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.
Products To Use
• Wound Wash Sterile Saline Solution: Packaged sterile saline (with no additives, read the label) is a gentle choice for piercing aftercare. Neilmed and Steriwash are both reputable brands. Easily found in most general good stores that have a band-aid/first aid section, which is where it will be located.
• Antibacterial Soap: It is critical to remember to wash your hands thoroughly before and after touching or handling the new piercing, It is recommended to touch it as little as possible.
• Clean single use products: Q-Tips, gauze, and paper towels are all good items to use in order to clean around your fresh piercings. They may be used differently depending on the location of your piercing.
What To Avoid
• Avoid moving or playing with jewelry in an unhealed piercing, or picking away dried discharge with your fingers.
• Avoid ointments as they prevent necessary air circulation.
• Avoid Rubbing Alcohol, Bactine, Neosporin, Tea Tree oil, Peroxide, etc. These can be irritating and are not intended for long term wound care.
• Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, and vigorous cleaning. These 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 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.
• Avoid all beauty and personal care products on or around the piercing.
• Don't hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the piercing is fully healed.
What Else To Do To Promote A Healthy Piercing
• Wash your hands prior to touching the piercing; leave it alone except when cleaning. During healing, it is not necessary to rotate your jewelry.
• Stay healthy; the healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal. Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. Exercise during healing is fine; listen to your body. Drink plenty of water.
• Make sure your bedding is washed and changed regularly. Wear clean, comfortable, breathable clothing that protects your piercing while you are sleeping.
• Showers tend to be safer than taking 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.
• WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.
• SALINE soak for five to ten minutes twice a day, morning and night. 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, paper towel, or a Q-tip. Clean around both sides of the piercing. Perform this twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
• ONCE a day while in the shower, create a lather with the antibacterial soap. Rinse all soapy residues.
• DRY by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products.