Aftercare


Body & Facial Piercing Aftercare |   Oral Piercing Aftercare |   Surface & Microdermal Piercing Aftercare

INSTRUCTIONS
The most up to date aftercare brought to you by Piercology
Congratulations on getting your new piercing and we hope you enjoy it for years. The time required foryour piercing to heal completely varies, in most cases jewelry must be left in for at least the first 3 months.Your piercing might look healed before this time but it’s important to be patient and wait the entire healingperiod before changing your jewelry out or ceasing your aftercare routine. If your piercing must come outsooner for medical reasons, often we can help you with this process so that you don’t lose your piercing.

If proper cleaning is done your risk of infection is greatly reduced. The most common problems are:
· Not having the piercing done in a sterile environment.· Dirty hands or saliva touching it before it is healed.· Using a cleaning agent that can damage your piercing.· Wearing inferior quality jewelry or metals.· Proper cleaning not being performed daily.· “Playing” with jewelry before piercing is healed.

If you have any problem with healing we will be happy to help. We understand that since opening up inColumbus in 1994, people see us as the experts. So we will help with piercings that we didn’t perform,however, understand we can only make suggestions, we are not physicians. A physician must be contactedas soon as possible if a problem persists.

Cleaning Solutions
Use a mild liquid antimicrobial/germicidal medicated soap such as Provon or Satin, and water. Inferioralternatives include products such as Almay Clearly Natural, Hypocare, NutriBiotic; or other mild,fragrance-free and color-free liquid antibacterial soap. These should possibly be diluted with distilled orbottled water, depending on product strength. Try and avoid soaps that use Triclosan as the active igredient,such as Dial. These soaps are much harsher on new skin cells and can damage your piercing. Also, mildnon-iodized (no iodine) sea salt soaks as described below.

Sea Salt Water Soaks
Sea salt soaks are strongly suggested at least once a day to accelerate healing and increase your comfort.
This may also help to reduce irritation in the area. Dissolve a pinch (1/4 teaspoon) of sea salt into one cup(8 oz.) of warm or hot water in a clean cup. Distilled water is optimal. A stronger solution is not better asyou can burn your piercing with too much salt. Invert it over the area to form a vacuum and soak directlyfor a few minutes. For certain placements it is easier to use a clean cotton ball or gauze pad soaked in thesalt water and applied to the pierced area. Follow with a clear water rinse or splash then pat dry with paperproducts.

Salt water soaks help to stimulate air and blood circulation which facilitates healing. You can do a briefsalt water soak before your daily cleaning(s) as well as several additional times a day. It is particularlyadvisable to soak before you do anything active, as it will prevent crust from being pulled inside thepiercing as you move around. Salt water is the only additional product (other than the cleanser and water)we suggest you use to care for your piercing.
One soak per day should be for at least 10 minutes. Additional soaks can be brief (1 minute or so) andstill be effective for soothing the area and removing matter.

Cleaning Instructions
Body piercings need to be cleaned once daily, every day, for the entire initial healing time. Most peopleclean morning and/or night, in the shower. Do not clean more often as this can irritate your piercing, andpossibly delay your healing. For once-a-day cleanings, do it at the end of your day. Optimal frequency willdepend on your skin sensitivity, activity level, and environmental factors.

Before cleanings wash hands thoroughly with liquid antibacterial soap and hot water. If you wish, youmay wear disposable latex or vinyl gloves and/or also use a hand sanitizing gel. Never, never touch healingpiercings with dirty hands. This is vital for avoiding infections.

Prepare the area for the cleansing by rinsing or soaking with warm water and be sure to remove anystubborn crust using a cotton swab and warm water. Never pick with fingernails! This step is important foryour comfort.
Apply a small handful of cleaning solution to the area with your clean hands. Cleanse the area and thejewelry. (You do not need to rotate your jewelry during cleaning).

Allow the solution to cleanse there for a minute. You may bathe normally, just don’t purposely workanything other than the cleanser onto the inside of the piercing.

Rinse the area thoroughly under running water to completely remove the cleanser from the piercing.
Gently pat dry with disposable paper products such as gauze or tissues, as cloth towels can harborbacteria.
Please try to be patient. Each body is unique, and healing times can vary considerably. If your piercing istender or secreting you should continue the care regimen, even if it is past the stated average healing timerange.

What To Do
Wash your hands prior to contact on or near the area of your healing piercing!Leave the piercing alone except for when you are cleaning it. It is not necessary or advisable to rotate the ring whilehealing.Leave the starter jewelry in during the entire minimum initial healing time! (Assuming your initial jewelry isappropriate in terms of metal content, style, and size. Inappropriate jewelry should be changed out by a professional.)Those with captive-style rings or barbells (straight, bent, or circular) can change the bead/ball portion of the jewelry atany time.Check daily with clean hands to make sure the balls are screwed on tight on threaded jewelry such as barbells. Bothballs tighten to the right.If you like your piercing leave jewelry in at all times. Even old, well-healed piercings can shrink or close in minutesafter having been there for years! This varies from person to person, and even if your ear lobe piercings stay openwithout jewelry your body piercing may not! Contact your piercer if your jewelry must be temporarily removed (suchas for a medical procedure). Monofilament nylon or another inert non-metallic substance may be able to be inserted to maintain the piercing until jewelry can be reinserted.Make sure your bedding is clean and changed frequently while you are healing, especially if pets get into your bed.Wear clean, comfortable, breathable fabric clothing in the area of a body piercing.A multi-vitamin mineral supplement containing zinc and vitamin C may help boost your body’s healing abilities.Take it with your morning meal according to package instructions.Get enough sleep, eat a nutritious diet, avoid undue stress, recreational drugs, and alcohol consumption. Thehealthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for your piercing to heal.Showering is safer than taking a bath, as bath tubs tend to harbor bacteria. To bathe safely, clean your tub with ableach product before each bath, and rinse the tub before you fill it. Also, be sure to do a running water rinse on yourpiercing when you are done in the tub.In the event that the piercing drains a thick pus discharge instead of the normal liquid secretion, you may wish to seea physician for evaluation and possible antibiotic treatment. If you do have an infection, the jewelry should be left inthe piercing to allow for drainage of pus. If the jewelry is removed, the holes can close up, resulting in an abscess.LEAVE YOUR JEWELRY IN !

What Is Normal?
Bleeding, bruising, discoloration and/or swelling is not uncommon. These are not indications of anycomplication. Reduce intake of aspirin, alcohol, and caffeine. For above-the-neck piercings try sleepingwith your head elevated above your heart (prop up on some pillows) to limit overnight swelling. Studiesshow non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) can help minimizeswelling.

Some tenderness or discomfort in the area of a new piercing is not unusual. You may feel stinging,burning, or aching off and on for several days or longer. During healing there may be some itching.
Secretion of a fluid which contains blood plasma, lymph and dead cells is perfectly normal. It is fairlyliquid, whitish-yellow in color and forms a crust on the jewelry at the openings of the piercing. This is notpus, but indicates a healing piercing.
Once healed your piercing may secrete a semi-solid white malodorous substance from the oil glandscalled sebum. This is not pus, but indicates a healed piercing.

Piercings may have a tendency to have a series of “ups and downs” during healing by seeming healedand then regressing. Try to be patient, and do keep cleaning during the entire initial healing time, even ifthe piercing seems healed sooner.
Tightness is normal. Do not expect jewelry to swing freely in most body piercings, even after they arethoroughly healed.


ORAL AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS  |  back to top
The most up to date aftercare brought to you by Piercology
Congratulations on getting your new piercing and we hope you enjoy it for years. The time required foryour piercing to heal completely varies, in most cases jewelry must be left in for at least the first 3 months.Your piercing might look healed before this time but it’s important to be patient and wait the entire healingperiod before changing your jewelry out or ceasing your aftercare routine. If your piercing must come outsooner for medical reasons, often we can help you with this process so that you don’t lose your piercing.

If proper cleaning is done your risk of infection is greatly reduced. The most common problems are:
· Not having the piercing done in a sterile environment.· Dirty hands or saliva touching it before it is healed.
· Using a cleaning agent that can damage your piercing.· Wearing inferior quality jewelry or metals.· Proper cleaning not being performed daily.· “Playing” with jewelry before piercing is healed.

If you have any problem with healing we will be happy to help. We understand that since opening up inColumbus in 1994, people see us as the experts. So we will help with piercings that we didn’t perform,however, understand we can only make suggestions, we are not physicians. A physician must be contactedas soon as possible if a problem persists.

Cleaning Solutions
An alcohol-free antimicrobial or antibacterial mouth rinse should be used according to packageinstructions. Two examples are Alchol-Free Listerine and Biotene. These may be available in the oralmedications section of your local drugstores.Also: Mild sea salt water rinses. Dissolve a pinch (1/4 teaspoon) non-iodized (iodine-free) sea salt to onecup (8 oz.) warm to hot distilled or bottled water. (Avoid hot water for the first few days.) If you have highblood pressure or heart problems, you will need to eliminate the sea salt, and use only plain warm waterrinses.Rinse mouth for 30-60 seconds with solution (see Cleaning Solutions above) after meals during theentire minimum initial healing time. Do not use more than 4-5 times daily and use it over intervals spacedthroughout the entire day.Rinse mouth briefly (10-15 seconds) with the mild sea salt mixture (see recipe above) no more thantwice a day. If you are cleaning too often, the top of your tongue will start to turn a white to yellowishcolor. Continue to clean your piercing, but reduce the number of times you are cleaning it per day.

What To Do
Check twice daily with clean hands to be sure the threaded ends on your jewelry are on tight. To cleanhands, wash them carefully with liquid antibacterial soap. If your hands aren’t freshly washed, don’t touchyourself above the neck during the initial healing time.Replace your toothbrush and make sure to keep it clean so that everything that goes into your mouth ishygienic while you are healing. A sensitive type of toothpaste may be less irritating to your mouth duringhealing than a usual, stronger variety.Try to go slowly when you eat and to take small bites when your piercing is new. Cold foods andbeverages feel great and can help diminish swelling. Drink plenty of liquids, especially bottled water.Get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for yourpiercing to heal.

What To Avoid
No oral sexual contact including French (wet) kissing or oral sex during the entire initial healing period,even if you are in a monogamous relationship. (If you had a large cut you would not allow anyone to spitinto it! This is essentially the same thing.)Avoid chewing on gum, tobacco, fingernails, pencils, sunglasses, etc., during healing. Don’t share plates,cups or eating utensils. Reducing smoking or quitting is highly advisable when healing an oral piercing.Smoking increases risks and can lengthen the healing time. Avoid undue stress and recreational drug usage.Stay away from aspirin, large amounts of caffeine, and alcoholic beverages for the first several days.Alcoholic beverages include all beer, wine and hard liquor. These can cause additional swelling, bleedingand discomfort. Refrain from eating spicy, salty, acidic, or hot temperature foods and beverages for a fewdays.

Do not play with the piercing for the initial healing time beyond the necessary movement for speakingand eating. The mouth withstands a lot of trauma from normal speaking and eating. Try to avoid otherdisturbances such as excessive talking, actively playing with the jewelry, or clicking the jewelry againstyour teeth. Undue stress on the piercing can cause the formation of unsightly and uncomfortable scar tissue,migration and other complications.Even after healing, excessive play with oral jewelry can result in permanent damage to teeth,gums, and oral structures. Metal is harder than the human body; be gentle.

Cleaning Instructions
Rinse mouth for 30-60 seconds with solution, after meals during the entire minimum initial healing time.Do not use more than 4-5 times daily and use it over intervals spaced throughout the entire day. Rinsemouth briefly (10-15 seconds) with the mild sea salt mixture, no more than twice a day. If you are cleaningtoo often, the top of your tongue will start to turn a white to yellowish color. Continue to clean yourpiercing, but reduce the number of times you are cleaning it per day.
A new soft bristled toothbrush should be purchased, to help reduce the bacteria.

Tips For Oral Piercings
Some piercees will carry a spare ball in their wallet or purse. This is particularly advisable if you wearnon-metallic balls such as acrylic, which is more fragile.Try to focus on keeping your tongue level in your mouth to avoid biting on the jewelry as you eat. Yourmouth is likely to feel uncoordinated at first.Try eating small bites of solid foods by placing food directly onto the molars with clean fingers or a fork.Food that is already in the back of the mouth doesn’t have to get moved there by your tongue.Be cautious about opening your mouth wide when you eat, as this can result in the backing of the jewelrycatching on your teeth. Take small bites and go slowly at first.The outside of the piercing may become somewhat red or pink during healing and this is normal.Refer to the Aftercare Guidelines for Body and Facial Piercings sheet for instructions on how to care forthe exterior surface of such a piercing.

What To Expect?
Swelling of the area is perfectly normal during the first part of healing an oral piercing. It can be greatlyreduced by gently sucking (rather than chewing) on clean ice. Chipped ice, or small cubes are best. Themajority of the swelling usually lasts for only 3-5 days.Any new piercing can bleed for a few days. There can also be some bleeding under the surface resultingin temporary bruising or discoloration. This is perfectly normal and not indicative of any complication.Some tenderness or discomfort in the area of a new piercing is not unusual. You may feel aching,pinching, tightness or other unpleasant sensations off and on for several days or longer.Don’t be alarmed if you see a fairly liquid, yellowish secretion coming from the piercing. This is bloodplasma, lymph and dead cells which is perfectly normal. All healing piercings secrete, it just looks differentinside the mouth as it doesn’t have a chance to dry and form a crust as it does on ear or body piercings.This is not pus, but indicates a healing piercing.Plaque may form on tongue jewelry, commonly on the bottom ball and/or post. Scrub your barbell with asoft bristled toothbrush.Piercings may have a tendency to have a series of ups and downs during healing by seeming healed andthen regressing. Try to be patient, and do keep cleaning during the entire initial healing time, even if thepiercing seems healed sooner.Once initial swelling is down, having your piercer replace the post portion of bar style jewelry with ashorter post may be wise. Jewelry which fits more closely is less likely to irritate your mouth or getbetween your teeth and be bitten.If you like your piercing, leave jewelry in at all times. Even healed piercings can shrink or close inminutes after having been there for years! This varies from person to person, and even if your ear lobepiercings stay open without jewelry your oral piercing may not!

Keep following the care procedures during the entire minimum initial healing time, even if the piercingseems healed sooner.


SURFACE PERCINGS &MICRODERMAL AFTERCARE  |  back to top

INSTRUCTIONS
The most up to date aftercare brought to you by Piercology
Congratulations on getting your new piercing and we hope you enjoy it for years. The time required foryour piercing to heal completely varies, in most cases jewelry must be left in for at least the first 5 months.Your piercing might look healed before this time but it’s important to be patient and wait the entire healingperiod before changing your jewelry out or ceasing your aftercare routine. If your piercing must come outsooner for medical reasons, often we can help you with this process so that you don’t lose your piercing.

If proper cleaning is done your risk of infection is greatly reduced. The most common problems are:
· Not having the piercing done in a sterile environment.· Dirty hands or saliva touching it before it is healed.· Using a cleaning agent that can damage your piercing.· Wearing inferior quality jewelry or metals.· Proper cleaning not being performed daily.· “Playing” with jewelry before piercing is healed.

If you have any problem with healing we will be happy to help. We understand that since opening up inColumbus in 1994, people see us as the experts. So we will help with piercings that we didn’t perform,however, understand we can only make suggestions, we are not physicians. A physician must be contactedas soon as possible if a problem persists.
Congratulations on getting your new piercing and we hope you enjoy it for years. The time required foryour piercing to heal completely varies, in most cases jewelry must be left in for at least the first 3 months.Your piercing might look healed before this time but it’s important to be patient and wait the entire healingperiod before changing your jewelry out or ceasing your aftercare routine. If your piercing must come outsooner for medical reasons, often we can help you with this process so that you don’t lose your piercing.

If proper cleaning is done your risk of infection is greatly reduced. The most common problems are:
· Not having the piercing done in a sterile environment.· Dirty hands or saliva touching it before it is healed.· Using a cleaning agent that can damage your piercing.· Wearing inferior quality jewelry or metals.· Proper cleaning not being performed daily.
· “Playing” with jewelry before piercing is healed.

If you have any problem with healing we will be happy to help. We understand that since opening up inColumbus in 1994, people see us as the experts. So we will help with piercings that we didn’t perform,however, understand we can only make suggestions, we are not physicians. A physician must be contactedas soon as possible if a problem persists.

Sea Salt Water Soaks
Sea salt soaks are strongly suggested at least once a day to accelerate healing and increase your comfort.This may also help to reduce irritation in the area. Dissolve a pinch (1/4 teaspoon) of sea salt into one cup(8 oz.) of warm or hot water in a clean cup. Distilled water is optimal. A stronger solution is not better asyou can burn your piercing with too much salt. Invert it over the area to form a vacuum and soak directlyfor a few minutes. For certain placements it is easier to use a clean cotton ball or gauze pad soaked in thesalt water and applied to the pierced area. Follow with a clear water rinse or splash then pat dry with paperproducts.
Salt water soaks help to stimulate air and blood circulation which facilitates healing. You can do a briefsalt water soak before your daily cleaning(s) as well as several additional times a day. It is particularlyadvisable to soak before you do anything active, as it will prevent crust from being pulled inside thepiercing as you move around. Salt water is the only additional product (other than the cleanser and water)we suggest you use to care for your piercing.

One soak per day should be for at least 10 minutes. Additional soaks can be brief (1 minute or so) andstill be effective for soothing the area and removing matter.

If extra dry matter forms on the exit points of the piercing, take a q-tip soaked in the salt water solutionand gently rub the crusty matter away.

Dermal and surface piercings must be kept dry in between the sea salt soaks.

Removing Surface Piercings & Microdermals
Because surface piercings have an entrance and exit point they can be removed the same way otherpiercing are. Greater care must be taken in removing these. The removal of a surface piercing should onlybe done by a professional piercer.Because dermal piercings are placed under the skin and have no exit point, their removal process is alsodifferent. Because this is a whole different procedure chances for a scar are increased. The amount ofscaring depends on how well the piercing was taken care of before and after the removal process.

Surface piercings have a high rate of rejection. Your body can see the jewelry as a foreign object andslowly pushes it out of your skin as it would a splinter. These piercings can slowly migrate to the surface ofthe skin. Surface piercings will start to grow out, or reject, from the outer edges slowly in towards thecenter of the jewelry. Key signs of rejection are redness, swelling, tenderness, and gooey discharge.Following the correct aftercare will give you the best chance of your piercing being a part of yourbody for years.

Cleaning Instructions
Body piercings need to be cleaned once daily, every day, for the entire initial healing time. Most peopleclean morning and/or night, in the shower. Do not clean more often as this can irritate your piercing, andpossibly delay your healing. For once-a-day cleanings, do it at the end of your day. Optimal frequency willdepend on your sensitivity, activity level, and environmental factors.
Before cleanings wash hands thoroughly with liquid antibacterial soap and hot water. If you wish, youmay wear disposable latex or vinyl gloves and/or also use a hand sanitizing gel. Never, never touch healingpiercings with dirty hands. This is vital for avoiding infections.

Prepare the area for the cleansing by rinsing or soaking with warm water and be sure to remove anystubborn crust using a cotton swab and warm water. Never pick with fingernails! This step is important foryour comfort.
Please try to be patient. Each body is unique, and healing times can vary considerably. If your piercing istender or secreting you should continue the care regimen, even if it is past the stated average healing timerange.

What Is Normal?
Bleeding, bruising, discoloration and/or swelling are not uncommon. These are not indications of anycomplication. Reduce intake of aspirin, alcohol, and caffeine. For above-the-neck piercings try sleepingwith your head elevated above your heart (prop up on some pillows) to limit overnight swelling. Studiesshow non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) can help minimizeswelling.

Some tenderness or discomfort in the area of a new piercing is not unusual. You may feel stinging,burning, or aching off and on for several days or longer. During healing there may be some itching.

Secretion of a fluid which contains blood plasma, lymph and dead cells is perfectly normal. It is fairlyliquid, whitish-yellow in color and forms a crust on the jewelry at the openings of the piercing. This is notpus, but indicates a healing piercing.
Once healed your piercing may secrete a semi-solid white malodorous substance from the oil glandscalled sebum. This is not pus, but indicates a healed piercing.

Piercings may have a tendency to have a series of “ups and downs” during healing by seeming healedand then regressing. Try to be patient, and do keep cleaning during the entire initial healing time, even ifthe piercing seems healed sooner.
Tightness is normal. Do not expect jewelry to swing freely in most body piercings, even after they arethoroughly healed.