Piercing Aftercare

Aftercare advice will vary from studio to studio, and sometimes even artists in the same studio will have different ideas of what heals best. Listen to the instructions your piercer gives you – we will give you a leaflet to take away with you after your appointment.

Aftercare for Body Piercings

Getting a new piercing involves breaking the skin’s surface so there is always a potential risk for infection to occur afterwards. Your piercing should be treated as a wound initially and it’s important that this advice is followed so that the risk of infection can be minimised.

    Minimising Infection Risk Guidance Tips

    • Most piercings will bleed at first but this should stop within a few minutes. Gentle pressure on or around the pierced site will slow bleeding but if it is excessive or persists then immediate medical advice should be sought.
    • Remember, all pierced regions tend to swell immediately after treatment, and the item of jewellery you have inserted will be designed to accommodate this. Tongue piercings may swell to the limit of the inserted bar; this can be reduced by rinsing the mouth with iced water.
    • If the jewellery becomes too tight because of swelling, see your body piercer immediately. If, however, you have a tongue piercing and begin to experience neck pain or problems with swallowing, contact a medical practitioner immediately or go directly to your local Accident and Emergency Department.

    • Always wash and dry your hands before and after any essential handling of a newly pierced site, e.g. cleaning of the area.
    • Avoid unnecessary touching, scratching or picking of the newly pierced site to reduce the risk of introducing infection. In particular, avoid using fingernails to handle jewellery, as the underside of nails are more likely to introduce infection to the pierced site.
    • Clean the piercing 2 – 3 times a day if possible with saline spray or rinse – clean gauze or other non-disintegrating cotton wool swabs are best for this. Sterile saline spray can be purchased from us in-store or online.
    • Gently soak off and wipe away any crusty formations at the piercing site – do not pick them off.
    • Avoid applying hot cleaning solutions or surgical spirit on the treated area as they can damage the healing skin.
    • If possible, shower rather than bathe whilst the piercing is healing so that unnecessary water submersion is avoided.
    • Pat dry the pierced area after cleaning with a fresh paper towel or gauze, NOT a fabric towel as this may snag on the piercing and cause damage to the delicate skin tissue.
    • Do not use skin products on the treated area that have not been recommended by your piercer or are not intended for open wound healing. There is generally no need to use any other skin antiseptic products and you should not share skin products with others.
    • Avoid swimming, sun beds and sun bathing until your new piercing is fully healed, as direct sunlight/chlorine can interact with the treated site causing skin irritation and inflammation.
    • Try to wear loose cotton clothing to minimise rubbing and irritation to a newly pierced site and in general try to keep a new piercing as dry and exposed as possible.
    • Always keep a new piercing covered and protected if working in a dirty, dusty or oily environment – a non-adhesive dressing secured with dermatological tape is best.
    • Only ever change your jewellery as directed by your piercer, and ensure any new jewellery you buy is of good quality and is from a reputable dealer.
    • If you have any problems/queries please contact your piercer initially. He/she will refer you to your GP if there are signs of adverse reactions/infection.

    Our range of Piercing aftercare

    Saline oral rinse should be used 2 – 3 times a day after oral piercings and additionally after eating, drinking or smoking.

    For body piercings, complete healing times are difficult to predict because individual healing abilities vary. The healing time is the time required for the jewellery “tunnel” to become dry and healed after the initial tissue damage. Guidelines are scarce in this area, but those provided below originate from the US Association of Professional Piercers.

    Body Part Time Frame
    Ear Lobe, Eyebrow, Nasal Septum 6 – 8 weeks
    Ear (cartilaginous) and Nostril 2 months – 1 year
    Tongue 4 to 8 weeks
    Lips 6 – 12 weeks **
    Nipple 2 – 6 months
    Navel 4 months – 1 year

    **Chewing gum should be avoided while oral piercings are healing. Newly pierced tongue regions can be gently cleaned with a clean, soft toothbrush and toothpaste in order to remove any coating around the site. 

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