Never touch a new piercing with dirty hands! This is crucial in avoiding infections.
You will need:
– sea salt water solution
A 1/4 teaspoonful of sea salt is dissolved into 2 deciliter of hot, preferably distilled water. If the solution is stronger the piercing may be “burned” by too much salt. Apply this twice a day for 15 minutes
– antibacterial soap
An antibacterial soap, such as Provon or Bliw antibacterial. Other fragrance- and colour-free liquid soaps will also do if they are mild enough. Otherwise you may have to dilute them with water.
– antiseptic solution
Asept or Septidin. Never use Neo-Amisept or other strong alcoholic solutions. They slow the healing process down by destroying new, healthy skin cells because they are too strong and drying.We recommend you to use sea salt water soaks at least once a day. It stimulates blood circulation and accelerates healing. It may reduce the irritation, too. The soaks should be as hot as possible, but not burning. Invert the cup with the solution over the piercing to form a vacuum. Let soak about 15 minutes. For some piercings it is easier to use e.g. paper towel saturated with the solution. Remember to rinse the salt well so that it does not dry on the jewelry and cause irritation.
Keep the area around the piercing clean by washing it with soap morning and night, e.g. in the shower. Remember to rinse well again so that no traces of soap are left in the piercing to cause irritation. Rinsing with warm water accelerates the healing. It also softens the crusty matter so you can remove it using paper towel or gauze. Never pick it with fingernails! Finally, pat the area dry with tissue or clean towel.
During the initial healing time you have to clean the piercing twice a day with antiseptic solution. Use paper towel for the cleaning. Cotton wool may leave some fluff in the piercing. Gently rotate the jewelry back and forth to work the solution to the inside. Remember clean hands!
It is normal that…
– the piercing may bleed a little and the area around it may swell or bruise.
– a new piercing possibly feels tender and discomfortable. There may be a stinging, burning, aching or other unpleasant sensations for some time. You may also feel some itching.
– pale yellow, translucent tissue fluid is secreted from the piercing. The fluid forms a crust when drying around the jewelry. This is not pus.
– the healing process has its ups and downs. The piercing may seem healed and then regress. Be patient and keep cleaning until you are sure that the piercing is really healed.
– the piercing is tight. The jewelry may not swing freely even in well healed piercings.
– your piercing, once healed, may secrete a semi-solid white malodorous substance from the oil glands. This is not pus, either.
What else there is to do during healing?
– Wash your hands always before touching a healing piercing or near it!
– Check daily with clean hands to make sure the balls are screwed on tight on threaded jewelry.
– Change your bedding frequently, especially if you let pets sleep there.
– Wear clean, comfortable clothing, made of breathable fabric, in the area of your new piercing.
– Being in good general health accelerates the healing. Eat zinc, iron, and multi-vitamin supplements.
– Get enough sleep, eat healthy, avoid stress and the consumption of caffeine, alcohol and other intoxicants. The healthier you live, the quicker your piercings will heal.
– Take a shower rather than a bath since bath tubs may harbour bacteria. If you still want to bathe remember to wash the tub well first, with e.g. Klorite. Remember also to rinse the piercing well in the end.
– Exercising during healing is fine as long as you listen to your body. Avoid activities that put undue stress on the area. Your own sweat is not harmful to your piercing, provided that you clean daily as directed. Before exercising, it is good to do a sea salt water soak, as it prevents crust from being pulled inside the piercing while you move.
– If your new piercing is located above the neck you can try to limit the overnight swelling by trying to sleep with your head elevated above your heart. Prop on up some pillows for example.
– You can use Ibuprofein products (Burana, Ibumax, etc.) to ease the pain. They also prevent infections and swelling.
What to avoid during healing?
– Do not touch your new piercing but when you are cleaning it. Do not let any one else touch it either.
– Don’t take the jewelry out. Even a well-healed piercing may shrink or close in few seconds. If you need to have the jewelry changed or removed, contact your piercer.
– Never use strong alcoholic solutions or Betadine for the cleaning. Peroxide can be used in some cases but this must be discussed with your piercer first.
– Do not over clean! Instead, cleaning more than twice a day can cause problems and slow the healing down.
– Use only one cleaning agent with soap and sea salt water.
– Do not use any ointment (Bacibact or other vaseline based). They form a residue that inhibits oxygen flow to the area. This may delay the healing and cause complications.
– Do not use plaster or bandage on the piercing. They prevent oxygen from reaching the piercing. In addition to this, the adhesive can irritate the surrounding area.
– Avoid contact with saliva.
– Avoid swimming in lakes and chlorine water. If you decide to swim, cover the piercing with cling film. Swimming in sea accelerates the healing, instead.
An infection can occur if you:
– neglect the cleaning.
– touch the piercing with dirty hands.’
– let it get in touch with saliva or other body fluids, whether your own or somebody else’s.
– let it get in touch with hair, cosmetics, oils or dirty bedding.
– let it get in touch with dirty water.
Symptoms in the area may be redness, swelling, a sensation of heat, pain and pus.
Contact your piercer as soon as possible if any signs of infection are present.
Do not remove the jewelry. If the holes close down the matter won’t get out. This could result in an abscess.
You can, of course, contact your doctor as well. Remember that s/he, however, may not have experience with piercings and thus, the advise given to you may be inappropriate.
More about the aftercare for particular piercings and some hints!
MOUTH AND LIPS
– Rinse with mild mouthwash 30-60 seconds morning and night as well as after eating or smoking.
During healing smoking should be avoided, as alcohol.
– The skin is treated as in other piercings.
– Do not eat any solid food, only soups and other soft food.
– Reduce any unnecessary talking as it may irritate the piercing.
– Swelling and pain is complitely normal at the piercing site. Ibuprofein products ease that, as well as sucking clean ice or rinsing with ice water.
– The lymph follicles in the neck may be swollen for a couple of days. This can result in a little temperature.
– Pale yellow fluid secreted from the piercing is not pus but tissue fluid. It looks different in mouth than in other piercings since it doesn’t dry to form crust.
– After 2-3 weeks from taking a lip or a tongue piercing, contact your piercer to down-size the lenght of the stud. It irritates less your mouth and teeth. (Changing jewelry is included in the price.)
– Don’t use antiseptic solutions! Washing with soap and water and sea salt water soaks are enough
– Sex isn’t prohibited but must be hygienic:
– Use a condom.
– Avoid oral sex.
– Avoid lubricants.
– Listen to your body! If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
– You can use a panty liner as a cushion.
– Inflexible clothing on the area and tight belts and waistbands are to be avoided during healing.
– Pharmacies sell hard eye patches. You can use it, secured with bandage around the body, to protect the area under tight clothes and when exercising. Remember to make a little hole in the patch for ventilation.
EAR AND FACE
– Be careful when pulling clothing over your head.
– Shield the piercing from hair spray and keep makeup, lotions and other foreign substances out of the piercing.
– Be careful not to tear the jewelry when brushing or combing your hair.
– Make sure that your pillow cases are clean and often changed.
– Clean your telephone receiver with a disinfectant and avoid public telephones.
– Avoid stereo headphones etc. if possible.
– It’s good for the piercing to sleep in a cotton tank or a t-shirt, especially if you let pets sleep there, too. Women may prefer sleeping in bra.
– You can apply Basan gel or Aloe Vera gel in the piercing twice a day.
– Contact your piercer if you get pregnant. It’s best to remove the jewelry if the piercing hasn’t healed. The risks of growing out and getting an infection are increased due to hormonal changes. If the piercing, on the other hand, has healed up well, you may want to change the jewelry for more appropriate.
– You should have no problems with breast feeding if the piercing is well healed. The best jewelry, however, is a BCR. If you have threaded jewelry, the risk of your baby choking on the balls always exists
HINTS FOR THE PIERCEE
– Never take a piercing with a piercing gun!
– Never take a piercing on a festival. Even if it was done properly and in a sterile way you can’t follow the aftercare regimen well enough in festival conditions.
– Never take a piercing under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
– Be sure that the needles and other instruments are taken from sterile bags and that they are individually packed. The jewelry must be sterile as well.
– Your piercer must be able to answer all your questions about piercings.
– Your piercer must use disposable latex gloves.
– Observe the hygiene standards of the place.
– If you are not sure if the instruments are clean, ask your piercer to show you his autoclave and ultrasonic cleaner. They must be found in every piercing and tattoo studio.