- Remove Bandage after 2 hours.
- Wash Gently with cool water and antibacterial soap -Lather up in your hands, DO NOT use washcloth!
- Apply a VERY THIN COATING of white, non-scented moisterizing lotion (We like Lubriderm and Curel) every 3-4 hours. DO NOT let it dry out.
- DO NOT:
- Pick or disrupt the scab/peeling,
- sunburn new tattoo,
- soak excessively for at LEAST 10 days (this means bathtub, swimming pool, sauna and the BEACH!),
- or rebandage
Aftercare has changed over the years. These days we only suggest saline solution for aftercare or sea salt water soaks. There are several pre-mixed grade wound care solutions you can buy, such as H2Ocean or Blairex Wound Wash Saline. You should avoid eye care saline, due to the preservatives and additives that it contains.
You can also make your own solution with non-iodized sea salt (or kosher salt) and distilled water. Take 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and mix it with 8oz of warm distilled water and you have your saline. You can also mix it in large quantities using 4 teaspoons of sea salt mixed with 1 gallon of distilled water. You must make sure to use distilled water, as it is the cleanest water you can get. You must also measure the proportions of salt to water.
How to clean your piercing
If using a pre-mixed spray, take a clean q-tip saturated with the saline and gently scrub one side of the piercing, making sure to remove any discharge from the jewelry and the edges of the piercing. Repeat the process for the other side of the piercing using a fresh q-tip. You DO NOT need to rotate or move the jewelry. Many piercers recommend rotation, but we have found that our clients heal faster when the piercing is not rotated. As a piercing heals, immature calls grow inside the piercing to create the "tube" of the piercing. If this does occur, rotate the piercing gently under warm running water, the flush with saline.
Sea salt water soaks can speed up the healing process when done regularly. To maximize healing, use saline solution in the morning, and a 15 minute warm sea salt water soak at night before bed. The warm sea salt water will pull discharge out of the piercing, while providing extra nutrition to the piercing.
Solutions you should NOT use
- Antibacterial liquid soaps: Soaps like Dial, Lever, and Softsoap are all based on an ingredient called triclosan. Triclosan has been overused to the point that many bacteria and germs have become resistant to it, meaning that these soaps do not kill as many germs as they once did. They can also be too harsh due to colors and fragrances they contain. Anti Microbial soaps like Provon and Satin, although not based on triclosan, can still be too harsh for a healing piercing.
- Alcohol, peroxide, and iodine/betadine: These products are way too harsh to use on a healing piercing, and will result in an irritated and dried out wound that will take much longer to heal.
- Neosporin, Bacitracin and other ointments: These products are petroleum jelly based and will block oxygen flow to the piercing. They are also not meant to be used on puncture wounds per the directions on the package (your piercing is a puncture wound).
- Oral Piercings: Oral piercing care is similar to body piercing care, with an extra step for the inside of your mouth. Sea salt water or an alcohol-free mouthwash, such as H2Ocean mouthwash, Tech2000, Biotene or Crest Pro Health, can be used to rinse the inside of your mouth. You should rinse after every time you eat, drink or smoke. Cutting down on smoking and drinking alcohol will help you heal faster. Due to the high yeast content in beer and malt liquor, it is best to avoid it during the healing of your oral piercing.
- Genital Piercings: Care for any genital piercing is the same as other body piercings. You must remember to avoid all unprotected sex (including oral sex) for the full healing time of your genital piercing. This is important even if you are in a monogamous relationship, because you are trying to avoid infection, not disease transmission. The germs and bacteria in other people's body fluids will not play well with your piercing.
Helpful hints for healing piercings
- Do not youch your piercing, or let other touch your piercing: Hands are very dirty, no matter how clean they look.
- Avoid body fluid contact: Other people's body fluids (saliva, semen, etc.) have germs and bacteria that will not play well with your piercing.
- Wear clean clothes: Clothes can accumulate bacteria, so make sure what you are wearing over your piercing is clean.
- Wash your bed linens at least once a week: Pillow cases and sheet can accumulate bacteria just as your clothes can, so make sure to keep your sheets nice and clean.
- Do not sleep with your pets: Dogs and cats love body fluids, and are likely to lick your piercing while you sleep. Dander and hair will also irritate fresh piercings.
- Keep yourself healthy: Your piercing will suffer if you are not keeping yourself healthy. Remember to eat right, take vitamins such as Vitamin C and zinc, and get enough sleep.
- Getting multiple piercings in one sitting can lengthen healing times.
For healing times of specific piercings and other related questions, please feel free to call us and we will be happy to answer them.