-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 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 jewelry in—do not leave it empty.
Using a sterile saline solution, spray directly onto the piercing site (both sides) morning and night to rinse away bacteria and remove soften crusties with the corner edge of paper towel or sterile non-woven gauze. You may also spray some into a small clean container (such as a shot glass or medicine cup) and saturate your cleaning tool into the solution. Essentially you want the solution to soak into the crusties to make them easier to remove. For flatter tissue (like navels or nipples) you can perform an inverted soak over the piercing. No more than twice a day. Use saline for the first 6-8 weeks or so. After that time frame, you can lessen or reduce your cleaning but do not overall abandon your aftercare regimine until your piercing is fully healed.
Rinse your piercing well or soak in the shower to remove built up crusties, allow water to run over piercing instead of manipulating jewelry to clean. Rinse well before exiting shower to rinse off soapy residue. Rinse after saline application to help rinse off any excess saline to prevent over drying.
Every piercing should be dried thoroughly after showering and cleaning. Moisture build up can cause many issues. Use a blow drier on a low cool setting (to avoid heating the metal) and hold arms length away to dry. You can also use the corner edge of a paper town to clean and gently dry.
• Avoid moving jewelry in an unhealed piercing, or picking away dried discharge with your fingers. This means to avoid touching, fidgeting, playing with your piercing.
• Avoid cleaning with Betadine®, Hibiciens®, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Dial® or other soaps containing triclosan, as these can damage cells.
• Avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation.
• 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 jewelry, 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 other's 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 unhygenic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. Or, protect your piercing using a waterproof wound-sealant bandage. These are available at most drugstores.
• Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc.
We often pierce with jewelry that immediately appears to be longer than you’d expect. This is to accommodate the swelling that is to occur. (Always keep in mind that the human body reacts differently from person to person. If you happen to swell more than anticipated you may need even longer jewelry temporarily, just ask your piercer!)
When the swelling goes down and you notice that excess length again, it may be time to downsize! Forgetting or neglecting to downsize is often the culprit of those pesky piercing bumps. Check out the troubleshooting section for more info!
An anti-bacterial ALCOHOL FREE mouth wash may be used once or twice a day for oral piercings, but overuse can prove to be harsh.
After eating, drinking, or smoking anything you should rinse your mouth very well with bottled, purified, or distilled water.
When brushing your teeth and tongue, it is important to remember to use oral hygiene products that DO NOT have whitening products like peroxide and other peroxide variants.
For tongue piercings, brush around your tongue. Brushing over it can cause trauma and injury.
Smoking and recreational drug use can cause severe irritation or infection. Best to avoid it completely or at least as much as possible.
Oral tissue is very soft and tends to swell quite a bit, so you may need to go through several stages of upsizing and downsizing your jewelry.
This happens with oral piercings when the backing of the jewelry creates a little pocket in the soft lip tissue, helping to protect your gums and teeth. This is a normal event and not the same as embedding. The jewelry should be able to move in and out of the nest pocket freely and comfortably. If you think it is actually embedding, visit your piercer to assess.
Oral piercings just require good oral hygiene to heal well.
-Be careful when blowing your nose to not pinch too hard at the fresh piercing.
- DO NOT wear makeup, moisturizer, or other facial products anywhere near the piercing site while it is healing.
-If you have plans to wear a hoop at some point, allow yourself a full year before transitioning jewelry styles. Remember, the smaller and daintier you want it, the longer it needs to heal.
-Avoid sleeping on the side you got pierced. If you are a side sleeper or tend to toss and turn, you may wear a neck pillow or use it as a donut to alleviate pressure off the ear.
-Another trick is to sleep with a little butterfly clip on the side you pierced. This can help train the body to no roll over on it if the clip pokes you while you sleep and sends signals to your brain saying “ouchie”.
-A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing. This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.
-Avoid high waisted pants or shorts to prevent unwanted friction.
-Tight cotton shirts or sports bras may provide support and comfort especially when sleeping. -Avoid clothing and fabric with large holes, knitted fabric, lace, etc. Also avoid loofas and bath puffs.
–Don’t allow partners to perform oral activities on nipple piercings throughout the entire healing duration.
-Genital Piercings tend to bleed easily, Be prepared.
-Urinate after using soap to clean any piercing that is near the urethra. Rinse with saline after sex. Normally, you can engage in sexual activity when you feel ready.
-Use barriers such as condoms or dental dams to avoid contact with your partner’s body fluids.
-Use water based lube, not saliva.