Cleaning a healing piercing is not to “make it heal”, you are aiding in it’s healing by removing dead cells and normal discharges excreted by your body, along with dirt and bacteria picked up during the day. By practicing good basic hygiene and common sense, you should heal with minimal complications. If you are unsure of anything, or something doesn’t seem right, don’t hesitate to visit your body piercer and ask questions.
Your new body piercing should be cleaned twice daily during your entire healing period. Over-cleaning your body piercing or using too many products can cause irritation and do more harm than good. Other than cleaning the piercing do not touch or allow anyone else to touch your body piercing.
Medicated liquid antimicrobial soaps as Satin and Provon are suggested. Antimicrobial soaps are made for sensitive skin, kill germs and effectively remove crustiness and normal discharge as well as other bacteria and debris from clothing. Dr. Bronner’s Soaps also offer safe, natural and cruelty-free alternative.
Please use the following steps when cleaning your body piercing:
1. Always wash your hands first with antibacterial soap.
2. Run warm water over your piercing for one minute (it’s easiest to do in the shower) to loosen dried discharge which is secreted lymph, blood plasma and dead cells and is a normal part of healing.
3. Lather the piercing and surrounding area using an appropriate antimicrobial soap ie. Satin, making sure to remove all crustiness and any discharge on the jewelry.
4. Rinse. DO NOT rotate jewelry.
5. Only clean body piercing once a day.
FOR ORAL PIERCINGS
• Every time you eat, drink or smoke you must rinse with an alcohol free mouthwash such as Tech2000, Biotene or Oral B are all acceptable.
•Twice a day use a sea-salt mixture to gargle, swish and rinse.
SEA SALT SOAKS
Sea Salt is a natural non-iodized salt that is available at Artistic Skin Design or most health food stores. Kosher salts may also be used. An outstanding alternative, * H2Ocean ( a sterile sea-salt spray) can be used and is available. Warm sea salts are very beneficial to a healing body piercing. Soaks help release built up discharge, stimulate circulation, sooth and prevent common irritations, all of which aid in healing. We suggest doing a sea salt soak twice a day. Quick one minute soaks in between cleanings can also aid in soothing an irritated body piercing. Table salts should NEVER be used as they contain aluminum, magnesium, and iodine as well as other chemicals which can cause irritation. Please note that Epsom salt is a diuretic (laxative) and is NEVER meant for use in soaking a body piercing.
* Using H2Ocean: Spray 3-6 times daily. No touching or rotating of the body piercing.
PRODUCTS THAT SHOULD NOT BE USED
Rubbing alcohol and products containing alcohol (i.e. Witch Hazel) are far too harsh. Alcohol irritates and dries out the skin and will slow the healing process.
Hydrogen Peroxide and hand soap may kill bacteria, but it also destroys the healthy skin around the body piercing. Used long enough, it can eat away at the skin, causing more scar tissue and hindering the healing process.
Any ointment, such as Neosporin, Bacitracin, Vaseline or triple antibiotic should be avoided. The large amounts of petroleum jelly will block oxygen to the body piercing and allow bacteria to breed. If in doubt, read the label. If it says: “Do not use on puncture wounds.” Don’t use it. Your body piercing is a puncture wound.
Betadine/Iodine/Hibiclens are all solutions meant for use with first aid or surgical wound care, not puncture wounds. Many people have strong reactions to these products. They are often too strong which may actually kill healthy skin cells and cause a delay in the healing process.
Benzylkonium Chloride/BZK (Ear Piercing Solution) may cause reactions and it is not a suitable cleanser. BZK does not remove oil or discharge. Most BZK products have a shelf life of less than one month.
Keep your body healthy: Make sure you eat well, reduce stress and get plenty of sleep. Taking Vitamin C, a multi-vitamin and a Zinc supplement throughout the healing process will accelerate healing and tissue regeneration.
Maintain Good Hygiene: Keep your body, bed linens and clothing clean. Wearing a dirty clothing over a healing nipple piercing or sleeping in soiled bed linens, can easily lead to an infection. Remember dirty fingers=bacteria and bacteria=infection. ALWAYS wash your hands with an antibacterial soap before touching your piercing. Unless you are cleaning your body piercing or checking the jewelry to make sure it’s secure, leave it alone! Keep make-up, hair products and moisturizers away from your piercing. All those products harbor bacteria and will irritate your body piercing.
Don’t let others come in contact with your piercing: This means you should not allow someone to touch or lick your body piercing. Do not share drinks or food. The human mouth is full of bacteria and can easily contaminate your body piercing and cause an infection. This also means wear protection when you have any sexual contact. Even if you are monogamous, you can easily share bacteria and give each other infections.
Let your piercing breathe: Wear loose clothing that will not restrict the body piercing and will allow oxygen to your body piercing. If you have a navel piercing, wear low rise jeans or pants. For nipples, wear cotton tank tops or a cotton sports bra. Also remember that tight clothing may impact the way the jewelry sits. If you wear a big belt and high waist jeans that apply constant pressure to your navel piercing, it could force the piercing to migrate or even reject which can cause scarring.
Refrain from swimming: Stay away from any mass of water, whirlpool, Jacuzzi or pool the first few weeks of healing. Chlorine is harsh and acts like alcohol which may dry out your body piercing. A common misconception is that swimming in the ocean because it’s full of “sea salt’ is good for the body piercing. It is not. The minimal healing benefits of the salt in the ocean are far outweighed by the risk of infection caused by bacteria and pollution.
Reduce intake of alcohol, drugs, caffeine and aspirin during the initial healing period. AVOID smoking, chewing tobacco and spicy food for any oral piercing. AVOID direct sunlight and tanning beds for a few weeks, definitely avoid any tanning oils, lotions or accelerators. NEVER change out jewelry until the initial piercing is healed.
To reduce swelling take a non-prescription anti inflammatory such as Advil or Ibuprofen.
These are approximate healing times and are not guaranteed. Healing may vary due to health, stress, environment and improper aftercare. Since most piercings have periods of both doing well and “acting up”, do not assume that the disappearance of discharge means you are healed. Continue suggested aftercare for at least the amount of time listed below for your body piercing. At the end of the healing time, cleaning twice daily is no longer required, although cleaning once daily is still suggested. At this point, jewelry can safely be changed, but should not be left out of any body piercing. Even once the hole becomes permanent; it can still shrink and make jewelry reinsertion more difficult.
Septum: 8-10 weeks
Lip/Labret: 6-8 week
Cheek: 6-8 weeks
Eyebrow: 6 months 1 year
Bridge: 4 weeks
Beauty Mark: 3-4 months
NIPPLE & NAVEL PIERCINGS
Females: 6 months – 1 year
Navels: 6 months – 1 year
FEMALE GENITAL PIERCINGS
Inner Labia: 2-4 weeks
Outter Labia: 2-6 months
Clitoral Hood: 2-8 weeks
Fourchette: 4-6 weeks
Triangle: 8-10 weeks
Clitoris: 2-4 weeks
Princess Albertina: 6-8 weeks
MALE GENITAL PIERCINGS
Prince Albert: 4-6 Months
Reverse PA: 6-8 weeks
Frenum: 6-10 weeks
Scrotum: 8-10 weeks
Guiche: 8-12 weeks
Dydoe: 4-8 months
Ampallang: 4-8 months
Apadrabya: 6-8 weeks
We hope this information proves helpful to you. Our promise to you is that you will leave our shop with a clean, beautiful piercing. We give these suggestions based on our experience and research in our field. You must be responsive to and responsible for your body. We are here to help you. If at any point you have problems or questions, please feel free to stop in or call us!