Care for Piercings
Make sure you are healthy prior to the procedure. Get plenty of sleep and eat healthily.
Stay away from swimming pools and spas because, even though pools are chlorinated, they still harbour a lot of bacteria. Keep other people’s hands and bodily fluids away from the piercing until it is healed.
Abstain from smoking, taking illicit drugs and drinking alcohol, as they can delay healing because it slows cell re-growth.
Don’t twist or play with the piercing whilst the piercing is healing. Harm can be caused to the new skin cells by removing and reinserting a different piece of jewellery. Twisting also breaks the scab that is a seal against bacteria.
The aim of the cleansing is to gently remove dead cells, wet or dry crusty discharge, and other bodily discharges such as oils, as well as any other grime or bacteria. By cleansing properly in the recommended ways, infection can be prevented and the body will have a very good chance of healing from the inside out.
Twice a day is usually adequate with an antibacterial soap. Over cleaning will prevent new cell growth. If the piercing has become dirty or contaminated in some way then it will need extra cleansing. Infections need further treatment.
The following is a guide that will help you cleanse without destroying new cell growth.
Available in bars or liquid form. Liquid is a better option. After washing your hands, wet and lather the area with the antibacterial soap. The crusty discharge will soften and easily come off. Make sure the crust is totally removed before attempting to rotate the jewellery piece. Rinse and apply more soapy water to the area and proceed to gently rotate the jewellery piece through the piercing. Rinse and dry with a clean towel, cloth or gauze. Be careful with the loops of the towelling don’t hook onto your piercing jewellery and rip it out.
There is now a range of new solutions that have been developed in recent years specifically for piercings and tattoos. They have good healing properties.
Sea salt is different from your everyday table salt. Sea salt is available at supermarkets and health food shops. Warm salt water soaks can be done in addition to or in conjunction with your usual cleansings. Put up to 1 tsp (5g) in 500mls boiled cooled water and let it dissolve. If possible submerge piercing in the solution, if not use a solution soaked cotton ball. For general healing use salt water a few times a week. For infections use a few times a day.
Tongue and other oral piercings need to be rinsed with antibacterial alcohol free mouthwash or sea salt solution after food is eaten. Be careful to read the ingredients in mouthwashes. Many contain alcohol that will destroy new cell growth. This will be 5-6 times a day so you will need to carry your mouth rinse with you. Don’t over clean as you may irritate the area. Alcohol slows and can stop new cell growth and must be avoided for the first week of healing.
Some products can irritate and actually prevent healing.
Listed below are some common products that may interfere with the healing process.• Hydrogen peroxide (Bleach) • Alcohol • Betadine or Hibiclens • Topical antibiotics • Cortisone cream • Antiseptic creams