HOW YOUR PIERCING HEALS IS UP TO YOU!!! Congratulations. You’ve just received a body piercing by a professional who cleaned and disinfected the area pierced and used sterile needles, piercing instruments and jewelry. Now it is up to you to take appropriate care of your piercing.
WARNING: CHEMICALS WILL NOT MAKE YOU HEAL FASTER! Quite the opposite in fact. Chemicals of any kind will upset the balance within your newly damaged cells and create a condition in which your piercing will heal tremendously slower (if ever). Therefore: DO NOT USE ANY PRODUCT MARKED “FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY” including, but not limited to: Provon, Rubbing Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, Bactine and Ear Care Solutions (benzalkonium/benzethonium chloride), Antibacterial soaps (liquid Dial, Soft Soap, etc.), Neosporin (or any petroleum-based ointment), Betadine ( povidone iodine), or Hibiclens.
PRODUCTS YOU CAN USE: 1. Non-iodized sea salt (from your local tattoo & piercing shop) Better quality grocery stores sometimes have it too but don’t use table salt or Epsom salt. 2. 3. Pick up some Q-tips, especially when you have a piercing . Where getting at the inside may be difficult.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR PIERCING: ALWAYS WASH HANDS BEFORE TOUCHING YOUR BODY PIERCING Mix 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt with 8oz hot Distilled water. Arrange this solution so that you soak the piercing. For instance, put a cup over your navel or nipple and lie back, use cotton balls, gauze, or clean washcloth for hard to get piercings. Leave the hot saltwater solution on until it is cold . Gently clean any lymph (crusties) away from the piercing. Do this hot soak for 5 times a day until your piercing is healed. Do the cold soak at least 10 times a day. DO NOT move the jewelry back and forth though the piercing– it does more harm than good. It is always ok to gently rinse the outside of the piercing with sea salt solution and a clean Q-tip. Do this when activity may cause the ring to turn (exercise, etc.) or when it feels “sticky” or uncomfortable. Some people have had good luck cleaning the outside of their piercing and jewelry in the shower with a very diluted ( just barely holds bubbles) high quality glycerin or Castile based soap. Make sure you rinse afterwards with sea salt solution .
SOME TIPS WE HAVE LEARNED OVER THE YEARS:
All Piercings: Avoid playing with your new piercing as physical irritation is the worst. Leave them alone to allow healing to occur. When clothing is to be in contact with or over the piercing, please use clean, loose and breathable (cotton) clothes.
Navels: Physical irritation ( usually caused by pants rubbing against the jewelry) is the most common navel piercing problem. You must wear your pant and skirt lines below your navel or it may never heal.
Nipples: Many woman report that wearing a sports bra after nipple piercing helps with soreness (especially for the first few days). Larger-breast woman may be more likely to find this true. Wearing a sport-type bra to bed may be also help.
SWIMMING: Chlorine sucks. It is tremendously drying and irritating on the new piercing and should be avoided if possible. If you cannot avoid swimming, then do your best to clean the piercing and rinse with saline whenever you swim. Avoid hot tubs until piercing is healed. Lakes an oceans are topic of debate but a couple of things are for certain: sewage is frequently dumped into these water systems, and swimming in sewage is a bad idea. Tropical waters can carry staph infections. On the other hand, some people report that their piercing healed instantly after swimming in the ocean. Learn to identify the condition of your piercing and keep it out of irritating situations.
KELOIDS AND SCAR TISSUE: Ninety-five percent of the time people mistake irritation for scarring. If you suspect you are developing scar tissue, your piercer or plastic surgeon is probably the best place to start.
MISCELLANEOUS TIPS: We don’t know how long it will take for your piercing to heal– in a short time you will be the best judge of that. Expect new piercings to be sore and red for about a month. If there isn’t a marked improvement after that time, contact you piercer to help you determine a regimen to speed healing. Continue to clean your piercing once a day for as long as you have it.
“EXPERT” ADVICE: Don’t listen to your friend, your Mom or psychic adviser. We have been doing this far longer than they have.
SPECIAL CARE FOR ORAL PIERCINGS: Lips, cheeks, and tongues require special care. Care for the exterior part of lip and cheek piercings in the fashion recommended on the front of the page as well as using the following info:
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Listerine (antiseptic mouthwash) or sea salt (non-iodized) to rinse your mouth. Ice for tongue piercings ( it may help a little for lips too).
WHAT TO DO: Rinse your mouth with Listerine (diluted 50/50 with water) or sea salt (tsp. per cup of water) after you eat, drink, smoke or put anything into your mouth for the first 4 weeks. For tongue piercings, gently suck on ice to keep the swelling down for the first few days.
TONGUES: If your tongue piercing is sore and swollen, some Advil ( ibuprofen) or Aleve may help. Please only use over the counter drugs according to their instructions and with the approval of your physician. Eat slowly, and think about the chewing. Stay away from irritating foods (hot and spicy and hot drinks which will scald or increase swelling). NO KISSING OR SEXUAL CONTACT until it is completely healed. Gently brush your tongue when you brush your teeth (it will help remove mucous and dead skin).
Lips: Always rinse the piercing with saline to keep the pH balanced and help it heal faster. Do not play with it. If you leave them alone piercings will heal faster. Alternate sides with any circular jewelry for a least a couple of hours every day (or at night while sleeping) to prevent the inside lip tissue from “growing” to one side. With labret piercings, you MUST follow up with your piercer in 2-4 weeks to have jewelry checked and /or adjusted. Not doing so could result in gum irritation or worse, gum recession.
EAR/EAR CARTILAGE AND FACIAL: Use the t-shirt trick: Dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt and turn it nightly; one clean t-shirt provides four clean sleeping surfaces for sleeping. Maintain cleanliness of telephones, headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats and anything that contacts the pierced area. Use caution when styling your hair and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.
INFECTED PIERCINGS More often than not, people who think they have an infection actually have irritation . Adjusting the method of care will fix the problem. You can recognize a true infection by its relatively sudden inflammation and accompanying discharge of pus and/or blood. If you suspect that you have an infection, contact your body piercer or your doctor at once. Do not wait for it to get worse and don’t attempt some home remedy.
GENITAL PIERCINGS: All piercings are an open channel to the blood stream. Especially in the case of genital piercings, sexual contact during the healing phase could be dangerous to you or your partner. Exercise safe sex protocol and use your barrier of choice. Go easy on your new piercings– they will heal much faster if you allow them to. Surprising to some, your urine may be your best ally when healing. Your urine is sterile for your body and the best possible rinsing agent you have ( barring, of course any urinary tract infections). Substitute it for saline solution when accessible.
FEMALE: Female genital piercings typically heal fast and easy. Rinse the outside of the piercing and clean the jewelry a few times a day with a sterile saline solution, or better yet, your own urine. It is normal for inner labia and clitoral hood piercings to bleed a little for the first couple of days. As long as the bleeding stops when you sit still (perhaps even put ice on it), there is nothing to worry about. If it’s still bleeding on the third day, contact your piercer. Abstain from sex for at least the first couple weeks.
WHAT IS NORMAL: Initially: some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness, or bruising. · During healing: some discoloration, itching, secretion of a whitish-yellow fluid (not pus) that will form some crust on the jewelry. The tissue may tighten around the jewelry as it heals. · Once healed: the jewelry 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 odorous bodily secretions may accumulate. · 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 your jewelry in and do not leave it empty.
Even if you haven't been pierced here at Darkwater Tattoo and you have concerns about your piercing. Stop in! The piercer would be glad to help you out!!