The Best Way to Care for Your Piercing

You’ve been brave and had a body piercing, but now you’ve got the piercing in place, you should also have been given instructions on how to care for it by the studio. Just in case you need a reminder, here are some general tips about how to make sure that your new pride and joy stays beautiful – and doesn’t turn nasty.

How to Keep a New Piercing Clean

OK, so it’s obvious, but a piercing is a wound, and you have to be careful that it doesn’t get infected. Always wash your hands before you touch the area around your piercing, to avoid introducing any bacteria to the wound. Soak it in a saline solution, or something from the studio, at least twice a day to keep it washed out. Saturate a cotton wool ball with the solution, put it over the piercing and leave it there for a few minutes, then rinse the residue away.

Avoid normal soaps and shower gels around the area if possible, or at least limit contact with soap based products to a daily dose. Make sure that the piercing is rinsed thoroughly after contact. Always use disposable tissues when you dry the area of the piercing off, as bath towels can harbour germs and nasties. They can also catch on the piercing which will be painful!

What Should I Expect With a New Piercing?

Straight after the piercing, you will probably get some bleeding, swelling and tenderness in the area, possibly even bruising. This is natural and nothing to be worried about. Soon afterwards, there could be some skin discolouration, itching, crusting and even some ‘oozing’ – keep an eye on this to make sure it’s not pus that’s secreting, a clear fluid is normal but yellow infected fluid should be investigated by a doctor.

The new jewellery may feel as if it’s stuck in the piercing, but if this is the case, don’t force it to move. Just keep the wound clean, and keep an eye on it. Piercings heal from the outside in, and although it might look healed to the untrained eye, on the inside it may still be healing so leave it alone! If you have any concerns, go back to the studio – they are the experts.

As The Piercing Heals…

Carry on making sure that you keep your hands clean and wash them before you touch the piercing. It’s best to leave it alone unless you’re cleaning it, and don’t fiddle with it! You don’t need to turn the jewellery except when you’re cleaning the site, so the general rule is…leave it alone.

Keep towels, bedding and nightclothes clean, and change them regularly to avoid introducing germs.

What Not to Do With Your Piercing

  • Try and avoid too much friction from your everyday clothes – wear loose clothes that don’t cling to the area.
  • Don’t fiddle with the piercing, and don’t get obsessive about cleaning it. The more you leave it alone, the faster it will heal. Don’t use harsh, alcohol based cleansers on the area – use something recommended by the studio, or simple warm saline solution. Harsh cleansers will irritate the area and prolong the healing time.
  • Stay out of swimming pools, hot tubs and shared water until the piercing is healed. Alternatively, you could cover the piercing with a waterproof plaster but it’s best to avoid submerging the area completely if possible. Take showers rather than baths where possible.
  • Avoid body oils, sprays and lotions around the area.

Piercings are generally safe and when carried out by a reputable salon or studio, you should feel at ease with returning for advice if there’s anything you’re not sure about. Look after your piercing from the start and you should be able to enjoy it for years to come!

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