Aftercare Guidelines for Piercings
DO NOT TOUCH YOUR NEW PIERCINGS! Do not rotate your jewelry! Your piercing is a wound, don't irritate it.
DO apply the saline rinse only ONCE per day. More often is not better. Do not use alcohol, peroxide, Ointments or oils
DO NOT remove your new jewelry during the healing process. Leave your new piercing jewelry in a minim of 6 weeks for Lobes and 10 weeks for cartilage.
DO try to keep your original piercing jewelry in for the full healing time of 6 months for lobes and 1 year for ear cartilage piercing.
DO NOT submerge the piercing in unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs or even a bath tub.
DO use a clean pillow case for the first half of your healing time. Put two pillow cases on your pillow. The outer pillow case provides four clean surfaces for sleeping when turned inside out. After 4 uses replace the outer case with a clean one.
DO NOT allow beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, hairsprays, etc. Let your hair stylist know you have new piercings.
DO use speaker phone or ear buds during your heal time. Our phones are one of the dirtiest items we handle on a daily basis. Keep it away from your new piercings. It's a good idea to wipe your phone with alcohol once in a while.
• Use one the following solutions for healing piercings once a day for 6 weeks for lobe piercings and 10 weeks for cartilage piercing.
• Packaged sterile saline solution with no additives (read the label), or a non-iodized sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8 oz.) of warm distilled or bottled water. Put this mixture in a new clean spray bottle and follow the cleaning instructions. A stronger mixture is not better; a saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.
• SALINE- apply saline by generously spraying directly on the ear one time per day, then rinse with water.
• RINSE thoroughly to remove all traces of saline from the piercing. Do not touch or rotate the jewelry.
• DRY by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry, causing injury.
•A clean pillow case is very important. Put two pillow cases on your pillow. The outer pillow case provides four clean surfaces for sleeping. After 4 uses replace the outer case with a clean one. Use the t-shirt trick: Dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt and turn it nightly!
• Telephones are one of the dirtiest items we handle on a daily basis. Use speaker phone or ear buds during the healing process. Cleaning your phone with an alcohol pad on a regular basis is always a good idea.
• Maintain cleanliness of headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats, and anything that contacts the pierced area.
• Use caution when styling your hair and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.
WHAT IS NORMAL?
• Initially: localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising. Bleeding is possible but not likely
• 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.
• Your 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!
WHAT TO DO
• Stay healthy; the healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. Exercise during healing is fine; listen to your body.
•Clean your new piercing after heavy sweating or working in a dirty environment.
WHAT TO AVOID
• Avoid touching you new piercing. During your healing time it is not necessary to rotate your jewelry. This old idea is WRONG. Any other wound on your body you would protect it not irritate it.
• Avoid cleaning with Betadine®, Hibiciens®, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Dial® or other harsh soaps, as these can damage cells. Avoid anything with Troclosan ! Ask your piercer about the dangers. 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. Only clean once per day unless you piercer advises you otherwise.
• 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 any 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 unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, or even bath tubs etc. during your healing process.
• Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and hairsprays, 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 initial jewelry, leave it in the place for the entire healing period. See a qualified piercer to perform any jewelry change that becomes necessary during healing.
• Leave the jewelry in at all times. Even old or well-healed piercing can shrink or close up in minutes even though it been for years. If removed, re-insertion can be difficult or impossible. This varies from person to person, if you like your piercing, keep jewelry in—do not leave it empty.
• Contact your piercer if your jewelry must be removed (such as for a medical procedure). There maybe non-metallic jewelry alternatives available.
• Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, simply remove the jewelry (or have a professional piercer remove it) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small mark will remain.
• if you suspect an infection, call you piercer for advice on what to do next. Quality jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage or the infection. If the jewelry is removed, the surface cells can close up, which can seal the infection inside the piercing channel and result in an abscess.
• Do not remove jewelry unless instructed to by a medical professional.
These guidelines are based on a combination of vast professional experience, common sense, research and extensive clinical practice. This is not to be considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor. If you suspect an infection, seek medical attention. Be aware that many doctors have not received specific training regarding piercing. Your local piercer may be able to refer you to a piercing-friendly medical professional.