Basic Piercing Care
Healing time for piercings varies greatly. A few people will lose their piercing if the jewelry is left out for more than the briefest time. Even if healed, the piercing needs time to “toughen up” before jewelry should be changed with any frequency. If you need to remove the jewelry during the first few months, consult with a piercer about the best options to keep it open.
You risk of infection is small if you conscientiously attend to the aftercare. If you have any healing problems please call or stop by the studio. We will be happy to offer suggestions based on our experience. If those suggestions do not produce rapid improvement you should consult a physician as soon as possible.
Itching, a rash, or a discharge of clear fluid might suggest an allergic reaction to cleaning agents or to the jewelry metal. Signs of infection are quick on set of swelling or pain, excessive redness, and/or discharge of puss. Do not use antibiotic ointments for a prolonged period since they keep oxygen, a natural healing agent, from reaching the piercing.
Common causes of healing problems are:
- Oral contact and/or over handling of your piercing.
- Using a cleaning agent that is not compatible with your body.
- Not cleaning the piercing properly
- Wearing jewelry which you are allergic to.
Never touch your new piercing with dirty hands! Do not let your own or other people’s saliva or body fluids contact your piercing until it has completely healed. You piercing heals faster if not treated roughly. Use of rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on your piercing is not effective and can prohibit healing. Genital piercings do not prohibit sexual activity during the healing period; however, use a condom to reduce risk of infection. Eat a well balanced diet with a vitamin supplement. Several medical professionals suggest taking zinc supplements. The suggested dosage is 60 mg per day for women, 120 mg per day for men, for a total of 4 weeks.
Piercings Below the Neck
Thoroughly clean your new piercing with soap and water. Avoid over cleaning and using to many cleaning/healing agents at once. When cleaning your piercing wash your hands thoroughly. Remove any matter that may have dried on the jewelry and around the opening of the piercing with warm water, and if needed, a cotton swab. Then wash gently with lathered soap. If a rash of irritation develops try a different product. Some alternatives are castille or glycerin soaps, Betadine™ surgical scrub, and Hibiciens™ diluted 1:3 with water. Hibiciens™ is very strong and needs to be rinsed completely. It is a good idea to urinate after cleaning any genital piercing through or near the urethra to rinse out any cleaning agents that may have gotten inside.
Most Piercing Above the Neck
Gently wash the piercing. The best products for cleaning ear, nostril, septum, and eyebrow piercings are mild soaps. An alternative cleanser is Bactine™ diluted 1:1 with water. Twice daily after washing your hands, remove any dried matter, and if itching occurs try rinsing the solution away after a few minutes or switching products. Do not over clean the piercing. The inside of the nose is a mucus membrane and can usually be cleansed effectively with warm water only.
Cheek, lip, and tongue piercings require special care. Gently suck on an ice cube or Popsicle for the first 24-48 hours after your piercing to minimize swelling. You must avoid contact of any kind (no wet kissing, oral sex, etc.) for six weeks. Reduce your intake of warm beverages, hot/spicy foods, tobacco, alcohol or anything that might irritate your mouth during the healing, especially during the first week. Rinse with Listerine™ diluted 1:1 with water or another antibacterial mouthwash for 30-60 seconds after consuming anything other than water. If mouthwash is too harsh, use a salt gargle (1/4 teaspoon salt in 8 ozs. of water) after the first two weeks. If irritation occurs, may be helpful to use Gly-oxide™ or Peroxyl™, following the instructions on the bottle.
Clean the outer opening of the cheek and lip piercing twice daily with soap and water or Bactine™ (diluted 1:1). Regularly wash your hands and check to make sure that the stud backs/balls have not worked loose. Follow the above care routine for 6-8 weeks.
***Sea Salt (non-iodized) can help a piercing heal faster. Soak the piercing for 10 minutes with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt per 8 oz. hot water, then rinse. This will draw fluid out of the piercing, helping clean the inside without the damage that can be caused by moving the jewelry back and forth. This should be done once a day under normal conditions, but may be used more or less frequently, as needed.
If you have any questions or concerns about your new piercing please give us a call or stop by the studio.
Moscow Idaho Studio
610 South Main Street
Moscow, Idaho 83843
Email:fallingmoontattoos -(at)- gmail (dot) com