FAQ: Aftercare

How do I care for my new piercing? 

  • Do NOT touch or play with your piercing / jewelry. Every time you touch your piercing you have the potential to introduce bacteria to the wound.  
  • Wash your hands before cleaning your fresh piercing.
  • Cleaning can be done either way listed below.
    • Spray a q-tip with sterile saline wound wash, press down on q-tip to compact fibers (or use pre-pointed q-tips), gently swab away any debris or buildup. You do not have to move your jewelry to clean around it. 
    • Irrigate your piercing by spraying saline wound wash directly onto piercing / jewelry. Pat dry with clean paper towel then blow dry on cool. 
  • Once a day cleaning is recommended for the first 3 months then can be reduced to as needed when you notice debris building up around your piercing. Excessive cleaning can irritate your piercing so be cautious not to over clean. 
  • Keep excess moisture away from your piercing.
    • Do not sleep with wet hair 
    • Blow dry your piercing on cool after showers or working out
  • Reduce pressure and repetitive trauma to the area as much as possible 
  • Keep fabrics that come into contact with your piercing (pillow cases, blankets, bras, undershirts, etc.) clean and washed
  • Do not leave your piercing empty for any amount of time. Even piercings you've had for years can constrict in minutes. 

What is normal while healing? 

  • Localized bruising, bleeding, itchiness, and soreness are all common in the first couple weeks. 
  • White to pale yellow colored secretions that cause crusty build up around your jewelry may occur off and on throughout healing and for the life of your piercing. 
  • Larger gauge piercings will secrete thicker discharge than smaller gauge piercings.
  • All piercings have a bodily smell but it should never be a foul smell. 
  • All redness and swelling should remain localized to the piercing area. 

How long will my piercing take to heal? 

  • This is the biggest variable client to client
  • Most piercings heal in 6-12 months. Your piercer will specify the estimated healing time for your piercing at your appointment. 
  • Lifestyle habits, physical trauma, repetitive pressure, and improper aftercare can all contribute to longer heal times.
  • Piercings heal from the outside in so while you may feel it is healed it is best to use proper aftercare precautions for the entire healing time. 
  • Downsizing once swelling has subsided is crucial in your healing and to prevent your piercing from migrating or getting irritated.   

When can I stop cleaning my piercing? 

  • You can reduce your cleanings to as needed after 3 months if it is healing well.
  • Piercing hygiene should continue for the lifetime of the piercing. 
  • The best way to clean jewelry is with an at home ultrasonic.
  • If you remove jewelry to clean it you may want to put a retainer into the piercing to ensure it stays open. Even mature piercings can constrict in just a few minutes. 

What should I NOT put on my piercing? 

  • Hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, Claire's piercing solution, Neosporin and other petroleum based products, tea tree oil, bacitracin "Bactine", antibacterial soap "Dial", and "Hibiclens" are all too harsh for use on piercings and can cause prolonged healing, rejection, irritation, or chemical burns.
  • Hydrogen peroxide can oxidize metal and should not be used on jewelry even when not being worn. 

I have a bump on / near my piercing, what can I do?

  • We have an entire FAQ page on troubleshooting
  • There are many unreliable and outdated resources online so do not follow any at home remedies without thorough research. If you are unsure about a method contact your trusted piercer first. 
  • You can always schedule a "Problem Visit" if you would like to discuss your troubleshooting in person.