A solid aftercare routine is important for a healthy and happy piercing. This aftercare guide will explain exactly how to best take care of your new piercing! Our goal is to equip you with the best service, jewelry, and information to enjoy the most successful piercings.
Removals, installations of our jewelry, consultations, and questions are all free of charge! We are here to assist you. Your body is complex and it’s our job to guide you through your piercing journey in the safest, most comfortable way possible.
If you require any of these services please give us a call so we can arrange a time that works best for you.
The first step is cleaning.
We define cleaning as the physical act of cleaning our piercing, our jewelry and the surrounding skin. We do this after we clean the rest of ourselves, in the shower!
Ensure your hands are freshly washed before all aftercare!
Take a pea sized amount of soap and lather in your freshly cleaned hands. You can then gently wash the area of your new piercing, being careful not to move or twist your jewelry. You should not force soap inside the wound itself.
This will be the last step in your shower to remove any leftover residue after from your hair and body.
Remember to take great care to rinse off the soap and to dry well using gauze or paper towel, do not use cloth towels as they harbour bacteria. Leaving the piercing area wet encourages the wound to absorb extra moisture and prolong healing.
We recommend using Pursan soap (which is available in studio). If you misplace the soap, then use any Glycerin-based medical grade soap with no dyes, fragrances, or triclosan as these can damage cells and prolong healing.
NOTE: Do not use bar soaps.
The next step in our aftercare dream routine is irrigation.
Irrigation is the way we rinse off the daily crusties that form on the back and front of our new piercing. These are a normal byproduct of our bodies, but we want to avoid any build-up which can slow healing and/or cause complications.
We recommend using Neilmed Saline Spray as it’s what our piercers trust as aftercare. Another option is using an additive-free packaged saline. Avoid using home made salt mixtures as too much salt in your mixture can damage your new piercing.
Simply rinse the piercing for a few minutes then wipe away any crusties and debris with gauze or paper towel. This includes the backs of the jewelry and any settings or prongs.
Irrigation should be done at the opposite end of the day from your shower. Be sure not to remove scabbing, which you can identify by it being secured to the site of the wound and painful to remove.
Some Things To Expect
The first few days after a new piercing, it’s very common to experience bleeding, tenderness, or bruising. Swelling is also very common and can last up to 12 weeks depending on the type of piercing. Your piercer will explain healing times with you at your appointment.
- During initial healing stages it’s very common to experience itching, secretion of a whitish yellow fluid that will form crust on the jewelry, as well as dryness and redness around the piercing. These symptoms are often mistaken for signs of infection. Please contact your piercer if you ever have concerns.
- Once healing is complete the jewelry may be changed with care and with suitable body jewelry. Cleaning your piercings should also always be part of your daily hygiene routine, otherwise normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate. This is not harmful but can build up on body jewelry.
- Fully healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes, even after many years. To keep your piercing open and healthy, always wear appropriate body jewelry or retainers. Jewelry should only be removed if you plan on retiring a piercing.
Things To Avoid!
Moving, touching or spinning your new piercing.
Movement will prolong healing and will irritate your piercing. You should never touch or spin your piercings.
Sleeping on your piercing or wearing headphones, hats or clothing that put pressure on your piercing.
Pressure during these important healing stages often leads to migration, moving your piercing from its original placement and causing further complications. Great care should be taken when resting, making sure piercing is free of rough contact. We also recommend a travel pillow for sleeping with new ear piercings.
Over or vigorously cleaning your new piercing.
Cleaning too often or too roughly can damage cells in your skin, slow down healing and prolong pain and swelling. A single cleaning and a single irrigation per day is plenty. If you have any questions about this, please contact your piercer. We would be happy to go through it with you.
Submerging your piercing in pools, lakes, and other bodies of water.
Bodies of fresh and salt water have entire ecosystems inside of them as well as all the bacteria that comes with it. Understandably, using this water to clean a wound is not advised. Chlorine pools also contain multiple forms of bacteria from their multiple users and chemicals. You increase your risk of infection dramatically if you swim before your piercing is healed.
Using non-recommended aftercare or home-remedies.
Products such as tea tree oil, aspirin, peroxide, bactine or cleaners that contain Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK) or triclosan seriously damage cells. They prolong healing and are the number one cause of complications in piercings. If it’s not recommended by your piercer, do not put it anywhere near your piercing.
Chemicals or cosmetics on the piercing site.
Chemicals from cleaners, make-up and lotion contain many ingredients not suitable for a healing wound. They can also spread bacteria to your skin and in turn to your products. You should avoid usuing cosmetics on your piercing site until it’s healed.
More Things To Avoid!
Oral contact with piercings.
Saliva contains harmful bacteria that can be introduced into your wound, leading to pain, discharge and infection. Any oral contact should wait until piercing is fully healed.
Changing your Jewelry too soon.
Your piercing needs to go through several stages of healing before downsizing and changing your jewelry. Although you may feel like your piercing has healed, that is usually not the case. Changing too early will tear at your fistula (the piercing channel) and damage the wound, resulting in swelling, pain and healing complications. Your piercer will advise you on the time required to heal your particular piercing.
Wearing non implant-grade materials.
Costume jewelry is made of mystery metals which are not suitable for wear inside the body. Pieces can be painted and gems secured with glue. All of these materials break down in our bodies, leaking toxins and damaging cells required for healing to take place. All body jewelry should be:
This means tested and certified for long term wear in the body, like the metals found in pacemakers and other medical implants.
This is evident by the finish of the jewelry. Tiny surface scratches can drastically affect the well being of both fresh and healed piercings. Being able to see your reflection in the mirror finish is a good indication of superior polish.
Ill fitting body jewelry can reduce blood flow and cause migration to take place, moving your piercing from its original placement. This often leads to complications. All body jewelry should be fit to your anatomy and preferably fitted by a reputable piercer the first time to ensure correct fit.
When you get your initial piercing, the piercer will always first fit a longer post (part that enters and exits your body) to accommodate the initial swelling and provide enough room for adequate irrigation needed for healing to begin.
Once the initial healing stages have subsided the extra length is no longer needed. In some cases an extra long post can be rather detrimental to the continuing healing and placement of the piercing. It’s very important that you do not attempt this yourself, your piercer will advise on the right time to downsize during your appointment.