Practicing Piercing Aftercare

image1So let’s talk about what we do after the initial piercing. Wash your hands before you do anything. I’m wearing gloves today. What we recommend is using a mild sea salt soak and when you bathe it’s preferable to use a mild glycerine soap but if you can’t find that then a little anti-bacterial soap is okay for the first week. When the first week is over you can go back to your normal soap. With your sea salt soak, saturate your cotton ball or q-tip and clean around the piercing removing any debris that may have been built up. Here we are cleaning Z’s septum and removing the boogers which is always fun. Generally you’re piercer should provide some aftercare products whether it is the common aftercare product or they provide you with image2some non-iodized sea salt. The sea alt ratio is about an 8th of a teaspoon to about 8oz of water. If you’re piercer doesn’t provide it for you your local grocery store should carry non- iodized sea salt.

So let’s talk about the do’s and don’ts of piercing aftercare. First off, with any fresh piercing, never ever touch it without washing your hands. That alone is the number one cause of complications which can easily be prevented by simply keeping your hands away from it or making sure you give them a good wash with anti-bacterial soap and the warmest water you can handle. The second don’t I’ll tell you about is to make sure that you’re fresh piercings stay clear of other people’s bodily fluids. This can cause serious infection. Thirdly, for the first 6 weeks, stay out of pools, lakes and do not sit in the bath tub or go in hot tubs if your piercing will be submerged in the water. This goes especially for heated standing water as that is where staph grows which is another serious infection.

image3 If you think you’re running into serious complications then see you’re piercer first and see what they have to say. Some warning signs of possible issues would be a green or orangish fluid coming from out of your piercing or blood in a clear fluid coming out of your piercing. If it is a serious infection that’s beyond what your piercer can care for then you can always go to a doctor. They will put you on antibiotics and you will heal up in a couple of weeks. There is no big risk. As long as you maintain religious daily after-care, infection shouldn’t be a problem. One common complication with piercings, especially with cartilage and nostrils is keloid scarring or hypertrophic scarring. This is caused by friction so it’s caused by the jewelry moving back and forth within the piercing, especially if the jewelry is scratched. This irritates the channel of the piercing and the body reacts by over compensating in terms of the growth of scar tissue. The first thing you need to do when this happens is change your jewelry to ensure there are no scratches causing the keloids. Beyond that, the easiest way to get rid of a keloid scar or hypertrophic scar is to give it a gentle but direct massage for about 15 minutes every day. This won’t get rid of it immediately. It will take a couple of months before that tissue is broken down and reabsorbed into the body but it is the most guaranteed method and it will work. Thanks for reading and be sure to take the best care of your new piercing.