PIERCING AFTERCARE AND FAQ

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CLEANING BODY PIERCINGS:

Wash your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.  Take a clean Q-Tip with anti-bacterial soap and lather onto and around the piercing, then rinse thouroughly to remove all traces of the soap from the piercing.  It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry at all during the healing process.  After washing with antibacterial soap, soak your piercing in a saline solution for five to ten minutes once or more per day.  Invert a cup of warm saline solution over the area to form a vacuum.  For certain piercings it may be easier to apply using clean gauze or paper towel saturated with saline solution.  Dry by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products.  Cloth towels can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry, causing injury and a longer healing process.  For your cleaning solution, use one or both of the following solutions: Packaged sterile saline (with no additives, read the label) is a gentle choice for piercing aftercare.  If sterile saline is not available in your region, a sea salt solution can be a viable alternative.  Dissolve 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of non-iodized sea salt into one cup of warm distilled or bottled water.  A stronger mixture is not better; a saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing.  

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 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.  Heal periods vary for different kinds of piercings.  Contact our piercer Jake for the heal period of your specific piercing.

HINTS AND TIPS:

Unless there is a problem with the size, style, or material of the initial jewelry, leave it in the place for the entire healing period.  See our piercer to perform any jewelry change that becomes necessary during healing.  We have non-metallic jewelry alternatives available if you need your jewelry removed for medical procedures that require it.  With clean hands or paper product, be sure to regulary check threaded ends on your jewelry for tightness ("righty-tighty, lefty-loosy").  Should you decide you no longer wnt the piercing, simply remove the jewelry (or have our piercer do it for you) and continue cleaning the piercing until the hold closes.  In most cases only a small mark will remain.  In the event an infection is suspected, quality jewelry or an inert alternative should be left in place to allow for drainage of the infection.  If the jewelry is removed, the surface cells can close up, which can seal the infection inside the piercing channel and result in an abcess.  Do not remove jewelry unless instructed by our piercer or medical professional.

DO'S AND DONT'S:

DO wash your hands prior to touching your piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning.  Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly.  Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you are sleeping.  Take showers instead of baths, as bathtubs can harbor bacteria.  If you bathe in a tub, clean it well before each use and rinse off your piercing when you get out.  

DON'T move jewelry or pick away dried discharge with your fingers.  Avoid cleaning with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or anything other than anti-bacterial soap and saline solutions.  Avoid over-cleaning, as this can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.  Also avoid all oral contact, rough play, and contact with others' bodily fluids on or near your piercing during healing.  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 available at most drugstores.  Avoid all beauty and persona cafe 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.