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Things You Should Know Before Getting Pierced
It might take a little time to get used to eating again because
of the swelling and barbell.
You have to get used to talking with swelling and barbell
(reading out loud helps).
The actual piercing doesn't hurt much but it does afterwards.
Be careful when getting pierced because there are some nerves
in your tongue that you can do serious damage to if they are hit.
The piercing could affect how you sing or play an instrument.
You will need to use Listerine after anything except water
goes in your mouth for a couple weeks.
If your tongue swells too much the barbell can get stuck
in the tongue and requires surgery to get it out, but you don't have
to worry about this if you follow the aftercare instructions.
After The Piercing
You can get chipped and cracked teeth.
The barbell can cause a scar in the mouth that cannot be removed.
The barbell might change the way you talk
What To Get :
A lot of Listerine and some gly-oxide
Healing Plan :
Rinse with mouthwash for 30-60 seconds after you put anything
except water in your mouth.
Use Gly-Oxide twice a day and don't forget this step because
these keep scar tissue from forming.
No oral contact till your piercing is healed.
Stay away from spicy foods, tobacco, and alcohol for a few
Try not to play with your piercing till it is fully healed
because it could cause scaring.
Always wash your hands before touching your piercing and don't
put anything dirty in your mouth.
A mild liquid antimicrobial/germicidal medicated soap such as
Provon or Satin, and water. Inferior alternatives include products such
as Almay Clearly Natural, Hypocare, NutriBiotic; or other mild, fragrance-
and color-free liquid antibacterial soap. These should possibly be diluted
with distilled or bottled water, depending on product strength. Also,
mild non-iodized (no iodine) sea salt soaks as described below.
Salt Water Soaks:
Mild sea salt water 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 as you can burn your
piercing with too much salt. Invert it over the area to form a vacuum
and soak directly for a few minutes. For certain placements it is easier
to use a clean cotton ball or gauze pad soaked in the salt water and applied
to the pierced area. Follow with a clear water rinse or splash then pat
dry with paper products.
Salt water soaks help to stimulate air and blood circulation which
facilitates healing. You can do a brief salt water soak before your daily
cleaning(s) as well as several additional times a day. It is particularly
advisable to soak before you do anything active, as it will prevent crust
from being pulled inside the piercing 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 a few minutes. Additional
soaks can be brief (1 minute or so) and still be effective for soothing
the area and removing matter.
Body piercings need to be cleaned once or twice daily, every
day, for the entire initial healing time. Most people clean morning
and/or night, in the shower. Do not clean more often as this can irritate
your piercing, and possibly delay your healing. For once-a-day cleanings,
do it at the end of your day. Optimal frequency will depend on your
skin sensitivity, activity level, and environmental factors.
Before cleanings wash hands thoroughly with liquid antibacterial
soap and hot water. If you wish, you may wear disposable latex or
vinyl gloves and/or also use a hand sanitizing gel. Never, never
touch healing piercings with dirty hands. This is vital for avoiding
Prepare the area for the cleansing by rinsing or soaking
with warm water and be sure to remove any stubborn crust using a
cotton swab and warm water. Never pick with fingernails! This step
is important for your comfort.
Apply a small handful of cleaning solution to the area
with your clean hands. Cleanse the area and the jewelry, and gently
rotate the jewelry back and forth a few times to work the solution
to the inside. (You do not need to rotate your jewelry during the
first several cleanings).
Allow the solution to cleanse there for a minute. You may
bathe normally, just don't purposely work anything other than the
cleanser onto the inside of the piercing.
Rinse the area thoroughly under running water, while rotating
the jewelry back and forth to completely remove the cleanser from
the inside and outside of the piercing.
Gently pat dry with disposable paper products such as gauze
or tissues, as cloth towels can harbor bacteria.
Please try to be patient. Each body is unique, and healing times
can vary considerably. If your piercing is tender or secreting you should
continue the care regimen, even if it is past the stated average healing
What is Normal:
Bleeding, bruising, discoloration and/or swelling is not uncommon.
Any break in the skin, including a new piercing can bleed or bruise.
These are not indications of any complication.
Reduce intake of aspirin, alcohol, and caffeine.
For above-the-neck piercings try sleeping with your head
elevated above your heart (prop up on some pillows) to limit overnight
Studies show non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products such
as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) can help minimize swelling.
Some tenderness or discomfort in the area of a new piercing
is not unusual.
You may feel stinging, burning, aching or other unpleasant
sensations 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 fairly liquid, whitish-yellow
in color and forms a crust on the jewelry at the openings of the piercing.
This is not pus, but indicates a healing piercing.
Once healed your piercing may secrete a semi-solid white malodorous
substance from the oil glands called 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 healed and then regressing.
Try to be patient, and do keep cleaning during the entire initial
healing time, even if the piercing seems healed sooner.
Tightness is normal. Do not expect jewelry to swing freely
in most body piercings, even after they are thoroughly healed.
What To Do:
Wash your hands prior to contact on or near the area of your
Leave the piercing alone except for when you are cleaning
it. It is not necessary or advisable to rotate the ring while healing
except during cleanings.
Leave the starter jewelry in during the entire minimum initial
healing time! (Assuming your initial jewelry is appropriate 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 at any time.
Check twice daily with clean hands to make sure the balls
are screwed on tight on threaded jewelry such as barbells. Both balls
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 minutes after having
been there for years! This varies from person to person, and even
if your ear lobe piercings stay open without jewelry your body piercing
may not! Contact your piercer if your jewelry must be temporarily
removed (such as 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. The healthier 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 a bleach product
before each bath, and rinse the tub before you fill it. Also, be sure
to do a running water rinse on your piercing when you are done in
In the event that the piercing drains a thick pus discharge
instead of the normal liquid secretion, you may wish to see a physician
for evaluation and possible antibiotic treatment. If you do have an
infection, the jewelry should be left in the 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 To Avoid:
Don't use alcohol, peroxide, Betadine or Hibiclens as they
are overly strong and drying which can hinder healing.
Don't apply any ointment such as Bacitracin, Neosporin
or any triple antibiotic ointment on your piercing. These prevent
oxygen from reaching the wound and form a sticky residue which can
cause complications. They are not designed for use on healing piercings.
Don't over clean. Cleaning more often than once or twice a
day is NOT better. This can delay your healing and irritate your piercing.
Don't use too many different products; select and use only
one cleaning solution (such as Provon or Satin) plus sea salt.
Avoid oral contact, rough play, and contact with others' bodily
fluids on or near your piercing during healing.
Don't use band aids on a healing piercing. They limit air
circulation and the adhesive can irritate the surrounding area.
Avoiding sleeping on a piercing during healing is advisable.
Don't hang charms or any object from your jewelry until the
piercing is fully healed.
Avoid submerging your piercings in water such as pools, lakes,
jacuzzis, etc. unless you feel confident that the water is clean enough
for you and an open wound (which is what your piercing is while it
is healing). Most bodies of water harbor large amounts of bacteria.
If there is sea life, motor oil or children in the water it is not
If you are going to be in water of questionable cleanliness,
use a breathable, non water-permeable wound sealant such as Tegaderm
or Clean Seals (available at drugstores and pharmacies) before you
go in, to protect yourself and prevent dirty water from getting inside
your open wound. Cleaning afterwards is not likely to be effective
in preventing infection.
Exercise during healing is fine, just "listen" to
your body. Try to avoid activities that put undue stress on the area.
Your own sweat and bodily fluids are not harmful to your piercing,
provided you clean daily as directed.
Hints for particular areas
Avoid tight, cinching belts and waistbands and inflexible
clothing on the area during healing.
A hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) can be applied
under tight clothing (such as nylon stockings) or secured using
a length of ace bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from
adhesive). This can protect the area from restrictive clothing,
excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as
EAR / EAR CARTILAGE AND FACIAL
Shield piercings from hair spray and avoid getting lotion,
make up and other foreign substances in piercings.
Make sure pillow cases are clean and changed frequently.
Clean your telephone receiver with a disinfectant and avoid
contact with public telephones.
It is advisable to sleep in a cotton tank top or tee shirt
especially if you have any pets that get on or in your bed. Many
women find sleeping in a bra or sports bra to be comfortable with
a healing nipple piercing.
Sexual activity isn't prohibited, it must be hygienic.
Listen to your body! If something feels sore, it means
you need to ease up or stop for the time being. Use condoms (without
Nonoxynol 9) and dental dams and for all sexual contact to prevent
sharing of bodily fluids. This is required even if you are
in a monogamous relationship.
It is mandatory for your health and safety during the entire minimum
initial healing time.
Pleasure Plus condoms have extra room for jewelry.
Use water- based lubricants such as KY Jelly.