After you get your new piercing, there are a few things you want to do to make sure it recovers correctly.
Do Not Touch it
The number one thing is DO NOT touch your piercing. I know this is very hard because it is new and exciting. However, the bacteria and dirt on your hands can harm your new piercing in many ways. You always want to wash your hands before handling your piercing. You should only be touching it with your clean hands to clean or adjust the jewelry if needed. The less you mess with it, the quicker it will heal.
Don’t over clean your new piercing
Clean your piercing once a day or twice a day if you are getting dirty or sweaty at most. In most cases, over clean can be almost just as harmful as not cleaning it.
I recommend that you clean your piercing with warm sea salt water soaks. There are many different areas on the body that can be pierced, and the technique for soaking will differ, but the ingredients are always the same. ¼ teaspoon of non-iodized sea salt to one cup (8 ounces) of warm distilled water. There are also pre-packaged solutions that are great as well, mostly for on the go or quick cleans. You may also use a mild fragrance-free soap (Antimicrobial or germicidal are best) to clean but not soak with this. Soak with your sea salt mixture for 5-10 minutes then rinse with warm water. Lightly pat dry using a paper towel as cloth can harbor bacteria.
Not all piercings are created equally
Now that cleaning is covered you have to be aware that you have a new piercing and make sure that everything that comes in contact with it is clean. For example, if you got your ears pierced to make sure you clean your headphones before using them and change your pillowcase to ensure a clean surface to sleep on. Remember, not all piercings are created equally.
Piercing healing time
One piercing may heal much faster than another. Piercings take time to heal. Depending on the area and your body piercings can take anywhere from 6 weeks to a year to be fully healed. Even though it may seem healed on the outside, it may not be on the inside. Our bodies heal from the outside inward. Always listen to the instructions of your piercer and listen to your body. While you are healing, you do not want to take out your jewelry unless otherwise instructed by your piercer to downsize starter pieces or to adjust for other reasons. It will most likely close if you remove your jewelry before its time.
What to expect if you got a new piercing
There are many different types of normal when it comes to what to expect. You may experience some, all or none of the following: Initially; some bleeding, localized swelling, tenderness and or bruising, Healing; some discoloration, itching, a whitish-yellow fluid that will form a scab/crust around the jewelry. For activities, listen to your body if it hurts or is uncomfortable don’t do it. There are a few hard and fast no’s though. No soaking/swimming in bodies of water, including pools or baths and no bodily fluids coming in contact with your healing piercing.
There are many different types of piercers ranging from very experienced, up to date on all the best techniques, sterilization and jewelry selections to “stabbers” piercers that either has never been taught the correct way or just simply don’t care, so they are just stabbing people and using jewelry not meant for a fresh piercing. Always do your research when choosing a piercer. If you feel that your piercing is not healing correctly, I always recommend that you speak with your piercer first as they may be about to help you, but always seek a doctor’s advice if you suspect an infection. Happy healing!
Written by: Erica Bautista