Use one or both of the following solutions for healing piercings:

“Recovery” is best, but if you can’t get hold of it then use packaged sterile saline solution with no additives (read the label), or a non-iodized sea salt mixture: Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt into one cup (8oz) of warm distilled or bottled water. A stronger mixture is not better; a saline solution that is too strong can irritate the piercing. A mild, fragrance-free liquid soap-preferably anti-microbial or germicidal.

Cleaning Instructions for Body Piercings

WASH your hands thoroughly prior to cleaning or touching your piercing for any reason.

SALINE soak 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 towels saturated with saline solution. A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue.

SOAP no more than once or twice a day. While showering, lather up a pearl size drop of the soap to clean the jewelry and the piercing. Leave the cleanser on the piercing no more than thirty seconds, then rinse thoroughly to remove all races of the soap from the piercing. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing.

DRY by gently patting with clean, disposable paper products. Cloth towel can harbor bacteria and snag on jewelry, causing injury.

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 for 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 they heal from the outside in, and although it feels fine, the tissue remains fragile on the inside. 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.

What to Do

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.

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.

What to Avoid

Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewelry, and vigorous cleaning. These activities 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 stress and recreational drug use, including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

Avoid submerging the piercing in unhygienic bodies of water such as lakes, pools, hot tubs, etc. Or, protects your piercing using a waterproof wound-sealant bandage (such as TegadermTM). These are available at most drugstores.

Avoid all beauty and personal care 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.

Hints and Tips:

NAVEL:

A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using a length of Ace® bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from adhesive). This can protect the area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.

EAR/EAR CARTILAGE AND FACIAL:

Use the t-shirt trick: Dress your pillow in a large, clean t-shirt and turn it nightly; one clean t-shirt provides four clean surfaces for sleeping. Maintain cleanliness of telephones, headphones, eyeglasses, helmets, hats, and anything that contacts the pierced area.

Use caution when styling your hair and advise your stylist of a new or healing piercing.

Each body is unique and healing times vary considerably. If you have questions, please contact your piercer.

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