Piercing Aftercare Instructions
Knowledge is power!
We are here to help you, so if you have any questions about healing your piercing feel free to ask us!
Did you forget your aftercare brochure at the shop? No problem! Download our piercing aftercare brochure or continue reading.
Basic Piercing Aftercare
The first step to healing is to be healthy! Happy, healthy bodies make for happy, healthy piercings. Good personal hygiene and a stress-free life, complemented by a nutritious diet with proper hydration will enable the body to heal faster. The combination of showering daily along with proper saline irrigation will reduce chances of infection and minimize irritation. Keep it simple: eat your veggies and please, keep your filthy hands off.
Sterile saline is the universal accepted choice for wound care in hospital and medical facilities. Sterile saline and shower water are the only “solutions” to use directly on your piercing.
- Sterile saline sprays are the perfect portable isotonic solution. When used properly they will not damage tissue or cause allergy or alter the normal healing process.
- Irrigation is an essential component of healing. Flush your piercings after a daily shower and 3-4 times throughout the day, as needed.
- Wound Wash sterile saline is available at Adorn with a specific piercing-friendly tip. When purchasing sterile saline spray from the drug store make sure and AVOID any and all additives…especially preservatives or anything “anti-bacterial.”
- Special circumstances may arise where heating and cooling through sterile saline saturated gauze compresses is indicated. Check in with your piercer to see if your situation qualifies.
The use of soaks/compresses has fallen out of favor due to evolving science and understanding of wound healing. Sterile saline compresses may be used to remove excess or stubborn lymph from jewelry, as well as special circumstances of healing involving acute swelling or wound drainage. If these special circumstances apply to your situation, this will be covered in a troubleshooting consult. Call or drop by the studio at the first sign of a problem.
No more homemade salt solutions. We were wrong. Forgive us… stop doing them… seriously, stahp!
Over or under-cleaning is counter-productive to your healing. Rinsing your piercing in clean, warm, running water once or twice a day is usually sufficient. Follow with saline.
- When showering, wash your body as normal, but do not get soap directly on the piercing.
- NEVER rotate jewelry through the piercing, especially with soap on it.
- Using a mild, fragrance-free liquid soap such as Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Castile, on jewelry and surrounding area, reduces the likelihood of irritation. Avoid bar, anti-bacterial, fragranced or deodorant soaps.
- Stay in the shower for an additional 3-5 minutes, allowing the warm water to fully flush your piercing.
- Spray your piercing directly with saline immediately after showering to ensure any remaining dirt; oils or soaps are flushed out and restore natural salinity.
- Dry off gently but thoroughly with a clean linen or paper towel. Warm, moist environments harbor bacteria.
Oral Piercing Aftercare
- Get a new toothbrush.
- Rinse the inside of your mouth with saltwater solution approximately 4-5 times daily, primarily after meals and especially before you go to bed.
- Avoid any mouthwashes with alcohol, peroxide or witch hazel. Biotene is one good option.
- Eliminating (or at least cutting back on) smoking and drinking alcohol will help avoid healing complications.
- Once the swelling period is past it is ESSENTIAL you come in for a down-size to protect your teeth and gums.
- Ice water often helps as do anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen, when taken as directed.
Downsizing & New Jewelry
Swelling is a normal part of the healing process and varies in intensity dramatically depending on a multitude of individual and environmental factors. Consequently sizing adjustments are a normal part of the healing process. The jewelry we use for initial piercings will likely not be the best/final size for your healed piercing. It may require a couple size adjustments to heal properly. Keep all the various lengths safe and accessible for the different phases you will flow through. If the jewelry seems uncomfortable in any way, long or short, come in for assessment and possible adjustment. Please note: There is a charge/fee for any new jewelry used to make size adjustments.
Actual infections are rare. Often what clients feel is an infection is simply an irritation that can be remedied without medical intervention. Signs of infection include pain, swelling, heat, and discolored discharge.
Do not remove your jewelry! Bacteria cause infections, not piercings. Stop by the studio at the first sign of trouble. If we can’t help you we will gladly refer you to a physician.
The No’s (Seriously No!)
NEVER handle your piercing!
- Hands are very dirty, no matter how clean they look. The vast majority of infections come from people touching their piercings.
- Avoid chemicals: DO NOT use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Bactine®, Neosporin®, antiseptics, anti-bacterial soaps or any other chemicals.
- NO ointments, lotions, creams, hair sprays/dye or makeup or glitter on or near the piercing site.
- NO swimming/submerging: avoid lakes, rivers, pools, bathtubs, hot tubs, oceans, creeks, ponds or mud puddles. Waterproof bandages may or may not work sufficiently to prevent contamination. Consider the consequences when deciding whether or not to take the risk.
- Avoid tight, restrictive clothing at the piercing site (e.g. pantyhose or restrictive waistbands on a navel). Breathable cotton fabrics are best for healing.
- Avoid sleeping on a piercing for the entire healing period – especially cartilage! Put fresh, clean, animal dander and fur-free linens and towels into use.
- NO tanning during healing! Delicate healing tissue can be sensitive to heat, oils, and chemicals used in this environment.
- Avoid other people’s body fluids: sweat, saliva, and semen.
- DO NOT remove your jewelry for any reason during the healing process. Healed piercings may not remain fully open if jewelry is removed for even short periods of time. If jewelry DOES come out, please return to a professional studio immediately for assistance! We can usually get it back in even if you can’t.
- The use of cotton swabs is sometimes warranted to remove stubborn lymph or debris from jewelry. The bleach and fibers of these products can be damaging to fragile tissue. Dampen with sterile saline and use VERY gently.
The information herein is based on our extensive experience as professional piercers and current industry standards. We are not doctors. In case of infections or other medical issues please consult your Physician!
You have been lovingly pierced with professional care. And now, with great piercings comes great responsibility.