Now that you’ve received your piercing, it’s your responsibility to take good care of it until your piercing fully heals.Your main responsibility is to actively keep your piercing from getting dirty in the first place. And yes, it is an active process, not just “doing nothing.” So what does this mean?
What to do:
What NOT to do:
Tips for Specific Piercings:
- Ear cartilage (helix, tragus, front/forward helix, antihelix/rook, conch, daith, industrial, etc.) will get irritated from sleeping or banging it on something, and from chemicals like shampoo. It’s critical to avoid this irritation while the piercing is healing, as this can cause swelling, discomfort, and prolonged healing. Cool compresses are helpful to get things back on track. Sleeping with your head elevated can also help reduce swelling.
- Genital piercings don’t require abstinence during the healing process, but protection is required. Use condoms, gloves, and dental dams to avoid infection. Avoid activities that hurt or cause discomfort while the piercing is still delicate and healing.
- Nipple and navel piercings can be sealed with breathable, waterproof bandages such as Tegaderm™, or Bioclusive™. These bandages provide an optimal moist healing environment while protecting your piercing from bacteria and irritating chemicals. They are designed to be worn continually, and each individual bandage can last several days. These are a must if you plan to swim while your piercing is still healing.
Oral Aftercare (Lip & Tongue Piercings)
- Keep it cold
The more ice you put on your piercing, the less swelling you get and the faster it goes away.
- Rinse with bottled water
Anytime you eat or drink anything other than water, rinse your mouth with water until you don’t taste anything. This removes food residue and helps keep the bacteria in your mouth to a minimum. It also has the nice side effect of keeping your breath fresher.
- Brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush and water
Do not use toothpaste while your piercing is healing – the complex chemistry and gritty bits will cause more extreme and prolonged swelling. An electric toothbrush moves fast enough that it makes up for the lack of toothpaste.
- Eat real food, just not stuff that hurts.
Living off baby food and oatmeal will only deprive you of the nutrition you need. You can eat normal food, just take small bites and chew slowly while you’re getting used to your jewelry. The only things to avoid are spicy, acidic, really salty, and crunchy foods. These can irritate your piercing and make the swelling worse.
- Protect yourself
Kissing, oral sex, or any other exposure to others body fluids is simply asking for an infection. Use a protective barrier like condoms or dental dams while you’re healing.
Shorten your jewelry
After the swelling goes down, come in for a shorter post for your jewelry. Jewelry that fits flush will protect your teeth and gums from damage and just looks and feels better.