Piercing Aftercare

Helpful Tips for Healing

  • Always wash your hands before touching your piercing or aftercare products.
  • Do not touch your piercing or move it unnecessarily while it is healing.
  • Avoid contact with other people’s bodily fluids.
  • Avoid pools, lakes, rivers, hot tubs and bathtubs.
  • Smoking can affect the healing time of piercings; try to cut back.
  • Try not to sleep on your piercing. Put clean bedding and pillow cases on your bed.
  • For facial and ear piercings, wear long hair up off the healing piercing. This is especially important for cartilage piercings.
  • Vitamin supplements like Zinc and Vitamin C can help with healing.
  • Using clean hands, check jewelry with balls that screw on/off, to make sure they are tight. Right is tight, left is loose.
  • Avoid irritants like: rubbing alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, Listerine, antibiotic ointments, antibacterial soaps, Gly-oxide and pierced ear solutions. These items will not help your piercing heal; instead they will prolong your healing time.

Normal Healing

A normal piercing may:

  • Be swollen (especially oral piercings), tender and have some redness.
  • Discharge a cloudy fluid called lymph. This fluid will dry, for piercings outside the mouth, and become “crusties”.
  • Have a small amount of bleeding or bruising (especially genital piercings).

Not Normal Healing

It is common for people to think they have an infection when the piercing is simply irritated. The piercers at Modified Design are always available to help you with your piercing. You can always go to a doctor if you are concerned, but keep in mind that the answer might be a very simple one with which we can help. Common signs of infection are:

  • Excessive redness.
  • Heat.
  • Excessive tenderness.
  • Dark discharge.
  • Streaks in the tissue.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions. 903-487-2161

Cleaning Your Piercing

When it comes to healing a body piercing, it is important to remember that your body must do the healing. To your body, a piercing is a very small wound that should be easy to heal if cared for appropriately. In order to keep irritation to a minimum, and to keep the healing time as short as possible, we suggest cleaning your piercing with a solution of warm (not hot) pure sterile saline. This will aid your body with healing and will ensure you aren’t using anything that will irritate your piercing and prolong the healing.

Cleaning Non-Oral Piercings

Clean your piercing with a solution of warm pure sterile saline, for 5-10 minutes. This should be done once or twice per day. Stop halfway through the soak and clean off any ”crusties” using a clean gauze pad or Q-tip. Use another clean gauze pad or Q-tip to dry your piercing after cleaning. You can either lower the piercing into a cup of saline, or if the piercing is on a flat area (such as a navel or nipple), you can invert the cup (shot glass works well) against your skin. If you are not able to soak the piercing, you can make a compress using a gauze pad or paper towel saturated with the saline.

Cleaning Oral Piercings

Rinse your mouth with salt water (1/4 tsp. salt to 1 cup of water) for 30 seconds after eating, smoking or drinking anything other than bottled water. Swish the sea salt solution like mouthwash. Rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash such as Biotene, Rembrandt Natural or Listerine Zero, 2-4 times per day, is suggested, especially if you smoke.
A bottled of pre-mixed sea salt water can be used. Distilled or bottled water is suggested for oral rinses. Do not use Listerine or any other mouthwash containing alcohol.
Do not play with the piercing. Try to cut back or stop smoking for 3 weeks.

Mixing Salt Water

When mixing salt water, keep in mind that the ratio of salt to water is important. You are trying to make 0.9% salt water, just like the salt water (saline) in your body. Since your body is mostly salt water, you can clean the piercing without causing irritation. Chemicals such as alcohol, peroxide, Listerine etc. will only serve to irritate your piercing.

Some appropriate mixtures of salt to water are:

  • 1/4 tsp to 1 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp to 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp to 32 oz. water

Healing Times

Everyone heals at different rates and healing times can vary a lot from person-to-person. To help avoid confusion, the following healing times are the suggested timelines to keep cleaning your piercing. Please continue cleaning the piercing with saline for the amount of time listed for your piercing. After this amount of time has passed, if your piercing still does not appear or feel healed, continue the cleaning as suggested.

Ear Cartilage: 3-6 months
Earlobe, Eyebrow: 2-3 months
Labret, Lip, Monroe, Medusa, Vertical Lip: 2-3 months
Navel, Nipple, Transverse Lobe: 3-6 months
Nostril, Septum, Bridge: 2-3 months
Tongue, Tongue web, Lip frenulum: 3-6 weeks
Triangle, Ampallang, Apadravya: 3-6 months
Frenum, Guiche, Scrotum: 2-3 months
Hood, Inner Labia, Prince Albert: 2-8 weeks
Surface (nape, cleavage, pubic etc.): 4-12 months

Changing Your Jewelry

A piercing heals on the outside first, so it may appear to be healed long before it actually is. Changing or adjusting jewelry too soon can cause irritation, prolong healing and increase the likelihood of rejection. Unless the jewelry you are wearing is irritating your piercing, you should not change your jewelry or have it adjusted until the piercing is healed. Even after a piercing is well-healed, it could close or shrink when you remove the jewelry. It is always suggested to have a professional change your jewelry for you, especially the first time. Jewelry varies greatly in size and shape, therefore a professional fitting may be necessary when changing styles of jewelry. Modified Design is always happy to help you change your jewelry.