Piercing Aftercare

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This advice page is given as your written reminder of the advised aftercare for your new piercing. Getting a new piercing involves breaking the skin surface so there is always a potential risk for infection to occur afterwards. Your piercing should be treated as a wound initially and it is important that this advice is followed so that the infection risk can be minimised.

  • 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.
  • Remember, all pierced regions will 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, and 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. 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 toughing, 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.
  • After removing any initial dressing applied by the piercer, clean the piercing twice a day if possible – use boiled water, allowed to cool and rock salt and clean gauze or other non-disintegrating cotton wool swabs is best for this. Gently soak off and wipe away any crusty formations at the wound site – do not pick them off.
  • If possible, shower rather then bathe whilst the piercing is healing so that unnecessary water submersion is avoided
  • Pat dry the pierced area after cleaning – do not rub as this could snag jewellery and tear delicate healing 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 treated site causing skin irritation and inflammation
  • Only every 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 onto your GP if there are signs of adverse reaction/infection. For Body Piercing, expected (complete) healing times are difficult to predict because individuals healing abilities vary, but all clients should be told what to expect. The healing time is the time required for the jewellery “tunnel” to become dry and healed after the initial tissue damage. 
  • Ear lobe, eyebrow and nasal septum: 8 to 10 weeks 
  • Ear (cartilaginous region) and nostril: 2 months to 1 year 
  • Tongue: 4 to 8 weeks 
  • Lips: 6 to 12 weeks
  • Genital (VCH): 4 to 12 weeks 
  • Nipple: 2 to 6 months 
  • Chewing gum should be avoided while oral piercings are healing. Newly pierced tongue regions can be gently cleansed with a clean, soft toothbrush and toothpaste, in order to remove any coating around the site. Non-alcoholic  mouth wash – diluted with tap water – should be used twice daily after tongue piercings, and additionally after eating, drinking or smoking.  Smoking with an oral piercing can cause yellowing of the toungue.