** This is just basic aftercare. if you are having concerns or problems with your piercing please message me or come in and have me check it out! Almost every problem can be fixed if its caught early enough! Make sure to always be watching your piercings for any kind of changes! Only you can prevent infections from happening!!**
How do I clean my piercing?
The most important thing you can do for any piercing is rinsing thoroughly (at least 2 min soak) in hot to warm running water. As long as you are following the other rules below that will be enough. You NEVER want to put a chemical on your new piercing (ie. Hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, Bactine, Polysporin ect.) it will not help heal your piercing faster! These will dry out your piercing and kill re-growing cells actually making the piercing take longer to heal. Some of these can be good if you are having a severe irritations but if you aren't then don’t treat it like it is! This also means no makeup, lotions, chlorine (pools, hot tubs will dry out your piercing and can carry bacteria) and no open water due to the bacteria in them, the longer you wait the better your piercing will be. If you are having issues with the piercing being red or irritated a soak with a very small amount of sea salt (1/2 teaspoon to 600ml)* or a soft unscented soap solution once a day will most times clear it up, if the irritation persists come in.
*DO NOT OVER USE THE SALT It may seem like only a small amount of salt but trust me it is more than enough. If you use to much it starts to do more damage than good for your piercing!
Now I know a lot of people are reading this and thinking really, that can't be it! Think of it this way, when you have a small cut on your arm you leave it alone and it heals itself, you don’t soak it twice a day. If you don't let outside bacteria into your open piercing there is no need to clean it out. Your body was designed to heal small cuts which is all a piercing is, so let your body do what it designed to do and just leave it alone!
There are a lot of different aftercare instructions given for body piercing, the following is what I have found works for me and my clientele that doesn't mean that it will be best for everyone. If you are having problems with your piercing or concerns about the aftercare please make sure to email or if it’s serious come in and see me, generally anything that is happening can be corrected easily if caught early enough!
Important rules to new piercing:
Never touch your piercing!! This one seems obvious but it is the one broken the most, whether you notice you’re doing it or not! Your hands are full of germs and bacteria that can be harmful for your new piercing. This also includes playing with or twisting the jewelry, you may be rotating bacteria or “crusties” into your piercing. JUST LEAVE IT ALONE!
Never leave the bead off! Unfortunately losing beads is just something that is unavoidable, but you can make sure it doesn't happen often by regularly checking to make sure beads are tight (always wash hands first). If your jewelry does fall out make sure to clean it properly and put it back in as soon as possible, a new piercing will close fast. If you can’t get it in yourself put a straight post in to hold it open and come see me as soon as possible!
Take care of yourself! This one seems like another obvious one, but if you are sick your body will be to busying fighting off the illness to heal a new piercing.
Important things to watch out for!
This happens when the jewelry is to small to accommodate for the swelling and will sink into the surrounding tissue. If the jewelry is becoming to tight come in to have it looked at, do not wait till the skin is growing over it! If you ignore it the jewelry can sink right into the tissue and be very painful and tricky to get out.
This is completely preventable as long as you take care of it and keep an eye on the piercing as it swells. Serious embedding doesn't happen overnight but can become bad fast. It is always better to have more room while healing then not.
This is when your body is pushing the jewelry out the same way it would push out a splinter. Although any piercing can migrate the most common ones are the naval, nipple and eyebrow. Sometimes the piercing will only migrate slightly from where it was pierced then settle and other times it will reject completely. Rejection is when the jewelry is pushed completely out and will leave a big scar. If you think that your piercing is moving come in and have it looked at, sometimes all it needs is a jewelry change and other times you will have to take it out. Unfortunately there is no way to prevent migration but you can reduce the risk by wearing the proper size jewelry and avoiding any stress on the area.
The more common type of bump in healing piercings is called Hypertrophic scarring and is often found on cartilage but can form on other areas as well. The bump will appear almost like a pink pimple ready to pop. DO NOT POP IT! Doing so can cause a scar that will not be there otherwise. This bump will usually appear when a piercing is being irritated or under stress. You need to pin point the cause of the irritation and eliminate it. There are a lot of things that it could be, but it's normally caused by inappropriate clothing or jewelry or pressure on the piercing (ie. sleeping on it, glasses, hitting it ect) it can also include body washes, hair products or even medications. If you need help pin pointing the cause talk to your piercer about it. Stopping whatever is causing the irritation will clear up the bump, it will take about as long to go away as it took to form. If the bump persists hydrocortisone can help to reduce them. It is a topical steroid used for eczema. It is only to be used in a pea size amount once a day. Leave it on the bump for 5 mins and then jump in the shower and rinse it off well. Do this for no longer then 5 days, if you don't see an improvement speak with your piercer.
Keloids are another kind of bump piercings can develop on new and healed piercings. These are a more long term problem and can happen for a number of reasons but are usually hereditary. If you think you have a one please see your piercer, who will then direct you to a doctor needed.
Remember; you were pierced in a sterile environment - what you do afterwards is totally up to you!
Be smart! Only you can prevent an infection from starting!
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or come in during walk in hours.
Think you have an infection?
If you've been taking care of your piercing properly the chances of having an infection are pretty slim. Most people will mistake an irritation for an infection, just because a piercing is red and discharging does not mean it's infected! If the piercing is dry, itchy, red and swollen, has a white to yellow discharge with no odor and possibly a bump; this is just an irritation. It means that something in your daily routine is stressing it out, you will need to figure out whatever this is and stop it, that along with cleaning will clear up the irritation.
If it’s an infection the skin around the piercing will be bright red and produce a heat (like a fever), swollen, severley sensitive to touch and will have a bloody/greenish discharge sometimes with a strong smell. If you think this is what is happening to your piercing come see me first, do not try to do anything on your own to fix it as you may unintentionally make it worse. DO NOT TAKE IT OUT, this is the worst thing you could do if it is really an infection!! If you do you will trap the infection in your body with nowhere to drain this will cause it to go septic and you will need to take antibiotics.
If you’re unsure just come see me, better safe than sorry!