Piercing Aftercare


Taking care of your piercing

Piercings must be cleaned twice daily—once in the morning and once at night, best after any hygiene or beauty products have been used.

Using a Q-Tip, swab both sides of the piercing with the SAFE Piercing Care Solution and clean the jewelry itself, removing any dry build-up that may have formed on the outside of the piercing. Gently rotate or push jewelry back and forth through the piercing a couple times. Rotating the jewelry will work the solution into the piercing, which is essential for proper healing. Outside of the normal cleaning process, the piercing should be left alone since bacteria and crusties will build up throughout the day.

Ideally the piercing should also be cleaned if it comes in contact with any irritant such as shampoo, cologne, hair product, cosmetics or after exercising. All of these contain ingredients that could potentially cause irritation or infection during the healing period. Overusing some cleaning products on your new piercing will disrupt the natural PH balance of your body and potentially slow down the healing process. If you need to clean more than 3 times a day on a regular basis, switch to a saline solution that will be more gentle on your skin.

You can take Ibuprofen, Advil or Motrin for any discomfort or swelling. Ice can also be helpful in order to prevent and help with any swelling or pain.

For mouth piercings, swish with Listerine or any antiseptic mouthwash for 3-5 seconds after eating or drinking anything besides ice or water. Rinse after smoking or vaping, also. Using a warm saltwater rinse may also help speed up the healing process. Stay away from spicy foods, acidic juices, and hot beverages and foods for the first few days. It is also essential that you avoid dairy products and beer for the first 48 hours. During the first few days, eat only soft foods such as mashed potatoes, jell-o, soup broth, applesauce, etc. Ice and ibuprofen are highly recommended until swelling begins to decrease.

Most people can change their body jewelry, if desired, after the recommended length of time. Keep in mind, everyone heals differently and your body might need more time before changing. (If infected, please wait until it is healed and healthy) When you are able to change the jewelry, you should not change it too often or it will become very irritated. Even though your piercing appears to be healed, it’s still tender on the inside, so treat it gently. Some piercings such as tongue, flat, lip, etc need correct fitting jewelry once swelling has gone down.
Also, during that first year, make sure you keep high quality metals (or plastics) in the piercing since it will be especially sensitive during that time. Piercings can take a full year to a year and a half to completely heal, so having some patience with them will be best in the long run. If you are uncomfortable changing the jewelry yourself or if you are unable to, please come in and we’re happy to help you! We charge a $5 fee to change jewelry, unless it is a piece that you purchased from us that day.

Don’t go without body jewelry in your piercing until after one year, or the piercing may close.

The materials we recommend for piercings (and have available for sale) are surgical steel (grade 316LVM or higher), titanium (grade 6Al-4V-Eli that is ASTM F-136 compatible), 14kt gold (or higher gold content), or Monofilament Nylon and Teflon (PTFE).

Most people do just fine with our surgical steel, but if you are especially sensitive to metals, your best choice is titanium. It is the hardest and highest grade of metal with virtually no presence of nickel (less than .05%). Nickel is what people are usually sensitive to and the higher the nickel content, the more you will react to it. The strength of titanium makes it practically impervious to scratches and imperfections. It is one of the most expensive metals used for body jewelry, but is certainly worth the price for someone who is hyper-sensitive to nickel-containing metals and can’t wear anything else. Titanium can also be anodized and comes in a wide variety of colors.
Sterling silver is not appropriate for new piercings. It is made of 92.5% silver and contains an alloy of other metals that can cause irritation. It also oxidizes (tarnishes) when it comes in contact with air, humidity, certain chemicals, and body fluids and can leave a permanent dark mark on the skin surrounding your piercing. The fact that silver is soft increases the risk of small non-visible nicks and scratches in the metal that can become a harbor for bacterial growth. Sterling silver is recommended for well-established piercings only (generally 1 year or older), and short-term wear. Silver-plated jewelry is not recommended at all.

To ensure that you do not lose your threaded bead on your jewelry, check the ball on your barbell daily to make sure it is secure.

If a problem or infection develops, there are a couple of products we carry that work well for this. One is called Neil Med, a saline spray, and the other is Piercing Serum, a tea tree oil based serum. Also read about Care for Infected Piercings and The Piercing Bump and visit our After Care Products page for more information on those products.

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