Aftercare of Body & Ear Piercings

Cleaning Solutions

We stock and highly recommend NeilMed piercing aftercare which is a packaged sterile saline solution that many professional piercing studios recommend and sell. Contact lens saline solution, eye drops or other saline products often includes other ingredients that are not suitable for piercings and we do not advocate any other products for cleaning other than saline with a 0.09% sodium chloride as the only ingredient listed and is sold as a wound wash.

Mixing your own saline is not recommend for numerous reasons including the fact it wouldn't be sterile, the strength of the saltiness can dry out piercings and negatively effect the healing process also.

Cleaning Instructions 

  • WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.

  • SALINE soak your piercing twice per day using either soft kitchen roll or a strong nasal tissue. Hold the tissue over the piercing for 3-5 minutes to soften any crust.

  • Wipe gently around the piercing if necessary to wipe away any soften crust. Do not rotate or move the jewellery to do this. If needed, soak the piercing longer to soften crust more. 

  • DRY by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products because cloth towels can harbour bacteria and snag on jewellery, causing injury. Or use a hairdryer on a cool setting to thoroughly dry.

What is normal?

  • Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising. If you feel like you're swelling more than the jewellery allows please come see us and we can up-size the jewellery making it longer.

  • During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewellery. The tissue may tighten around the jewellery as it heals.

  • Once healed: the jewellery may not move freely in the piercing; do not force it. If you fail to include cleaning your piercing as part of your daily hygiene routine, normal but smelly bodily secretions may accumulate.

  • A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because tissue heals from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the interior remains fragile. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.

  • Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewellery in—do not leave it empty.

What to do

  • Always wash your hands prior to touching/cleaning the piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. During healing it is not necessary to rotate your jewellery

  • Exercise during healing is fine, unless the piercing becomes inflamed.

  • Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you are sleeping.

  • Showers tend to be safer than taking baths, as bathtubs can harbour bacteria. If you bathe in a tub, clean it well before each use and rinse off your piercing when you get out. It's best to not soak the piercing in a bath so cover with a water proof plaster when possible.

  • Maintain good over all health by eating well, get enough sleep and upkeep good body hygiene.

   What to avoid

  • Avoid cleaning with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial soaps, iodine, or any harsh products, as these can damage cells. Also avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation.

  • Avoid Bactine®, pierced ear care solutions, and other products containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK). These can be irritating and are not intended for long-term wound care.

  • Avoid over-cleaning. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.

  • Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewellery, and vigorous cleaning. These activities can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, prolonged healing, and other complications.

  • Avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others’ bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.

  • Avoid stress and recreational drug use, including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

  • Avoid submerging the piercing in unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. Or, protect your piercing using a waterproof plaster.

  •  Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, moisturisers, soaps and sprays, etc.

  •  Don’t hang charms or any object from your jewellery until the piercing is fully healed.

  • Sleeping directly on a healing cartilage piercing can cause irritation, even causing shifts in the piercing’s angle. Placing a travel pillow, on top of your pillow, and then placing your ear in the opening can be helpful to avoid this

Piercing Specific Aftercare

Navel:
  • A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using a length of elastic bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from adhesive). This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.

  • Avoid high waisted jeans & belly chains.

Ear & Facial:
  • Maintain cleanliness of telephones, headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats, and anything that contacts the pierced area.

  • Don't use inner earphones with fresh Tragus or Daith piercings.

  • Use caution when styling your hair and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.

Genital:
  • Genital Piercings – especially Prince Alberts, Ampallangs, and Apadravyas – can bleed freely for the first few days. Be prepared. Additional cleaning after urination is not necessary

  • Wash your hands before touching on (or near) a healing piercing.

  • In most cases you can engage in sexual activity as soon as you feel ready, but maintaining hygiene and avoiding trauma are vital; all sexual activities should be gentle during the healing period.

  • Use barriers such as condoms, dental dams, and waterproof bandages, etc. to avoid contact with your partners’ body fluids, even in long-term monogamous relationships.

  • Use clean, disposable barriers on sex toys.

  • Use a new container of water-based lubricant; do not use saliva.

  • After sex, an additional saline rinse is suggested.

Aftercare of Oral Piercings

Rinsing Solutions
 

  • Use any or all of the following solutions for inside the mouth:

  • Antimicrobial or antibacterial alcohol-free mouth rinse, diluted with water to a 1:3 ratio. Meaning 1 part mouthwash 3 parts water.

  • Packaged sterile saline (with no additives, read the label) is a gentle choice for piercing aftercare. Saline for contact lenses should not be used as piercing aftercare. Wound wash saline is available as a spray in the studio.

  • (If you have high blood pressure or a heart condition, please check with your doctor before using a saline product as your primary cleaning solution for oral piercings.)

Cleaning Regime
 

  • Rinse mouth as needed (5-10 times) daily with a cleaning solution for 30-60 seconds, after meals and at bedtime during the entire healing period. When you over clean, it may cause discoloration or irritation of your mouth and piercing.

  • For Lip, Cheek, Dahlia, Madonna, Medusa piercings please clean the outside too using the instructions above.

   What to avoid

  • Do not play with your jewellery. Long term effects include permanent damage to teeth, gums, and other oral structures. 

  • Avoid undue trauma; excessive talking or playing with the jewellery during healing can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue, migration, and other complications.

  • Avoid using mouthwash containing alcohol. It can irritate the piercing and delay healing.

  • Avoid oral sexual contact including French (wet) kissing or oral sex during healing (even with a long-term partner).

  • Avoid chewing gum, tobacco, fingernails, pencils, sunglasses, etc.

  • Avoid sharing plates, cups, and eating utensils.

  • Avoid smoking! It increases risks and lengthens healing time.

  • Avoid stress and all recreational drug use.

  • Avoid aspirin, alcohol, and large amounts of caffeine as long as you are experiencing bleeding or swelling (usually a couple of weeks).

What is normal?
 

  • For the first three to five days: significant swelling, light bleeding, bruising, and/or tenderness.

  • After that: Some swelling, light secretion of a whitish yellow fluid (not pus).

  • A piercing may seem healed before the healing process is complete. This is because they heal from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the tissue remains fragile on the inside. Be patient, and keep cleaning throughout the entire healing period.

  • Even healed piercings can shrink or close in minutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person; if you like your piercing, keep jewelry in-do not leave the hole empty.

Maintain good oral hygiene
 

  • Use a new soft-bristled toothbrush and store it in a clean area away from other toothbrushes.

  • Brush your teeth and use your chosen rinse (saline or mouthwash) after every meal.

  • During healing floss daily, and gently brush your teeth and tongue (avoiding brushing the fresh piercing directly). Once healed, brush the jewellery to avoid plaque build up.

Eating
 

  • Slowly eat small bites of food.

  • Avoid eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods or beverages for a few days.

  • Cold foods and beverages are soothing and help reduce swelling.

  • Foods like mashed potatoes and porridge are hard to eat because they stick to your mouth and jewellery.

  • For tongue piercing, try to keep your tongue level in your mouth as you eat because the jewellery can get between your teeth when your tongue turns.

  • For labret (cheek and lip) piercings: be cautious about opening your mouth too wide as this can result in the jewellery catching on your teeth.

Jewellery
 

  • Once the swelling has subsided, it is vital to replace the original, longer jewelry with a shorter post to avoid intra-oral damage. This varies on the piercing, your piercer should have given you an estimate.

  • Because this necessary jewellery change often occurs during healing, it should be done by a qualified piercer.

  • Contact your piercer for a non-metallic jewellery alternative if your metal jewellery must be temporarily removes (such as for a medical procedure).

  • Should you decide you no longer want the piercing, simply remove the jewellery (or have a professional piercer remove it) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hole closes. In most cases only a small mark will remain.

  • In the even an infection is suspected, quality jewellery or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage or the infection. Should the jewellery be removed, the surface cells can close up sealing the infection inside the piercing channel, resulting in an abscess. Until an infection is cleared up, the the jewellery in!