Piercing After care
BASIC PIERCING CARE
The first step to healing is to be healthy! Happy, healthy bodies make for happy, healthy piercings. Good personal hygiene and a stress-free life, complimented by a nutritious diet with proper hydration will enable the body to heal faster. The combination of showering daily along with proper saline irrigation will reduce chances of infection and minimize irritation. Keep it simple: eat your veggies and keep your filthy hands off.
Sterile saline is the universal accepted choice for wound care in hospital and medical facilities. Sterile saline and shower water are the only “solutions” to use directly on your piercing.
Sterile saline sprays are the perfect portable isotonic solution. When used properly they will not damage tissue or cause allergy or alter the normal healing process.
Irrigation is an essential component to healing. Flush your piercings after a daily shower and 3-4 times throughout the day, as needed.
Wound Wash sterile saline is available at Adorn with a specific piercing-friendly tip. When purchasing sterile saline spray from the drug store make sure and AVOID any and all additives...especially preservatives or anything “anti-bacterial.”
• Special circumstances may arise where heating
and cooling through sterile saline saturated gauze compresses is indicated. Check in with your piercer to see if your situation qualifies.
The use of soaks/compresses have fallen out of favor
due to evolving science and understanding of wound healing. Sterile saline compresses may be used to remove excess or stuborn lymph from jewelry, as well as special circumstances of healing involving acute swelling or wound drainage. If these special circumstances apply to your situation, this will be covered in a troubleshooting consult. Call or drop by the studio at the first sign of problem.
NO MORE homemade SALT SOLUTIONS. We were wrong. Forgive us...stop doing them...seriously, STAHP!
• Over or under-cleaning is counter-productive to your healing. Rinsing your piercing in clean, warm, running water once or twice a day is usually sufficient. Follow with saline.
• When showering, wash your body as normal, but do not get soap directly on the piercing.
• NEVER rotate jewelry through the piercing, especially with soap on it.
• Using a mild, fragrance free liquid soap such as Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Castile, on jewelry and surrounding area, reduces likelihood of irritation. Avoid bar, anti-bacterial, fragranced or deodorant soaps.
• Stay in the shower for an additional 3-5 minutes, allowing the warm water to fully flush your piercing.
• Spray your piercing directly with saline immediately after showering to ensure any remaining dirt; oils or soaps are flushed out and restore natural salinity.
• Dry off gently but thoroughly with a clean linen or paper towel. Warm, moist environments harbor bacteria.
• Get a new toothbrush.
• Rinse the inside of your mouth with saltwater solution
approximately 4-5 times daily, primarily after meals and
especially before you go to bed.
• Avoid any mouthwashes with alcohol, peroxide or witch
hazel. Biotene is one good option.
• Eliminating (or at least cutting back on) smoking and
drinking alcohol will help avoid healing complications.
• Once the swelling period is past it is ESSENTIAL you come
in for a down-size to protect your teeth and gums.
• Ice water often helps as do anti-inflammatory medicines
such as ibuprofen, when taken as directed.
Swelling is a normal part of the healing process and varies in intensity dramatically depending on a multitude of individual and environmental factors. Consequently sizing adjustments are a normal part of the healing process.
The jewelry we use for initial piercings will likely not be
the best/final size for your healed piercing. It may require
a couple size adjustments to heal properly. Keep all the various lengths safe and accessible for the different phases you will flow through. If the
jewelry seems uncomfortable in any way, long or short, come in for assessment and possible adjustment. Please note: There is a charge/fee for any new jewelry used to make size adjustments.
Actual infections are rare. Often what clients feel is an infection is simply an irritation that can be remedied without medical intervention. Signs of infection include pain, swelling, heat and discolored discharge.
Do not remove your jewelry! Bacteria causes infections, not piercings. Stop by the studio at the first sign of trouble. If we can't help you we will gladly refer you to a physician.
THE NO’S (SERIOUSLY NO!)
• NEVER handle your piercing!
• Hands are very dirty, no matter how clean they look. The
vast majority of infections come from people touching their
• Avoid chemicals: DO NOT use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen
peroxide, bactine, Neosporin, antiseptics, anti-bacterial
soaps or any other chemicals.
• NO ointments, lotions, creams, hair sprays/dye or makeup
or glitter on or near piercing site.
• NO swimming/submerging: avoid lakes, rivers, pools,
bathtubs, hot tubs, oceans, creeks, ponds or mud puddles. Waterproof bandages may or may not work sufficiently to prevent contamination. Consider the consequences when deciding whether or not to take the risk.
• Avoid tight, restrictive clothing at piercing site (e.g. pantyhose or restrictive waistbands on a navel). Breathable cotton fabrics are best for healing.
• Avoid sleeping on a piercing for the entire healing period– especially cartilage! Put fresh, clean, animal dander and fur-free linens and towels into use.
• NO tanning during healing! Delicate healing tissue can be sensitive to heat, oils and chemicals used in this environment.
• Avoid other people's body fluids: sweat, saliva and semen. • DO NOT remove your jewelry for any reason during the
healing process. Healed piercings may not remain fully open if jewelry is removed for even short periods of time. If jewelry DOES come out, please return to a professional studio immediately for assistance! We can usually get it back in even if you can't.
• The use of cotton swabs is sometimes warranted to remove stubborn lymph or debris from jewelry. The bleach and fibers of these products can be damaging to fragile tissue. Dampen with sterile saline and use VERY gently.
Aftercare for Particular Areas
a. The Navel
1. A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing or secured using a length of ace bandage around the body (to avoid irritation). This can protect the navel area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, friction, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.
2. Do not routinely use this to cover the piercing and do not use it for extended periods of time. Its use should not inhibit adhering to your normal soaking & cleaning routine.
b. Ear, Ear Cartilage and Facial
1. Use a fresh, clean side of the pillow covering every night.
2. Maintain cleanliness of telephones, headphones/earphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats and anything else that contacts the pierced areas.
3. Use caution when styling your hair and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.
Use of a tight or snug, clean cotton shirt or sports bra may provide additional protection and make the piercing more comfortable, especially for sleeping or reclining.
Comfort and hygiene are vital. Initially, abstinence is strongly recommended.
Be patient & pursue sexual activity only if you feel ready and comfortable.
During healing, all sexual activities must be gentle.
Prior to sexual activity and to reduce trauma and increase comfort, soak piercing in warm saline
solution or plain water to remove any crusty matter.
5. Use clean, disposable barriers such as condoms, dental dams, and Tegaderm to avoid contact with sex toys and partner’s bodily fluids, even in long-term relationships.
6. Use a new container of water-based lubricant; do not use saliva as a lubricant.
7. After sex, perform an additional soak or cleansing with clean saline solution or water.
8. Some piercings can bleed freely for the first few days.
9. After cleansing a piercing near to or including the urethra area with a mild soap, be sure to urinate.
1. Use an antibacterial, alcohol free mouth rinse or sterile saline solution for 30 to 60 seconds after eating and at bedtime while your piercing heals.
2. Gently use a new soft-bristled toothbrush after the piercing to avoid irritating or traumatizing the procedure area and/or introducing bacteria into your mouth.
3. For exterior surfaces of cheek and lip piercings, follow the entire General Aftercare Instructions 2
4. Eat slowly taking small bites of food placed directly onto the molars. Avoid eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods or beverages for several days.
5. For tongue piercings, try to keep the tongue level in the mouth while chewing and swallowing. For cheek and lip piercings, avoid opening the mouth too wide as this can result in the backing of the jewelry catching on the teeth.
HEAL TIMES HEAL TIMES
The following times are moderate approximations of the average healing process. Experiences will vary based on quality of self-care and various individual circumstances. Minimum wait times for specific downsizes or jewelry styles were established to promote overall health and safety– NOT to torture, punish or control you.
2-3 MONTHS HEAL / DOWNSIZE AT 1-2 Months
• Earlobes • Bridge • Septum • Eyebrow
• Genitals (Except Where Specified)
4-6 MONTHS HEAL / DOWNSIZE AT 2-3 Months
Ear Cartilage (Rook, Daith, Conch, Tragus, Helix, Rim)
Male Nipples • Navels • Nostril
Apadravya / Dydoe / Ampallang / Outer Labia /
6-12 MONTHS HEAL / DOWNSIZE AT 2-4 Months
• Female Nipples • Industrial • Orbital* • High Nostrils* • Cheeks*
• Surface Including Christina*
* There is a possibility that these piercings may never fully heal
The information herein is based upon our extensive experience as professional piercers and current industry standards. We are not doctors. In case of infections or other medical issues please consult your Physician!