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Piercing Aftercare

Piercing Aftercare Cleaning Solutions & Supplies

As every piercer knows, good piercing aftercare is absolutely essential to ensure the health, appearance, and longevity of any body piercing. Without it, a new piercing could be prone to infection, scarring, and other complications. Here’s what you need to know –and what you need to buy– to keep your piercing healthy and healing. 

The Basics of Cleaning Your Piercing

Different piercings require different cleaning routines, but all piercing aftercare boils down to three basic principles:

Protect your piercing from bacteria and irritation. Every time you touch your piercing, you could potentially introduce infection-causing bacteria. So just don’t do it. Other than cleaning your piercing with freshly washed hands, it’s best to be completely hands off. Avoid submerging new piercings in water, and be sure to protect them from accidental bumps and snags that could add further injury to the tissues and prolong healing.

Regularly clean your piercing with sterile saline solution. Think of sterile saline solution (SSS) as your new best friend. Depending on what type of piercing you got, you’ll be rinsing it with SSS at least twice per day. Some piercings, like oral piercings and nipple piercings will require even more washes and soaks in SSS to heal well. 

Follow your piercers instructions. Your piercers should give you exact details on how often and how long you should clean your piercing. Stick with their instructions –even when it seems like your piercing is healed– and you’ll probably avoid most major complications. 

Taking Care Of Your Piercing as It Heals

Rest and Take It Easy

Your body is putting in extra work to fight off infection and heal the new piercing. You can help it out by taking it easy the first few days. Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat well, and save intense exercise for a week or so after you get your piercing. 

Keep Your Piercing Clean

Always wash your hands before handling or cleaning your jewelry and piercing, and follow your piercer’s cleaning instructions. They’ll probably advise you to clean the piercing multiple times per day with a sterile saline solution. Between cleanings, make sure the piercing stays as dry as possible. Basic earlobe piercings generally heal in 4-6 weeks, while nipple piercings can take 6 months to heal. For most other piercings, you can expect at least two months of aftercare and healing.

Avoid Touching Your Piercing Unnecessarily

It’s that important, so we’ll say it again: don’t move or play with the jewelry unnecessarily! This could damage the tissue in and around your piercing, lengthening your healing time. Despite what you may have heard, it is not necessary to rotate your jewelry during cleaning.

Contact Your Piercer with Questions

A little fluid and clear crusting around the piercing site is probably just normal lymph fluid, which helps your piercing heal and fight off infection. But if you notice pus, foul odors, or pain and swelling that get worse instead of better, give your piercer a call ASAP. They can help you determine if you might have an infection and if you should get in touch with your doctor. 

Special Considerations for Oral Piercings and Stretched Piercings

Some piercings are more high maintenance than others, and this is definitely the case for lip and oral piercings and stretched piercings. For oral piercings, you’ll need to be extra vigilant with your oral hygiene and rinse your mouth with a piercing-friendly mouthwash multiple times per day. Regular mouthwash typically contains alcohol, which will dry out and irritate your new piercing. Instead, opt for sea salt-based, alcohol-free mouthwash options that promote healing without irritating healing tissues. Rinse morning, night, and after meals and snacks. Note that cheek piercings, labret piercings, and other facial piercings that are both external and oral should also be cleaned externally with a saline-based piercing spray throughout the day.

Stretched piercing also requires a little extra care. In addition to washing with SSS daily, we also recommend applying emu oil or Recovery Skin Conditioner to enhance the skin’s elasticity and minimize the risk of micro-tears to the skin. 

For More Piercing Aftercare Tips…

Need more detailed piercing aftercare information? Be sure to check out our comprehensive Piercing Aftercare Tips. If you’re looking for aftercare information about specific types of piercings, we also have blogs covering ear piercing aftercare, nipple piercing aftercare, belly button piercing aftercare, and oral piercing aftercare. 

Piercing Aftercare Products For You

The most fundamental piercing aftercare cleaning solution is the sea salt solution (SSS). One of our favorite options is Recovery Sterilized Saline Wash Spray. It comes in a convenient spray bottle that lets you rinse your piercings with minimal waste and mess. It’s affordable enough that you can stock up on all the SSS you need without breaking the bank –even if you facing a long healing process. 

For oral piercings such as lip, tongue, or cheek piercings, you’ll also need a dedicated oral piercing rinse such as Biotene, or the Recovery Aftercare Sea Salt Mouth Rinse. We also carry piercing-safe aftercare soap and aftercare kits from Tattoo Goo.

Occasionally, new piercings can become dry, itchy, or irritated. In that case, you can add a couple of drops of Recovery jojoba oil or Recovery tea tree oil to your SSS for an additional all-natural antiseptic moisturizer. 

Whatever you need for your piercing aftercare routine, you’ll find it at Painful Pleasures. From piercing solutions to emu oil to Biotene, we’ve got you (and your piercings) covered.