you must bathe in a tub, clean with a bleach solution before each use and rinse your piercing well with fresh water before you get out.
Phones are dirty – Please clean your phone frequently.
Signs and symptoms of infection, include; redness, swelling, increased pain, and warmth at wound site, increased body temperature, red streaks going from the wound site towards the heart, yellowish green, possibly grayish, drainage (pus) from the wound site. These Signs and symptoms will indicate the need to consult your piercer and or see a physician.
Supplements to promote healing
Take 1000-3000mg vitamin c every day,
along with 60-120mg zinc to help promote healing