Piercing Aftercare
Always, ALWAYS avoid touching your piercing with dirty/unclean hands! 

Piercing takes, on average three-six months to fully heal. You will know your piercing is healed when you are able to grab the jewelry from both ends, gently pull on it and there is no discomfort. 

Alcohol is safe to use along with your cleaning solution as an additional aid. It may cause it to become dry, if that is the cause you may also use Vitamin E oil to help soothe what is dry. 

◦ Do not touch your piercing with unclean hands. 
◦ Clean your piercing two times a day with the piercing cleaning solution. You can also alternate rubbing alcohol as needed. 
◦ You will see build up/blood around the piercing. That’s normal during healing.
◦ If you have swelling you can use ibuprofen to help bring it down.

Cleaning:
• WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.
• SALINE rinse as needed during healing. For certain placements it may be easier to apply using clean gauze saturated with saline solution. A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue.
• If your piercer suggests using soap, gently lather around the piercing and rinse as needed. Avoid using harsh soaps, or soaps with dyes, fragrances, or triclosan.
• RINSE thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing.
• DRY by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products because cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry, causing injury.
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 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.
• 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 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 wound sealant bandage. These are available at most drugstores and work best for nipple, navel, and surface piercing placements.
•  Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing including cosmetics, lotions, and sprays, etc.
•  Don’t hang charms or any object from your jewelry 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

FOR PARTICULAR AREAS

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.

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 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.

NIPPLES:
  • The support of a tight cotton shirt or sports bra may provide protection and feel comfortable, especially for sleeping