Congratulations on your new piercing. You may be very excited about your experience and you should be. Getting pierced is a "very big deal." It marks a transition in taking ownership of your body. Your new piercing needs care and attention, It is entirely up to you to provide that care wholeheartedly. A bit of effort on your part will go a long way in the healing process. Cleaning your piercing, although a simple task, is extremely important to ensure the health and beauty of your new piercing.
These aftercare suggestions are intended to help you through healing process. Following our simple suggestions*, which are based on information presented in studies on wound care and years of piercing experience, can help keep the healing process going smoothly.
When it comes to the question of what to use to heal a piercing, we have found that SEA SALT to be extremely valuable. By mixing one-quarter (1/4) teaspoon of sea salt to 8 oz. of clean water, a slain solution is created. The mixture of Sea Salt and water works with the body's chemistry, helping draw fluid from the piercing and allowing your body to its job to heal the wound. Although we recommend SEA SALT, table salt can also be used if SEA SALT is not available. DO NOT use Epsom or Bath Salts. SEA SALT is available, very inexpensively, from our store, most health food stores, and some grocery stores.
The saline solution works best when applied to the piercing as follows:
ORAL PIERCINGS: Oral piercings include those done in the mouth (tongue, frenulum, etc) and piercings such as labret, lip, and Monroe piercings in the mouth area should be treated as oral piercings. Rinsing the oral piercing can be done quite often, because the mouth is accessible and can tolerate numerous "soaks" throughout the day. Mix your saline solution ahead of time and keep it with you, you might consider buying a bottle of drinking water and adding 1/4 teaspoon of SEA SALT for every 8 oz. of liquid in the bottle. Rinse after eating, smoking, or drinking anything other than bottled water, but feel free to rinse whenever necessary. Oral piercings benefit most from a rinsing regimen in the first 3-6 weeks, TIPS FOR ORAL PIERCINGS - THINK COLD! Ice and iced drinks can help reduce swelling. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, may also be helpful. Check the balls of threaded jewelry and make sure they are tight. They work like a screw, clockwise tightens, counterclockwise loosens. Do not irritate or play with the piercing until it is healed. Avoid wet kissing, oral sex, and contact with contaminants. Smokers may experience more discomfort, swelling, and a longer healing time than non-smokers.
NON-ORAL PIERCINGS: Non-oral piercings include all others. For piercings like labrets, the exterior of the piercing is considered non-oral. Most piercings heal faster when they get frequent 10-minute salt-water soaks, at least twice a day, if possible. Using the 1/4 tsp. SEA SALT to 8 oz water (bottled or distiller is best) solution, mixed in a clean glass or cup. Either lower the piercing into the cup of cover the piercing with the cup and invert the cup, holding it firmly against the skin (this process works best on flat surface like nipples, navels, etc). If neither is practical, application of the solution to the piercing with a clean cotton swab or gauze is acceptable, but submersion is always preferable. Cleaning around the piercing with a gentle anti-bacterial soap for sensitive skin can be beneficial. Do not soap more than once a day and make sure you rinse all soap off the pierced area. NON-ORAL PIERCING TIPS: After soaking the piercing, use a clean cotton swab to remove any crustiness (dried lymph is normal). Do not wear any tight or restrictive clothing against your piercing, especially navel piercings. Wear clean clothes and bathe daily. If you work out, be sure to clean your piercing as soon as possible after the workout. Clean sheets and pillowcases are important to maintain as clean a healing environment as possible. Avoid contact between your piercing and make-up or hair.
NORMAL HEALING: Clear to light yellow crustiness, occasional mild bleeding for the first few days, redness, tenderness, itchiness, and light to moderate swelling are all normal after a piercing.
TIPS FOR ALL PIERCINGS:Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the piercing and touch only when cleaning. NO CONTACT BETWEEN YOUR PIERCING AND OTHER PEOPLE'S BODY FUILDS SHOULD OCCUR DURING THE HEALING PROCESS. Poor diet, stress, and lack of sleep all have a negative effect on healing time. Remember to check the balls for tightness on threaded jewelry. AVOID: Petroleum-based ointments (Neosporin), as well as peroxide, alcohol, Betadine, and Hibiclense.
*The suggestions listed here are simply that: suggestions. They are in no way to be construed as medical advice; we are not doctors. All suggestions are based on our experience as piercing professionals.
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