Piercing Aftercare
Healing time for all piercing varies from person to person, and from piercing to piercing. People think that after a few days or weeks they can remove the jewelry without any problem of reinsertion. Wrong! There will be problems, even though your piercing appears to be healed it does take time for it to "toughen up." We advise leaving something in the piercing for at least the first 6 months, a year is better. If your jewelry must come out for medical reasons, call your piercer. This is a problem that can be easily solved.

Your piercing is done appropriately...

Now it is up to you! The rate of infection is minimal if the aftercare is followed closely. Most problems/infections occur when...
-Handling the piercing without washing your hands.
-Being too rough with the piercing too soon.
-Oral contact with the piercing, your body fluids or someone else's.
-Over-cleaning, using too many or inappropriate cleaning agents.
Swimming in rivers and lakes is not suggested due to the bacterial content which could cause infection. Hot tubs are a breeding ground for infection! Do not enter a hot tub for at least 3 months without the use of a waterproof barrier such as Tegaderm or Duo-derm.
How will I know if there's an infection?
Slight redness in the first few days is normal. The secretion of small amounts of white/slightly yellow discharge for up to 3 months is also normal; this is your body expelling dead cells. Typical signs of an infection usually include:
-Redness
-Swelling or hardness
-Pain or a sensation of heat in the area of the piercing
-Thick, dark yellow or green discharge
What should I do if I think there is an infection?
It is usually best not to remove your jewelry if you think you have an infection. This will shut off the only passageway for the matter to escape. Call your piercer or physician immediately if you think you have an infection.
How will I know if my piercing is rejecting?
Remember, all piercings can reject, though some have a higher incidence than others. There is usually little to no pain associated with rejection. The signs to watch for are: 
-Enlargement of the opening of the piercing, along with some redness. 
-Discharge of a clear fluid.
-Itching and a rash. This can be caused by the cleaning agents you are using, before panicking, change the cleaning agent and see if there is an improvement.
What do I do if my piercing is rejecting?
Not all bodies will accept the piercing you have selected. Sometimes trying a different type of metal for the piercing can help save the piercing. Should your piercing begin to reject, call your piercer.
How can I help my piercing heal?
-Eat a nutritious diet, the body needs protein to heal itself. Multi-vitamins can be beneficial to healing a piercing.
-A zinc supplement (150mg for men, 75mg for women) taken once daily with food for the first seven days after the piercing can help the healing process. Do not take for more than seven days without consulting a physician.
-Never use Betadine surgical scrub, isopropyl rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or products such as PHisoderm on your piercing; they slow down the healing process.
Sea Salt is a natural astringent.
Soaking a piercing in a sea salt solution can speed healing. Dissolve 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt in eight ounces of warm water in a clean glass, or make a compress with the solution on clean gauze pads or a clean paper towel. Place the glass or compress on the piercing and let the area soak for ten minutes once per day. Used too frequently, sea salt can dry out the tissue surrounding a piercing.
If you have any problems...
We are not physicians. If these suggestions do not produce rapid improvement in your symptoms, please call your physician!
If I am having a problem with the cleaning solutions I am using, what are the alternatives?
-Provon medicated lotion soap
-Almay antibacterial soap
-Soft Soap antibacterial soap

NIPPLE
Healing Time
For men, 2-3 months; for women, 4-6 months, with the appropriate aftercare.
Cleaning
Thoroughly clean your new piercing once daily. Use an antibacterial soap such as Provon. Do not use any products other than what is suggested. Excessive cleaning can cause you problems.
  • WASH YOUR HANDS! Remember never to touch your new piercing without washing your hands.
  • Using warm water and a cotton swab, remove any matter that may have dried on the jewelry and around the openings of the piercing.
  • Next, pour the cleaning agent on the jewelry and piercing, lather it up, then work the jewelry back and forth at least 6 times. Leave the cleaning agent in contact with the piercing approximately 3 minutes. Finally, rinse the agent off very thoroughly under running water, again working the jewelry back and forth at least 6 times. Any cleaning agent left on the skin or in the piercing can cause you problems.
  • Every night take 2 Q-Tips and remove any crusty matter (that matter can trap bacteria). Use a sea salt solution and soak it for 10 minutes.
Usually a nipple piercing heals without difficulty
The problems arise from not following the aftercare. Remember to always WASH YOUR HANDS before touching the new piercing. No oral contact with your new piercing for at least 3 months. Oral contact will almost guarantee an infection that will require a physician's care. This includes your own saliva and other body fluids along with your partner's. The use of gloves for touching, condoms for intercourse, and dental dams or other appropriate barriers for oral sex is highly suggested. Remember, always play safe. This even applies to monogamous couples.

NAVEL
Healing Time
Healing time is 6 months to 1 year, with the appropriate aftercare. This is one of the most difficult piercings to heal. It easily becomes irritated and infected if appropriate care is not given. If there is a ring in your navel piercing, we do not suggest wearing tight-waisted clothing or doing excessive abdominal exercises during the healing period. These actions may cause the piercing to migrate to the surface, increasing your chances of rejection or infection. If there is an L-bar in your navel piercing, exercise is less irritating to the piercing and will not impair healing.
Cleaning
Thoroughly clean your new piercing once daily. Use an antibacterial soap such as Provon. Do not use any products other than what is suggested. Excessive cleaning can cause you problems.
  • WASH YOUR HANDS! Remember never to touch your new piercing without washing your hands. 
  • Using warm water and a cotton swab, remove any matter that may have dried on the jewelry and around the openings of the piercing. 
  • Next, pour the cleaning agent on the jewelry and piercing, lather it up, then work the jewelry back and forth at least 6 times. Leave the cleaning agent in contact with the piercing approximately 3 minutes. Finally, rinse the agent off very thoroughly under running water, again working the jewelry back and forth at least 6 times. Any cleaning agent left on the skin or in the piercing can cause you problems. 
    Every night take 2 Q-Tips and remove any crusty matter (that matter can trap bacteria). Use a sea salt solution and soak it for 10 minutes.

    GENITAL
    Healing Time
    Depending on the type of piercing you chose and the tissue it is in, a genital piercing can heal as quickly as 4 weeks or take as long as 1 year.
    Cleaning
    Thoroughly clean your new piercing once daily. Use an antibacterial soap such as Provon. Do not use any products other than what is suggested. Excessive cleaning can cause you problems.
    • WASH YOUR HANDS! Remember never to touch your new piercing without washing your hands. 
    • Using warm water and a cotton swab, remove any matter that may have dried on the jewelry and around the openings of the piercing. 
    • Next, pour the cleaning agent on the jewelry and piercing, lather it up, then work the jewelry back and forth at least 6 times. Leave the cleaning agent in contact with the piercing approximately 1 minute. Finally, rinse the agent off very thoroughly under running water, again working the jewelry back and forth at least 6 times. Any cleaning agent left on the skin or in the piercing can cause you problems. After cleaning, it is advisable to urinate to flush any reside from the urethra. 
    • Every night take 2 Q-Tips and remove any crusty matter (that matter can trap bacteria). Use a sea salt solution and soak it for 10 minutes
    Usually genital piercings heal without difficulty
    The problems arise from not following the aftercare that has been explained to you, or becoming too rough, too soon with the piercing. Remember to always WASH YOUR HANDS before touching the new piercing. Make no oral contact with your new piercing without an appropriate barrier for at least 3 months. Oral contact will almost guarantee an infection that will require a physician's care. This includes your own saliva and other body fluids along with your partner's. The use of gloves for touching, condoms for intercourse, and dental dams or other appropriate barriers for oral sex is highly suggested.
    Genital piercings DO NOT prohibit sexual activity
    The piercing will probably be swollen and tender for the first few days. During the healing period, men should wear a condom and women should consider similar protection to minimize the risk of infection. Remember, safe sexual practices should be used by all couples!

    NOSTRIL, EYEBROW, & SEPTUM
    Healing Time
    Nostril and Eyebrow, approximately 2-3 months
    Septum, approximately 4-8 weeks.
    Cleaning
    Thoroughly clean your new piercing once daily. Use an antibacterial soap such as Provon. Do not use any products other than what is suggested. Excessive cleaning can cause problems.
    • WASH YOUR HANDS! Remember never to touch your new piercing without washing your hands.
    • Using warm water and a cotton swab, remove any matter that may have dried on the jewelry and around the openings of the piercing.
    • Next, pour the cleaning agent on the jewelry and piercing, lather it up, then work the jewelry back and forth at least 6 times. Leave the cleaning agent in contact with the piercing approximately 3 minutes. Rinse the agent off very thoroughly under running water, again working the jewelry back and forth at least 6 times. Any cleaning agent left on the skin or in the piercing can cause problems.
    Special note on nostril piercings
    It is important to keep makeup out of the piercing as it increases the chances of infections. If signs of infection are present, contact your physician immediately! An infection in this particular piercing can lead to more serious problems. Do not remove jewelry during the healing period as you may not be able to get it back in.
    Special note on eyebrow piercings
    Be careful when pulling clothing over your head. Use caution when combing/brushing your hair, so as not to snag the jewelry. Shield the piercing from hair spray and other hair care products, and keep makeup out of the piercing.
    Special note on septum piercings
    If signs of infection are present, you need to contact your physician immediately! An infection in this particular piercing can lead to more serious problems.

    TONGUE, LABRET, & LIP
    Healing Time
    Tongue, approximately 6-weeks. The jewelry cannot be removed for at least 6 months, a year is better. Even though the piercing may be healed before then, it takes some time for it to "toughen up."
    Labret & Lip, approximately 2-6 months.
    Special note on tongue piercings
    Gently brush your tongue in the morning and at night after brushing your teeth. 
    OTHER ACCEPTABLE MOUTHWASHES include Biotine. 
    WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THE USE OF LISTERINE DUE TO THE HIGH ALCOHOL CONTENT.
    Cleaning the outside tissue
    Thoroughly clean your new piercing once daily. Use an antibacterial soap such as Provon. Do not use any products other than what is suggested. Excessive cleaning can cause problems.
    -WASH YOUR HANDS! Remember never to touch your new piercing without washing your hands. 
    -Using warm water and a cotton swab, remove any matter that may have dried on the jewelry and around the openings of the piercing. 
    -Next, pour the cleaning agent on the jewelry and piercing, lather it up, then work the jewelry back and forth at least 6 times. Leave the cleaning agent in contact with the piercing approximately 1 minute. Finally, rinse the agent off very thoroughly under running water, again working the jewelry back and forth at least 6 times. Any cleaning agent left on the skin or in the piercing can cause problems
    Cleaning the inside tissue
    At least 4-6 times a day, you will want to rinse with Tech 2000 or a sea salt solution for 30-60 seconds. A sea salt rinse is 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water. Continue the rinses for 6-8 weeks.
    The piercing will probably be swollen for the first few days
    To minimize the amount of swelling you can use ice. Simply place it in your mouth and let it melt. Crushed ice is better to use - large pieces can increase swelling. Reducing the amount of talking you do will help to reduce the swelling. Cut down on your intake of warm beverages, spicy and acidic foods, tobacco and alcohol for the first week. Eat only soft foods for the first week or as long as your lip is swollen. Avoid drinking carbonated beverages for 3-4 days. They can break the seal that is forming at the piercing site. Avoid drinking through straws while your piercing is healing.
    No oral contact of any kind
    No oral contact of any kind for the first 6 weeks (including French/wet kissing and oral sex without barriers). You could end up with a severe infection.
    If a barbell stud has been used
    Always remember to check the balls to make sure they are not coming loose. Once the swelling has decreased (approximately 2-3 weeks), you can down-size the length of the stud.

    SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR WOMEN
    * WARNING *
    If you become pregnant within the first year of the healing process, we strongly suggest that you remove your jewelry immediately. Due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy, and the demand on your immune system, you are increasing your risk of rejection or infection. If the piercing is healed and you become pregnant, see your piercer so that the jewelry can be changed if necessary to properly accommodate you.
    Breast feeding with nipple piercings
    There should be no problem with breast feeding once the piercing is well healed (one year or longer). Some women will keep their jewelry in while breast feeding. Please keep in mind that your jewelry is a potential choking hazard for your baby, and therefore a captive bead ring is the most appropriate jewelry at this time.
    Other women prefer to remove their jewelry during feeding. Remember, there is always the risk that a piercing can close or shrink down when the jewelry is removed, even in a well-healed piercing. For further information, please consult with both your piercer and your physician.

    You should examine the area near your piercing and under your armpit for any swelling, lumps or other abnormalities.

    INTERNALLY THREADED JEWELRY
    Please notice
    IIf you have been pierced with internally threaded jewelry. Please realize both balls do unscrew from the shaft. No matter where the pierce is, natural movement will cause friction and the balls can unscrew. It is absolutely necessary that you tighten the balls several times a day after you wash your hands: right is tight, left is loose.
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