Hands should always be clean while handling or caring for your piercing, healing or healed. Sterile saline, such as SteriWash, is the only aftercare product one should invest in. Harsh products like soap, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol or tea tree oil should never be used on a healing or healed piercing.
Piercings should be thoroughly rinsed in the shower after washing hair and face with clean lukewarm water.
Some piercing areas can hold onto excessive water, and should be dried thoroughly but carefully. My favorite trick to remove water is to use a hair dryer on a low cool setting for 30-60 seconds. Hot and fast does not mean better!
We are all human, and asking a client to never sleep on a fresh piercing is unrealistic, however I do strongly suggest against purposely sleeping/laying on a new and healing piercing. Travel neck pillows make for a great way to comfortably sleep while protecting your new body adornment.
YOU are beautiful! Make-up is a great way to express ourselves, but while our new facial piercings heal, make-up and make-up removing products should not be used directly on your new piercing.
Oral piercings do require a few at home changes. I suggest clients with new oral piercings should invest in a new toothbrush and alcohol free mouthwash. Mouthwash should be incorporated during morning and evening oral care routines, while using clean cool water throughout the day to rinse after eating or drinking sugary foods/drinks.
Avoid swimming or submerging in unhygienic water during the healing process.
If you suspect your piercing is infected, contact and see your local medical professional for testing. As a body piercer, I cannot diagnose or treat an infection.
Healing piercings will however have some initial swelling, redness, discharge and sensitivity.
If your piercing has: excessive redness around the piercing site, thick discolored (yellow) discharge, or feeling warm to the touch, this is when your medical professional should be contacted.
Follow up appointments are extremely necessary for the healing process for most new piercings. At these appointments we will be assessing the tissue as well as starter jewelry length. Most body piercings will require additional length to the starter post or barbell to allow room for initial swelling. Once the initial swelling has gone down, the starter post/barbell will need to be shortened to allow the body to get to the next level of the healing process. Leaving in the starter post/barbell for too long can cause a number of issues.
These appointments are important as we can also discuss concerns, future jewelry ideas or future piercings, and any questions you may have as your new body adornment heals. Everyone’s body heals differently, and questions are always welcome!
We all love our furry family members, but they do carry germs, bacteria and dander than can hinder the healing process. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly after petting or playing with pets. Bed sheets and pillowcases should be changed more frequently.
Those who work in animal care may want to take extra precautions at work by covering their new body piercing as well as cleaning throughout the workday to remove any pet dander, fur or dirt that may have come in contact with the piercing.
Healing a piercing while currently active in a contact sport can often times be difficult, but not impossible. Each sport has their own rules, and these rules should be followed.
However, working out and being physically active while a piercing heals is okay! Be sure to clean afterwards :)
If a specific activity causes discomfort, do not continue said activity. You know your body’s limit, do what feels comfortable.
What does a healing piercing look like?
The human body is a work of art, and each painting is unique. Healing piercings will look different for each client. Some common physical traits of healing piercing can include:
- slight discomfort to the touch
Piercings & medication
While it is safe to get a new piercing while taking some medications, there are certain protocols.
Clients who are actively using or have used Acutane within 6 months should NOT receive a new piercing. More information about this medication can be found by talking to your current physician or skin care specialist.
Please disclose any medications you are taking to your piercer; this will ensure your piercing heals optimally.
Sometimes just the thought of getting pierced makes us nervous, and that's okay! However, any client who has used any numbing cream or solutions will not be able to receive a new piercing. These solutions/creams can cause immense issues during the healing process, as they can constrict the tissue. If pierced while using numbing cream, once it wears off, the tissue will relax, and the piercing we did at a correct angle, will actually change, which is where issues arise in the healing process.
For more information please check out this blog article written by a fellow piercing professional.
Pregnancy & Piercings
The joy of new life! Pregnancy is such a special calling, and pregnant bodies should not receive a new piercing. Clients are also suggested to wait a minimum of 6-12 months post-partum to get a new piercing as we want to allow the body’s hormones to re-set and regulate and allow the body time to heal from creating life. This time frame is also suggested for those who choose to breast-feed.
Health & Stress
The human body can do so many amazing things but can be hindered easily. It is important to keep in mind your overall health can affect how your new body adornment heals. Be sure to stay hydrated and maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Stress can weaken our immune system, and in turn make the healing process harder.
A good night’s rest is crucial to not only our overall health, but our healing body piercing as well. It is important to not sleep and put direct pressure on a fresh and healing body piercing, as not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also damage the healing tissue. Drifting or the change in angle of which the piercing was done, is a very common issue seen when sleeping on a healing piercing and it can also cause other issues which may lead to the piercing not healing or removal of the piercing.
I would suggest purchasing a trave neck pillow to sleep on as a new ear piercing heals. This allows you to sleep comfortably without putting pressure on your new body adornment.
We are all human and asking a client to never sleep on a healing piercing is unrealistic, however we want to take as many precautions as we can to ensure our body adornment heals beautifully!
A rejecting piercing can and will look differently for each person. If you suspect your piercing is rejecting, be sure to reach out to your piercer for them to assess the piercing in person.